TdF 2005 - Halfway
Having the fuel is more important than having the engine, at the Tour de France.
Especially this year, with incredibly elevated speed averages and particularly for those riders who have to pedal in the front of the peloton all day to control the race and avoid crashes.
The Discovery guys know something about it, who, in order to keep Lance Armstrong covered and in good position constantly, spent big energy and having a bad day on the final climb in Stage 8.
“We have been too pretentious”, admitted eventually Lance himself, acknowledging some errors in checking the race in the first week.
To spend too much means to deplete one’s own endocrine system too soon: in fact it’s the hormones that keep the optimal use of fuel during the race and the ready storage of energy between one stage and the other.
This explains the several “defaillances” on the first climbs of many important riders, even climbers.
The exasperated pace of the race reduced the speed on the climbs.
In Courchevel the VAM a good 1680 m/h, although not an exceptional one; the next day on the Madeleine and Galibier the VAM was inferior to 1450 m/h.
Notwithstanding this, the selection was sharp and privileged riders with lots of endurance, who were able to fuel themselves better and trained specifically on endurance before the Tour.