How do the riders prepare for today’s 29.5 km ITT?
Three hours before the start, riders eat breakfast that is high in carbohydrate intake with low glycemic index foods like pasta or rice and oatmeal. The bus and van with equipment leave early to get set up and once there, the bus extends the awning to protect the riders from the elements. Trainers are set up under the awning, the cooler is filled with bottles and placed near the trainers.
The bus will have the following for TT prep:
* Cooler full of bottles of electrolyte mix and water
* Coffee machine to pop out espresso
* Fruit like bananas as quick snack, dried fruit, honey
* CLIF gels and blocks
* Fridge full of water to keep them hydrated
Once the riders arrive they:
* Double check TT helmet to make sure it’s a perfect fit
* Attach number to their speed suit which is basically a tight fitting TT suit
* Have booties/shoe covers to cover shoes
* Gloves without velcro….again lycra tight fit…..to complete the Aero look!
We attach a radio to the helmets of the riders being followed by a team car. Some riders are motivated by time checks that allow them to gauge how fast they need to go to keep momentum and others like to be shouted words of encouragement!
When it’s time to warm up, the riders pull on just the bottom part of the speedsuit (easier to use bathroom), an undershirt, shoes, and shoe covers and theb hit the trainers. Bottles are put on the bikes and a hand towel placed on the handlebars to dry perspiration. Sometimes there’s a little cotton with peppermint to put in the nose for those whose sinus area is blocked to open up the airways. On a really hot day, we would use ice vests to keep body temp down. Today that shouldn’t be necessary.
With 15 minutes to go, the rider towels down, squeezes into the upper half of his speedsuit, puts on the TT helmet and attaches the radio earpiece to the ear with tape. After a quick radio check, the rider throws on a long sleeve jacket, grab his bike and heads to departure. They sign in and have their bike checked to see if it meets weight and saddle position guidelines. Two minutes before the start, we take the extra clothing from the rider, give them a sip of water and perhaps a CLIF gel and they are off…
Pictured above is Dave Zabriskie warming up for the Tour of California time trial in February.