May 9, 2011

Training for the Giro d’Italia Team Time Trial

Three days prior to the start of the Giro d’Italia the team got together in Turin for a few days of training. The opening stage of the Giro was a team trial so it was important we become accustomed to riding with one another in formation and refine our technique. Bobby Julich, who is a coach with the team and was a time trial specialist and Olympic Medalist, was there to guide the team and give us advice. During the race he sat in the passenger’s seat of the team car and relayed all of the key course information to us over the radio.
To me, the TTT is one of the most beautiful events in cycling as it not only requires complete sacrifice from every rider but also selflessness. To ride fast everybody needs to be constantly thinking of their teammates as any sharp acceleration, poorly taken corner, or bump in the road can have a detrimental effect on the whole squad. Rhythm, fluidity and a constant steady speed will ensure that a team carries the momentum to travel as fast and efficiently as possible. It is also the only event where the whole team can stand on the podium together and celebrate the victory.

Here are a few photos of the team training before the start of the Giro d’Italia.

May 10, 2010

Giro d’Italia TTT Training

In preparation for the Giro d’Italia Team Time Trial we were training as a team outside to find our fluidity as a team. After a few efforts we were moving well. The key to a TTT is that the speed is consistent without any hard surges as they will split the team. The strong riders need to pull longer and progressively bring the speed up while the weaker riders must do shorter turns on the front and get off before their speed drops. It was clear Brad is flying as his turns were long and quick. As the french would say, he has a ‘sacré coup de pédale’ at the moment. He looks good in pink, as well.

The footage captures the flat fields, the windmills, and the tulips. But, it doesn’t capture the howling wind we were battling.

The Team Sky Giro roster is: Bradley Wiggins, Steve Cummings, Chris Froome, Greg Henderson, CJ Sutton, Michael Barry, Dario Cioni, Mathew Hayman and Morris Possoni. Two cameras caught the footage–a GoPro on the hood of the team car which followed us, and a Flip camera which I taped to my handlebars. Notice the impatient driver who throws a water bottle at us. He hit Wiggo with the bottle. The rest of the drivers encouraged us and even stopped to take photos.