It’s not every day you get to watch a 7-time Tour de France winner modify and transform his time trial position, or listen to Steve Hed, the wheel and fit genius, discuss bike position, or sit down with Lance’s coach, Chris Carmichael and get the low down on Lance’s current fitness levels.
It was quite a day. Here are some highlights and a photo gallery from the San Diego Wind Tunnel this morning. Stay tuned for a complete feature in the March/April issue of RBA.
Lance looks fit. He’s been training and this visit to the wind tunnel is significantly earlier than he has ever started working on bike position. In years past, wind tunnel work would begin in January, not early November. This year, Lance will begin serious racing in January in Australia at the Tour Down Under. Lance spoke with RBA for a few minutes regarding his new position. “Rules have changed since 2005. Positions are also a bit longer, narrower, riders are behind the hoods more, chin to hub. Position change takes adjustment and it’s something you have to train into.” He also mentioned, after meeting Johan Bruyneel in Copenhagen that he will be racing the Tour of Flanders in ’09. Steve Hed:
Steve Hed gave Lance his first disc wheel when Lance was 15 years old and racing triathlons. Twenty-two years later they are still working together. Steve has been working with Lance over the past few months on his time trial position. Lance actually raced two time trials this weekend in Texas and worked on his positioning. The plan for the wind tunnel testing was to get back to his 2005 base line position and then modify it and run tests now, then come back and do more testing around the Tour of California.
After Lance warmed up at the wind tunnel I had a chance to sit and talk with Chris Carmichael about Lance’s fitness levels and any modifications in his training. Chris said Lance is roughly at 77 kilos and will need to get to 72 kilos around the Tour de France for optimum performance. Basically, he is around ten pounds too heavy at this point, which is thin for November. The reason? Chris mentioned that Lance has never stopped working out, putting in 2-3 workouts in his “retirement.” When asked about his current training plan Chris said, “Lance is riding about 20-24 hours a week right now, primarily foundation miles. Once we get into December we will work on some motor-pacing, etc. to get ready for the Tour Down Under.”
Read more about Armstrong's incredible comeback in Road Bike Action's exclusive Armstrong Interview