TOUR DE FRANCE 2018: Vincenzo Nibali arrived in France after having experienced a great first part of season. The victory of Milano Sanremo could be even enough to make this season a success. We always expect something extraordinary from the Squalo, even if this year the lights of the spotlight seemed more on other athletes: the usual favorite Chriss Froome, Nairo Quintana, the French Romain Bardet, Richie Porte. The Sicilian is not the type to be disturbed by certain details and accustomed to responding with facts. It has an incredible palmares with a Tour de France, 2 Giri d’Italia, a Vuelta Espana, not counting the podiums. Even in the classics, he gets along well with 2 Giri di Lombardia and a Sanremo. The Tour started with the spectacle who gave us the sprinters with the victories and the respective yellow jerseys for Fernando Gaviria and Peter Sagan. A start with so many twists difficult to imagine. Froome fall and loses 51″, mechanical failure for Nairo Quintana that lose 1′: 15″. Meanwhile Vincenzo Nibali has been smart to remain vigilant and in the leading positions of the group, avoiding any problem. On the Sicilian road now there are two crucial junctions. The first one is the TEAM TIME TRIAL: the route measures 35.5 km and is very fast, quite hilly but without significant altitude problems. Possible that the final average exceeds 55 km/h. Sky and Bmc are the favorites. Team Bahrain Merida has worked hard on this test bringing important news like the new time trial bike with different weight, stiffness and aerodynamic improvements, as well as Sportful’s new super-dynamic body. The second major pitfall will be the stage on Sunday, July 15th with 21.7 kilometers on the cobblestones. A small Paris Roubaix with 15 sectors to be tackled with great care, especially in bad weather. Write down this appointment: Arras – Roubaix. Have you already tried the new #sportplushealth apps? Download from PlayStore or Apple Store.
KITTEL: THE SPRINTER WHO FEAR THE SRINTS
The fear for the sprinter should be only a companion of those that do not disturb. A discreet presence that remains far from the mind would otherwise only end up hindering a job, that of the sprinter, which by definition is one that throws itself headlong into the fray. The sprints are excitement, more or less calculated risk, instinct and adrenaline. Not everyone’s stuff. It also takes a hint of healthy madness to compete in the tight spaces on the 70km/h line. Yet there is a runner who seems to be stuck in an important way from the fear of sprint. A strong contradiction for one who built his career on sprints. Let’s talk about Marcel Kittel, who this year is demonstrating these limits in the first sprints of the Tour de France. By analyzing the situation better we have to make some considerations. Until last year the double of Ivan Drago (historic adversary of Rocky Balboa) had by his side riders likes Maximilian Richeze and Fabio Sabatini ready to smooth the way and bring him to the last 200 m from the finish line. This allowed him to start from the front of the group and unleash all his power, which is so great. In the first stages of this Tour 2018 we saw him starts from the rear and no one has escorted him to the head of the group. There was also bad luck. In fact, his domestique, the Austrian Marco Haller, is convalescing to have been hit by a car a few months ago. The other serious mistake is that of his team, Alpecin Katusha who has not built around his champion a group able to support him at best. Kittel is not like Sagan or Robby Mckwen (an Australian opponent of Cipollini) able to get away on his own. On the finish line of the fourth stage the team tried to support it, obtaining 2 negative results: bad in the sprint and loss of one minute in the standings for Illunur Zakarin left only after a puncture. A few ideas but confused. Those of fear, however, continue to not have Marc Cavendish who always launches headlong into every sprint. But in this case the problem is of legs.
TOUR DE FRANCE: WHO WINS?
In a few days, the Tour de France begins and immediately we start with the twists. The first is the most resounding with the re-admission of the outgoing winner, Chriss Froome, who was first driven to the door by the transalpine organizers and then readmitted because he was acquitted by the Wada after an anomalous value for the salbutanol was observed on 7 September. The second, less dramatic, but equally powerful, was caused by the exclusion of Nacer Bouhanni of the Cofidis team. A bit as if Real Madrid left Ronaldo on the bench during the Champions League final. Worn relationship meant that the sprinter was eliminated from the starting list and probably will change the team at the end of the year. The most beautiful fight, however, is the one for the yellow jersey and now we can wonder who will be the king of 2018. There are many names: from Vincenzo Nibali, king of Milano Sanremo, to Nairo Quintana. Both arrive fresh at the big boucle, while Froome has already won the Giro. Tom Dumoulin also comes from the pink race but he has decided not to escape the great fight. The Dutchman will not be able to count on mate Wilko Kelderman, who fell a few days ago in the national championships. Among the prominent claimants certainly the Tasmanian Richie Porte, potentially a champion who has never managed to get on the podium of a great race. Mikael Landa Meana, the eternal dissatisfied coming from Astana to Sky and now in Movistar where it seems to suffer the competition of the captains Quintana and Valverde. The man of the house is Romain Bardet, all of France will be with the tiny climber of the AG2R while the inconstant Warren Barguil is a loose cannon. Primoz Roglic, runner of the Jumbo Lotto which is growing steadily, is firmer and stronger. The top 10 is also Daniel Martin is another racer that aims at the top 10 and who has not shone so far. It is always a runner from the great palmares. For those who love the adrenaline show, they can just wait Peter Sagan with the whole sprint band starting with Marcel Kittel. Present as every year the experts Mark Cavendish (Dimension Data) and Andrè Greipel (Lotto Soudal), respectively at 30 and 11 career victories in the Tour, they are now in a downturn in their career but, on the French roads, they will always be a hard bone for everyone. Dylan Groenewegen (Lotto Jumbo) and Arnaud Demare (Groupama FDJ) are younger, both got off the track last year and now they will try to get a good result this year. Another name that we will certainly see is Michael Matthews (Sunweb), the green jersey last year, but he prefers harder finals such as John Degenkolb (Trek) and Alexander Kristoff (UAE Emirates). Not to forget the landlord Nacer Bouhanni (Cofidis), Magnus Cort Nielsen (Astana), Oliver Naesen (AG2R), Sonny Colbrelli (Bahrain Merida) and Timothy Dupont (Wanty Groupe).
MARTINELLI: MOTORPACING IN ORDER TO COME BACK BRILLIANT
There were athletes running in the Giro d’Italia and others that have carried out a detached after a very intense spring and they are already projecting themselves towards new sports aims in the second part of the year. It can happen that, in the middle of the season, there are some resting days, this has happend to Davide Martinelli, in order to recover the physical and mental level. “It is so – explains the strong rouleur of Lodetto di Rovato – an athlete needs some break from the physical and also psychological point of view. Everything has been agreed with the team, it is just a matter of planning and now it’s time to start”. Re-start is a delicate phase and it must be handle in the correct way. “Now I’ll tell you better. Since the physical condition is still good, you have to start immediately with a certain intensity, you can no longer allow yourself to resume slowly, as instead happens in winter. I immediately make the famous triplets. 4 hours, 3 hours and a half and finally 5 hours. Then, it follows a day of unloading and again 2 triplets interspersed with a day of unloading. At this stage one feels tarred, a term that is not really correct, but which explains well the feeling of lack of fluidity, of brilliance in the cadence. However, rest also leaves strength in the legs. “Yes, you have a strong leg. You miss the change of pace that after a week from the recovery you can find again. How can I improve myself? With motor-paced cycling sessions. I usually do them 1-2 times a week. In this period, however, I arrive 3 times in 6 days. It’s an exercise that I’ve been doing for 6-7 years and that helps me with the rhythm. If I ran, there would be no need to do it because in the race you do 4-5 hours at a high rate. Instead, when you train alone, at 35 km per hour you go at 90 rides, but then it is easy to get off that threshold because of the wind and other variables.. In the race you set an important input and therefore, if you want to replicate it, during the preparation you have to succeed to create a similar one for 2-3 hours “. (The detail of the roller on the bike). Motorpacing is, however, a very delicate task to deal with. “We have to be very careful, find the right people and have adequate means. Personally, I can rely on a staff of 2-3 trusted collaborators and moreover I directly took care of the realization of the vehicle: a motorcycle with a roller positioned in the back. This allows me to go against it without any problem. A blacksmith made it, even its smoothness is important, it must turn well. The relationship with the person who drives the bike is also primary. It is necessary a profound knowledge and feeling. I feel very comfortable with my dad, or with the coach I used to have when I was Junior. Even with my cousin Claudio I’m in tune, the bike was of his property once. When he drives, I feel as I was running. An important mix is established: knowledge of the vehicle, of the person and of the roads “. (We are getting ready to go out for the motorpacing). Here is a further detail: “The paths are varied as there are various the stimuli to be given to the muscle. I have different options. For example, the motorpacing in the hilly is used to simulate the last parts of the race with strong strains and recovery downhill with a phase in the plain. It is an important neuromuscular activity”. And again: “The work in the plain is useful instead to stimulate cadence. 45-50 per hour on a path where I ride less from the point of view of intensity but with long bearing, such as the 53 × 11 that is easy to push because there is no air resistance”. How are these jobs divided? Before the hard races, we train in hilly, but if the path is flat I train myself in the plain. As I did before the Tour of Fjords, I performed sessions both in the plain and in the hilly because the last stage was very demanding and a change of pace was required, considering that I didn’t race for almost a month. Davide reveals us some more technical details: “In an hour of hilly, I pedal at about 40 in average with a power that is around 280-300w in average and a cadence of 90-95rpm. Instead, in a session in the plain you can reach even 48-50 km/h in average, of course I choose the less busy roads in absolute, I assure you that there are roads in the south of Brescia where in an hour I meet yes or no 5 cars , the average power is around 260-280watt and the cadence is close to 100 rides per minute. (The motorpacing also on hilly paths). Now it’s time to run, with how much fitness do you arrive? “I was close to 100% of the condition when I disconnected. The assessment was this: Between the Frankfurt race on 1 May and the Tour of Fjords there was a lot of distance, so I could not always keep the level high, so we chose to rest. I returned with a performance of 85%. Let’s say that in a month, since it comes off, you can find a good condition. To get to 100% it takes at least 45 days, if there are no hitches, so in view of the National Championship I should be in excellent condition”. Did you like this article? Remember to download the Sportplushealth app. The new Android version is ready and soon IOS too.
FROOME’S PLANNINGS, PERFECT AT THE BEGINNING, THEN EXTREME SUBLIME
BARDONECCHIA: Everything or nothing. This is the thought processed by Chris Froome yesterday evening when, after dinner, he found himself on the motorhome of the team and has pitted some simple considerations, the first one of a personal nature. “A placement in the Giro d’Italia does not change my career, I came to win and I want to do it at any risk“. The second one is of an exquisitely technical nature. “I feel better, I left behind me a series of bad lucks and in the third week I always went strong. I am a long-distance runner, I have a great experience and I want to try the challenge“. The Sky team plan has started immediately with a staff meeting. EVERYONE CONVOCATED as the title of a well-known radio show. The climb chosen was that of Colle delle Finestre, an ascent that had already been tested in the second Giro won by Paolo Savoldelli and in that of Alberto Contador and able to make important gaps. To make the best, it was important to have trusted men scattered along the entire ascent. Every 3 km a masseur was able to offer a flask of salts or water. During the maximum effort, when the “smoothies” were reviewed, it was important not to run into a food crisis. For this reason, this was calibrated according to the attack. The most difficult thing, once shot, was to face the flat stretches in the valley, with the wind, yet the gap never hinted to diminish. The captain of Sky, to complete the 184 km of the Venaria Reale – Bardonecchia, took 5h09′ in which he pedaled at 35.3 km/h in average, reaching the maximum speed of 84.9 km/h. When he sprinted at 6,7 km from the top of the Colle delle Finestre, it made a “shake” at 29.4 km/h and then continue at 16.7 km/h in average for 24’08”. To end up the next descent, he took 12’15” with 53.4 km/h on average and even hit the top speed of 80.1 km/h. 16’16” was necessary to climb the Sestriere to an average of 23.2 km/h and 30.9 km/h of maximum speed. Important numbers but this time the British man, once started, has resected everything and put the heart beyond the numbers. Bravo Froomey, an evidence of the past for the most modern runner. It was not difficult to predict a growing Giro for him and we had told this too. Now they will have to face the Ventolin and we wish the best possible result to the champion. Finally 2 notes of merit: Tom Dumoulin confirms that he is a top valued rider. Simon Yates ran great and then inevitably paid, but also in this case this could be expected. 3 causes: Inexperience, expensive race conduct, season started too early … Download Sport Plus Heath and start training like a champion. ARRIVAL — 1. Chris FROOME (Gb – Sky) 184 km in 5.12’26’’, average 35,34 km/h; 2. Carapaz (Ecu) at 3’; 3. Pinot (Fra) at 3’07’’; 4. Lopez (Col) at 3’12’’; 5. Dumoulin (Ola) at 3’23’’; 6. Reichenbach (Svi) at 6’13’’; 7. Formolo at 8’22’’; 8. Oomen (ND) at 8’23’’; 9. Konrad (Aut); 10. Bilbao (Spa); 11. Pozzovivo at 8’29’’: 18. Dennis (Aus) at 14’38’’; 79. Yates (Gb) at 38’51’’. RANKINGS — 1. Chris FROOME (Gb – Sky); 2. Dumoulin (ND) at 40’’; 3. Pinot (Fra) at 4’17’’; 4. Lopez (Col) at 4’57’’; 5. Carapaz (Ecu) at 5’44’’; 6. Pozzovivo at 8’03’’; 7. Bilbao (Spa) at 11’08’’; 8. Konrad (Aut) at 12’19’’; 9. G. Bennett (N.Zel) at 12’35’’; 10. Oomen (ND) at 14’18’’; 18. Yates (Gb) at 35’42’’.
ON THE ZONCOLAN, HE HAS ALREADY WON
(Zaral Virgolin in the Mediolanum picture). There is someone who has already won on the Zoncolan, he climbed it after returning to life. His name is Zaral, from Friuli, a borderland that knows so much about history. Not an ordinary person, but a “survivor”, one who has beaten a cancer, but he did not remain unscathed from the wounds. Without a leg, however, it is possible to live and to face unimaginable challenges for many people, and perhaps, once a time for him. Its power is not its physical strength, but its inner strength. A disarming smile and a great desire to live, he knows that time is precious and should not be wasted. He has already climbed the Zoncolan, and he will climb it again today, waiting to know if the winner of the stage of the Giro will be Yates or another climber. He explains the essence of cycling and climbing the mountains so much that it has just ended up in a book published by Banca Mediolanum. “For me, cycling is a prayer. The bike made me return to being a normal child, when I lost my leg due to cancer. Cycling was the first sport I faced, with a pedal arranged to allow me to ride with the prosthesis. At the beginning, I thought that I would not be able and then I did not get off. Every day of the year I ride, it’s not just a sport, but it’s going back to being a normal guy. At first, I wore long pants because I was ashamed to show myself. Then, with the summer heat, I was forced to wear shorts and I saw how they were surprised. So, I understood that I should not be ashamed of my story, but be proud of it. The beauty is that in the world we are so many and so different each other, everyone with its own story, and this variety is a treasure” Download Sport Plus Health Arrival: — 1. Elia VIVIANi (Quick-Step Floors) 180 km in 3.56’25’’, average 45,68 km/h; 2. Bennett (Irl); 3. Van Poppel (NL); 4. Modolo; 5. Gibbons (S.Af); 6. Drucker (Lus); 7. Belletti; 8. Venturini (Fra); 9. Planckaert (Bel); 10. Debusschere (Bel); 31. Pozzovivo; 34. S. Yates (Gb); 35. G. Bennett (N.Zel); 39. Dumoulin (NL); 42. Pinot (Fra); 52. Aru; 59. Lopez (Col); 65. Froome (Gb); 69. Carapaz (Ecu). Rankings: — 1. Simon YATES (Gb – Mitchelton-Scott); 2. Dumoulin (NL) at 47’’; 3. Pinot (Fra) at 1’04’’; 4. Pozzovivo at 1’18’’; 5. Carapaz (Ecu) at 1’56’’; 6. G. Bennett (N. Zel) at 2’09’’; 7. Dennis (Aus) at 2’36’’; 8. Bilbao (Spa) at 2’54’’; 9. Konrad (Aut) at 2’55’’; 10. Aru at 3’10’’; 11. Lopez (Col) at 3’17’’; 12. Froome (Gb) at 3’20’’.
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