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Le Tour - So u really think u have what it takes....


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latimes.com/health/boostershots/la-heb-tour-de-france-20110721,0,52965.story

 

latimes.com

 

BOOSTER SHOTS: Oddities, musings and news from the health world

 

Think you're Tour de France material? Probably not

 

By Jeannine Stein, Los Angeles Times / For the Booster Shots blog

 

12:39 PM PDT, July 21, 2011

 

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You're sitting on your comfy sofa watching the Tour de France, and after a swig of Gatorade you think to yourself, "You know, I'm a pretty good cyclist. I bet I could keep up with those guys!" (Don't deny it. You know you totally did that.)

 

Here's a little reality check: You probably can't. While you may have mad cycling skillz, chances are you don't have what it takes to compete against some of the best racers in the world on this grueling, three-week, 3,430 kilometer race through the flat, curved and mountainous terrains of France.

 

Bicycling magazine has an amusing feature online that's part of its Tour de France coverage: "You Versus the Peloton," comparing race stats between average cyclists and elite Tour riders. Standing in for "you," the average cycling enthusiast, are the writer's friends "Matt" and "Andy," and data on the tour riders is from Team HTC-High Road.

 

OK, let's start out with average speed on the flats. You: 17 to 18 mph. A tour rider: 25 to 28 mph. Ready to give up yet? No? Fine.

 

Let's go with average speed on mountainous terrain. You: 9 to 10 mph. Tour rider: 21 to 25 mph. Dude, that's more than double the average cyclist. "TV doesn't tell the real story," says writer Whit Yost. "It's staggering to witness how fast pro cyclists go uphill. Their strength-to-weight ratios make these speeds possible."

 

Still not convinced? How many calories do you think you burn on an average three-hour ride? Probably 200 to 450. Those Tour riders? They're burning about 4,000 to 5,000. Yost adds, "It's not unheard of for a Tour rider to burn up to 8,000 calories during a single stage." Hot-fudge sundaes all around!

 

Those Tour riders aren't even taking a true recovery day -- they're riding two to three hours on rest days. You? You're at brunch.

 

Now that you've conceded defeat, be glad there's still room for improvement. Top cycling coach Joe Friel, author of "The Cyclist's Training Bible," imparted some training wisdom during an hour-long live Web chat recently, including how to improve on hills. On that, Friel said, "The best way to get better at climbing hills is to simply climb hills. Initially the improvement will come because you learn how best to sit on the bike and apply force to the pedals: Sit back on the saddle with hands on the bars near the stem. Then engage the pedal higher in the pedal stroke than you usually do. This will allow you to apply force downward for a longer range than you would normally do. To improve climbing for racing or simply going over hills fast, do intervals on hills."

 

Read the chat for even more tips, and maybe we'll see you at the Tour next year.

 

Copyright © 2011, Los Angeles Times

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I don't have it and know it

 

Many cyclist, including myself, bump into the local pro's in the cradle and we look for parking irrespective of how good we think we are. Saying that Robbie Hunter is totally in another league - I have never seen a cyclist go up Krugersdorp hill (hillsnacks) so quickly and he's a sprinter.

 

You truely appreciate pro's superior ability once you have had the opportunity to experience it yourself - totally humbling :drool: .

 

I'll stick to my job and cycle to stay fit and healthy :D

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To give you a practical idea of how fast the pros are - I rode the etap du tour (a stage of the tour) in 2002. It's set up identical to the real stage and you ride it 3 or 4 days before the Tour does.

 

I was racing in the UK at the time and in pretty good shape (summer in europe rocks!). It was a medium mountain stage with 4 climbs varying between Cat 3 and Cat 1. Alas climbing is noy my forte...

 

My time: 4:45

 

The tour's time? 4:05

 

Thats 17% faster! For every 100m they did I only managed 83m. *** huh?

 

Worst of all the stage was won by a break that went from the gun - 4 guys alone the whole stage. Probably more than 20% if the peleton had been riding together... Different world this Tour de France.

 

The average couch potato doesn't have a clue - they think it's all chilling out and riding your bike through the sunflowers in southern france.

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Many cyclist, including myself, bump into the local pro's in the cradle and we look for parking irrespective of how good we think we are. Saying that Robbie Hunter is totally in another league - I have never seen a cyclist go up Krugersdorp hill (hillsnacks) so quickly and he's a sprinter.

 

 

That's nothing. You should have seen what he did to Boulders in the Jock when he was still riding for Mapei. (or was it Lampre?)

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Still not convinced? How many calories do you think you burn on an average three-hour ride? Probably 200 to 450.

How slowly are these guys riding? 450 kcal in three hours is roughly equivalent to riding at an average of 42W. That's about 18km/h on a flat road. Even 450 kcal/hour is pretty slow (125W and 29km/h on a flat road).

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How slowly are these guys riding? 450 kcal in three hours is roughly equivalent to riding at an average of 42W. That's about 18km/h on a flat road. Even 450 kcal/hour is pretty slow (125W and 29km/h on a flat road).

I burn about 1800 calories in my 1h30 ride..... :unsure:

Edited by DaLoCo
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How slowly are these guys riding? 450 kcal in three hours is roughly equivalent to riding at an average of 42W. That's about 18km/h on a flat road. Even 450 kcal/hour is pretty slow (125W and 29km/h on a flat road).

 

I think she over-exaggerated some of our limits. I burn about 350 on an easy hour trainer ride and I'm female. So that makes it over 1000 for me on a normal 3 hour ride and again I'm female so I burn less than a guy.

 

But then again in all honesty a five day tour kills me, can't even imagine racing for 3 weeks like they do.

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How slowly are these guys riding? 450 kcal in three hours is roughly equivalent to riding at an average of 42W. That's about 18km/h on a flat road. Even 450 kcal/hour is pretty slow (125W and 29km/h on a flat road).

An average power of 205W was enough for a 75kg rider to do a 2:40 94.7 last year.

 

Playing around with the numbers says that 42W would roughly get you a 7hr time while 125W would roughly get you a 3:30 time. A time of 2:15 would require an average power of roughly 300W.

 

Jeremy Roy's average for 210km Stage 12 of this years tour was also about 300W, but over a time of 6:10.

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You know, just thinking about this calorie thing. These guys may be going faster on average but have you seen their average HR. They should be burning less than us. LOL

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Ha ha. I was actually reading that article and thinking if we had what it takes we wouldn't be sitting on the couch thinking that at all. We'd be riding the tour or some other race because we'd be pro.

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I burn about 1800 calories in my 1h30 ride..... :unsure:

 

Yep, I easily burn 4000 calories on a 4 hour ride! If only burning calories meant losing weight! :(

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Yep, I easily burn 4000 calories on a 4 hour ride! If only burning calories meant losing weight! :(

 

The secret is to put less than 4000 calories into your system during the ride ;)

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Yep, I easily burn 4000 calories on a 4 hour ride! If only burning calories meant losing weight! :(

 

I don't think I've even burnt that much in the jock. Damn, you must eat a lot!!

Edited by Wonder Woman
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Yep, I easily burn 4000 calories on a 4 hour ride! If only burning calories meant losing weight! :(

I only use water for training rides, and I ride before eating...but that is for normal rides. Anything above 2-2:30 I will take some 32gi and maybe a granola bar or something. I tend to lose abot 1.5 kg per month that way (when I am riding, now it is winter :o :blush: )

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You can see that we are amateurs cycling for health reasons....

 

We are all concerned about the number of calories and not the fact they go up hills at 25 mph...

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Well, to each his own I say. It is not my job to cycle, so I expect the best cyclists in the world to be pretty good at what they do. Similar to almost any occupation I can think of.

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