Posted by Editoress on 07/24/05
Photographer Chris Redden is back at the Tour again this year, and here are his impressions from stage 20 of the the 2005 Tour.
The ITT (July 23rd)
The Individual Time Trial is the one race, where the riders spend the entire race by themselves, racing against the clock. It is the race where the racer can either prove themselves or ruin their race.
Today we saw both cases. Both Lance and Ulrich had exceptional races while Chickens day didnt work out so well. I have never seen a racer fall apart so completely as Rasmussen did today. He crashed twice, got multiple bike changes and numerous wheel changes. The guy is totally spent! He could barely make it up onto the podium today let alone hold off Ulrichs amazing time. Ulrich used the ITT to make it up onto the podium in Paris. Good for him!
I want to highlight some of the tech that makes the Time Trial critical and so important. Most riders have a separate bike set up specifically for the Time Trial. This is a bike that provides greater aerodynamic advantages than the regular road bike. It usually has tubing that helps to cut through the wind as well as Aero Bars and disk wheels. All of these components come together to produce a bike that helps get the rider in an aerodynamic position as well as helping them go faster. To understand what this does, Lance had over a 42 km/hr average speed for the 55kms. This is an unbelievable speed to maintain over the distance.
Here are a few notable Aero items that I saw today.
While CSC guys were riding the usual Canadian Cervello P3 bikes, Bobby Julich was riding those crazy elliptical (can you say Biopace, but not really) chain rings on his rig. Seems to work for him. Ill pass as I lived through the Biopace era.
Scott is using the worst front wheel that I have even seen. You have to see the pic to understand the idea. I see no purpose.
As far as the bikes go , you are best to check out the pics.
John Kerry showed up today. Yea, I know, so what.
More exciting, was the arrival of Lances Mother and Children. Lance seemed to enjoy the fact that they were here. Sheryl seems to be good with the kids. It was funny to see the kids playing like they were hanging out at their Dads work. Well they were hanging out at Dads work.
Expect to see Lance at a Cyclocross race or Mountain bike race sometime in the next few years. He eluded to the fact that he would want to do something and he may try an Ironman, or Marathon, or the usual MTB race that he does. I cant wait to line up next to him somewhere!
We are on to Paris tomorrow. The racers take a VTT, high speed train, while there will be a lot of racing to the start for us. I plan on driving the course tomorrow into the Champs, so I will get a good perspective on the feeling of the final day of the race.
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