July 9, 2008

CycleOps Power logoFeatured Athlete: David Millar

We slept them, we fed them, we warmed them up, we cooled them down, we fed them again, we compressed them, we drove them, we dressed them, we fed them some more, we warmed them up, we iced them down, we made them drink, and in the end, they went really fast. Best team of the day and some world-class performances by Millar, VandeVelde, and the Pate. All I can say is congrats and bravo to all of the athletes, staff, and sponsors who helped make all of this happen.

I think that we’ve proven that we are the best time trialing team in the entire world. We proved that in Georgia, at the Giro, and again today here at the Tour. For me, it’s personally gratifying as the time trial is the one thing that we can control. As they say, it’s the race of truth and something I know we are all really proud of — proud, because these performances didn’t just come out of no where.

At our first team camp in Boulder, the first major project we took on was wind tunnel testing our riders and their old and new equipment and positions at the Colorado Premiere Training Wind Tunnel in Ft. Collins, Colorado. Next were extensive position adjustments and checks with the help of Todd Carver from Retul. Then came all of the field testing with our one-of-a-kind Zipp PowerTaps, equipment modifications and design by sponsors like Felt, Oval and Giro, and some serious investment of time and resources by Pearl Izumi to help design and build the fastest speed suit in the world as well as some of the coldest ice vests in professional cycling. From that point on it was skills and drills all the time. I don’t know of another team out there that put as much time and energy into training together on the time trial bike. Then came all of the extra work by our staff and mechanics to nail down our race day routines. From the logistical madness of keeping our guys cool, to Morgan Nichols from Oval building us custom hosing to vent the fumes off our bus, to the coordination of athletes and staff to pre-ride, recon, split time, and nail down every last possible detail that could help us go faster. When I think about all that detail, it floors me.

Millar's power stage 4In the end, all of the guys had nothing left to do but lay it all out there – no doubt, no remorse, no blame. For David, that amounted to an average power output of 400 Watts, with surges between 500 to 600 Watts on the numerous 20 second to 2 minute rollers that lined the course and speeds of up to 80 kph at 0 to 400 watts on the descents. Perfectly paced with just over 17 minutes below 5 watts per kg and almost 19 minutes above 5 watts per kg.

And ya, we were a bit nervous in the car today and ya, JV forgot he was on live TV when he told Robbie Ventura from Versus what was on his mind. But in the end, just because we’re a clean team, doesn’t mean we can’t talk dirty. I think with all of the hard work we’ve done this last year, we deserve at least that much.