Schleck's Chest Fairing
28 Mar 2011
While watching yesterday’s final time trial of the Criterium International, I couldn’t help but notice the strange “chicken-breast”profile of Frank Schleck’s chest, whenever the French tv camera’s showed him bent in his aero position and intent in (successfully) defending the leaders jersey.
Frontal shots at the finish and also some pictures (see on cyclingnews.com) further confirmed that the Luxembourger raced with a sort of chest fairing below the TT suit that visibly altered the shape of his thorax, artificially improving his aerodynamic efficiency.
I don’t know whether the zealous UCI commissioners actually noticed this or such a modification is within the rules, but surely this artificial alteration of the aerodynamic profile could very well save up to 15-20w (corresponding to about 2” per km) at a speed of approximately 50 km/h.
If indeed that is the case, Vasili Kiryienka, the second rider in the GC with a gap of 13”, would have all the rights to protest.