COMPRESSPORT® is proud to be the compression partner of 3 cycling teams on the 2014 Tour de France : Tinkoff Saxo, Trek and IAM Cycling. That is why we asked experts to disclose the key to success: Preparation, recovery, we tell you all!
Presentation of the 2014 Tour de France…
The Tour de France is the most prestigious cycling competition of the world and the 3rd sports event after the Olympic Games and the FIFA World Cup. The competition lasts 3 weeks and includes 21 stages with different profiles. In 2014, the Tour starts from Leeds (UK) on July 5 and includes many highlights: 8 mountain stages in the Vosges, Alps and Pyrenees, 1 stage on the cobbles of Paris – Roubaix and 1 time trial with 54 km the day prior the arrival on the Champs Elysees. 198 cyclists distributed into 22 teams take part in the race and the winner will be that who realized the 3664 km as quickly as possible.
A specific preparation for each profile of cyclist
The Tour de France allows each cyclist to successful, sprinter, puncher, rouleur or climber. Consequently, each team will choose 9 cyclists able to respond to the fixed objectives. The preparation will depend on these objectives and will be specific according to the selected riders’ profile. A team focusing of the overall ranking will concentrate her preparation on the aerobic power (VO2max and anaerobic threshold). Training session in altitude with volume and intensity and time trial work will be realized! The choice of teammates will be determinant because they must be able to escort the leader in mountain but also in many other situations: cobbles, wind, falls… Conversely, for the team focusing on the final sprints, the emphasis will be placed on the anaerobic work maximal strength and lactic anaerobic power) without neglecting the volume. The collective tactic to place the sprinter in the best conditions on the last 200 meters will be also worked.
The recovery, key-parameter of the performance!
The recovery is essential to successful on the Tour de France since the cyclists must be able to perform each day during 3 weeks. To optimize it, some routines are used by the teams. The active recovery (around 10 min on home-trainer) is used immediately after the stage to eliminate the toxins and help body to return to the normal state.
In terms of recovery methods, the compression Is widely wide spreading cycling: the Tinkoff-Saxo of Contador, IAM Cycling of Chavanel or Trek Factory Racing of Schleck brothers use COMPRESSPORT®. The Full Socks are mainly used during the travels and the Full Legs appear to be the indispensable tool to recover during the Tour de France. They will be used during all the duration between the end of a stage and the night!
Then, the cyclists have to favor the restoration of the energy reserves with a specific alimentation into the hour following the end of the effort. The re-hydration is also primordial especially the days of intense heat. Drink sufficiently and regularly to compensate the water losses!
Other methods as the massages for the well-being or the cryotherapy to reduce the inflammatory process will be applied by the team… Finally, the sleep being the best means to recover, the cyclists can use pillows and overlay mattress to improve it.
About the Author
Julien Pinot comes from Besançon. He is the trainer – researcher for the FDJ.fr professional cycling team. You can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.