Thursday, July 19, 2007

fast, oh so fast

Update: The stage has ended. Rasmussen stays in Yellow another day. The winner, South Africa's Robert Hunter, covered the 113km stage (70.5mi) in 3 hours, 47 minutes, 50 seconds, an average of roughly 29.85 mph. Though the terrain was flat, the racing wasn't easy because of high ambient temperatures and stiff cross winds from the south.

Today's Tour stage is a flat one. The riders are racing westward along the northern coast of the Mediterranean. Their average speed is amazing. For the first two hours, they've averaged 50kph thats just over 30 miles per hour. I'm capable of sustaining 20mph for an hour or so and can ride 23mph for shorter distances. The drag effect of air resistance increases in geometric, not arithmetic proportion so each increase in average mph gets harder and harder. With my experience of speeds in the low 20s, it's just about impossible to imagine sustaining 30mph. Of course they don't all have the same drag problem; there's always a few out front breaking the wind for others. And of course they take turns at the front. Nonetheless, an average of 30mph is just astounding.

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