Despite missing out on the stage win Porte secured the yellow jersey for the first time in the race.
The Danish rider was part of a quartet of Porte, Froome and Fabio Aru (Astana) but Fuglsang showed the lethal edge as he out-sprinted Froome and Porte in the final stretch.
Astana will be happy with a win to commemorate Michele Scarponi but they will also be happy with both Fuglsang and Aru moving into the top five overall.
Porte continued his good form as he held a 39 second lead over former team-mate Froome and secured the yellow jersey going into the last two stages of the race.
In the race’s first battle in the mountains, the four had battled their way up the Le Mont du Chat with Richie Porte and Chris Froome working solidly to reel in Fabio Aru after he launched a solo attack.
The Italian had built up a 14 second gap over the crest of the hellish climb and its 7.6 per cent average gradient but it wasn’t enough to stay away.
However it was their descending expertise that broke them from the bigger general classification group. Froome’s desire was clear to see as he undertook Porte, giving himself the edge over the Australian on the downhill.
For most of the day a breakaway of six riders plied their trade up the road.
Made up of Oliver Naesen (AG2R-La Mondiale), Anthony Turgis (Cofidis), Nils Politt (Katusha-Alpecin), Alberto Bettiol (Cannondale-Drapac), Serge Pauwels (Dimension Data) and Thierry Hupond (Delko Marseille Provence KTM), the original breakaway had built up a lead of 5-09 as they headed towards the final climb, Le Mont du Chat.
However, being 2-20 down it was key for GC contender Romain Bardet and his team to reel the breakaway in to bridge the overall time gap that had come between him and race leader Thomas De Gendt (Lotto-Soudal).
Driving the peloton’s pace before the climb, AG2R pushed the pace up.
However, it was Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) who tried to take the race by the scruff of the neck and jumped the gap up to the breakaway with a fantastic solo effort. The Spaniard was soon joined by Astana’s Fabio Aru who seemed resurgent after his long wait on the sidelines.
It wasn’t long after until Bardet joined Aru and Valverde up the road but a non-stop aggression from Aru reduced it to just Aru and Bardet as the Frenchman hung on.
It wasn’t long before the Italian took the initiative though, surging right to the front of the race as the riders peaked Le Mont du Chat.
With Chris Froome and Richie Porte both eyeing up the yellow jersey, they decided to up the ante and go after Aru. Thanks to a steady pace, the pair kept in contact with Aru.
Astana teammate, Fuglsang, was up the road though and joined up with Aru to get the GC contender to the top of the mountain first.
It wasn’t long before Aru was descending on his own towards what would be a huge win in his hunt for his first victory since his injury.
Froome and Porte had other ideas as they bridged the gap and were soon in hunt of the Italian, descending well. Controversy reared its head as Froome’s ruthless descending came into play seeing the Brit undertake Porte.
Shortly after the four riders found themselves working together on the final flat 2km, conscious of Valverde who had work his way to within 54 seconds of them.
Froome then launched his sprint first taking the others by surprise but after blowing up and nearly forcing Porte into the barriers, it was Danish rider, Fuglsang who pipped the two to the post with the smallest of margins.
Critérium du Dauphiné 2017, stage six: Parc des Oiseaux – Villars les Dombres to La Motte-Servolex (145.5km)
1. Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Astana Pro Team, at 3-41-48
2 Richie Porte (Aus) BMC Racing Team
3 Chris Froome (GBr) Team Sky
4 Fabio Aru (Ita) Astana Pro Team, at st
5 Alejandro Valverde (Esp) Movistar Team, at 0-50
6 Daniel Martin (Ire) Quick-Step Floors
7 Romain Bardet (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale, at st
8 Oliver Naesen (Bel) AG2R La Mondiale, at 1-06
9 Alberto Contador (Esp) Trek – Segafredo, at st
10 Emanuel Buchmann (Ger) Bora – Hansgrohe, at 1-14
Overall classification after stage six
1 Richie Porte (Aus) BMC Racing Team, at 20-52-34
2 Chris Froome (GBr) Team Sky, at 0-39
3 Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Astana Pro Team, at 1-15
4 Alejandro Valverde (Esp) Movistar Team, at1-20
5 Fabio Aru (Ita) Astana Pro Team, at 1-24
6 Alberto Contador (Esp) Trek – Segafredo, at1-47
7 Daniel Martin (Ire) Quick-Step Floors, at 2-14
8 Emanuel Buchmann (Ger) Bora – Hansgrohe, at 2-30
The International Olympic Committee has added three new races to the Olympic program for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, according to a report from Inside the Games. A press release from Olympic.org confirmed that report.
A mixed 400 medley relay (two men plus two women) will be added along with the women’s 1500 free and men’s 800 free. That will be bring the total number of pool swimming events up to 35, up from the 32 that had been contested in the previous six Olympiads.
As of right now, it appears that 50-meter stroke events and a mixed 400 free relay will not be added to the program. FINA had proposed that the additions of all of these events for the Tokyo Games.
More to come when more information is available.
Read more from Inside the Games here. The full Olympic.com press release can be found here.
Venue: Roland Garros, Paris Dates: 28 May- 11 June
Coverage: Listen to live radio commentary and follow text coverage of selected matches on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra and online.
Rafael Nadal has rediscovered his game and his aura, and now he looks ready to take his title back.
The Spaniard, who plays Dominic Thiem in the semi-finals on Friday, is just two wins from a record 10th French Open – ‘La Decima’ – and his first since 2014.
“It’s starting to be the way it was,” Carlos Moya, who joined Nadal’s coaching team in December, told BBC Sport.
“That was one of the things that we wanted back, that the opponent feels he’s playing Nadal again and if they want to beat him, they’re going to have to work really hard.”
They might have to work hard but thus far Nadal’s opponents haven’t had to spend much time on court.
The Spaniard, 31, has been getting them out of there in close to 90 minutes per match, reaching the semi-finals for the loss of just 22 games in five matches – the fewest games lost to this stage of a Grand Slam since best-of-five matches were introduced.
Twelve months ago, Nadal was forced out of the tournament through injury, and two years ago he was brushed aside by Novak Djokovic. In 2017, he has looked unstoppable.
Forehand fires Nadal back to the top
There is no question Nadal has rediscovered his mojo on the clay, but opinion is divided over whether he is back to his very best.
His new coach believes he’s not far away.
“I think he’s really close to 100%,” said Moya. “He’s played some matches this year when his level was really good.
“It’s hard to compare with the old Rafa, but I think if he’s not at the same level, he’s close to that.”
Nadal might be the king of clay but his game looks increasingly like hard-court tennis on the red dirt.
Successful in a stunning 76% of points behind second serves, and 69% of first serves, Nadal is then winning 62% of his points in under four shots, as opposed to just 15% in rallies of more than nine strokes.
And it is his most famous shot that once again dominates Roland Garros.
“He has hit 61 forehand groundstroke winners to the semi-final, with the majority hit straight down the line.”
72% of Nadal’s winners have been hit wide past the opponent’s forehand. 28% went to the backhand side.
70% of those winners to the opponent’s forehand side have been hit straight down the line.
57% have come when he is serving.
56% have been struck with Nadal standing inside the baseline.
30% have come as an approach shot as he moved forward to finish the point.
The image of Nadal might be of long, grinding rallies from deep behind the baseline, but the reality in 2017 is that plan A is stepping in, opening up the court early, running around his backhand and cracking a forehand winner.
Physically fit, confidence returns
Nadal has missed five Grand Slams through injury, and was forced out of last year’s French Open with a wrist problem which saw him also miss Wimbledon and curtail his season after the US Open.
The punishing nature of his baseline game led many to speculate from the early years that his would be a much shorter career than those of his rivals.
However, rested and rehabilitated, he returned at the start of 2017 to reach his first Grand Slam final since 2014 in Australia, before once again dominating the clay-court season.
“I think everybody is a little bit surprised by his performances again, but when he recovers physically 100%, he gets the confidence to fight,” said former French Open champion Juan Carlos Ferrero.
“I think being physically fit is the key to his performances right now.
“He had no injuries in the last six months and I think it’s very important for him to feel like this.
“He’s also recovering balls the same as before, impossible points that in the last year maybe we didn’t see from him, because he couldn’t move as well.”
Moya helps smooth transition from Toni
One of the great coach-athlete relationships in sporting history will end this year when Toni Nadal – ‘Uncle Toni’ – steps away from life on the tour.
The 56-year-old, who made the decision to change a natural right-hander to play left-handed, will return to the family’s home of Majorca to concentrate on running his nephew’s tennis academy.
His departure lends an extra dimension to Nadal’s quest for another title at Roland Garros, the place where he and Toni began an extraordinary story 12 years ago.
“He always says one of the biggest things for him is to have his family very close,” said Ferrero.
“So to have his uncle as somebody who is there all the time in important moments, bad times, injuries, everything – of course Toni is one of the important people he’ll always have in his life.”
The succession plan is well under way, however, with former French Open champion Moya brought on board in December.
“It makes me very proud,” said Moya. “I know who I am with, how big in the history of this sport he is, so I try to make the most of every day I have with him.
“It’s been a learning experience for me.”
There were widespread calls for a change in the Nadal team when he went through his prolonged slump, and Ferrero believes Moya’s introduction will bring a new dimension to the coaching set-up.
“To have someone on the team like Carlos, who knows all the time what is going on in the match because he played on the tour, I think it’s very important to have someone who can then go to the locker room and talk about the match,” added Ferrero.
“Rafa can talk with Toni as well but Carlos went through all the matches like he did, so it’s something Rafa didn’t have before.”
Nadal still feeling the nerves
You might think that nine titles and a 77-2 career record would make Nadal stride through the gates of Roland Garros with at least a hint of a swagger.
“I won here nine times,” said the Spaniard, “and every year that I won I was unbelievably happy, but every year that I came back, I was unbelievably nervous.”
If Nadal carries that feeling with him as a matter of course, the looming prospect of making almost unfathomable tennis history must be an added burden.
Victory in Sunday’s final would make him the first player to win any of the Grand Slam titles 10 times in the open era, and only the second ever after Margaret Court’s 11 Australian Open wins.
Nadal at French Open 2017
65 forehand winners
78 games won
25 backhand winners
22 games lost
250 baseline points won
76% second serve points won
49 net points won
69% first serve
“La Decima? No, no, no,” said Moya, when asked if it was a subject of discussion in Team Nadal.
“You know that it’s there but it’s coming more from the press and the people and the fans, than from Rafa and his team.
“We know it’s there but we believe also it can add some extra pressure, so we don’t talk about that.
“He probably does feel more pressure at this time of year, especially here.
“Every year he’s coming, he’s defending champion most of the time, or if not he knows it’s the tournament he has the biggest chances to win, so there’s always some extra pressure here.”
Is a 10th title inevitable?
There have been plenty of people keen to re-anoint Nadal as the king of clay based on his resurgence this season, but the real tests still lie ahead.
The average rank of his opponents so far at Roland Garros has been 39, with Roberto Bautista Agut the highest at 18 in the world.
Now comes a step up against Thiem, the young Austrian who inflicted Nadal’s only clay-court defeat of 2017 with a stunning performance in Rome.
Get through that, and he faces a final against world number one Andy Murray or former champion Stan Wawrinka.
So is a Nadal victory inevitable?
“It’s difficult to say,” said seven-time Grand Slam champion John McEnroe.
“That’s why I wanted to see him and Novak play in the semis – we could see is he really playing better than ever?
“Certainly he’s intimidating, there’s no doubt, and he’s the guy to beat. But I don’t think it means it’s over quite yet.”
The creation of new Criterium World Series will link events in London and Copenhagen
Professional cycle racing comes to the streets of the City of London on Saturday 10th June for the 11th edition of the Rapha Nocturne London.
WorldTour riders including Cannondale-Drapac’s Wouter Wippert and Will Clarke and Barbara Guarischi of Canyon/SRAM Racing, will go up against the cream of British domestic talent on a tight and testing 1.2 kilometre course in the heart of the City of London in sight of the iconic St. Paul’s Cathedral. Awaiting the WorldTour riders are a host of experienced British professionals, used to the cut and thrust of crit racing, including JLT Condor’s triple Olympic Champion Ed Clancy, his experienced team-mate Russell Downing, Team Wiggins’ Andy Tennant and Kristian House of One Pro Cycling.
“It will be great to have some WorldTour riders coming here again” said Clancy, “but we’ve got a good crit team this year. Brenton Jones has won the Bay Crit Series. Ian Bibby, Briggsy [Graham Briggs], you saw them last year in the Tour Series – and let’s not forget Mouldy [Jon Mould] who, I’ve got to say is probably the best crit rider in the UK right now.
“As a team, we’ve got a good package so hopefully we can get some riders there in good form on the day.”
The elite women’s event – where there is guaranteed to be a new name on the roll of honour – also boasts a strong field, including former RideLondon Grand Prix winner Barbara Guarischi of Canyon/SRAM Racing, Emily Kay of Team WNT and Neah Evans of Storey Racing.
Under the banner ‘Ride all day, race all Night’, the Rapha Nocturne London allows the public to ride the course during the day before a programme of cycle racing begins at 16:00 with the Penny Farthing race and featuring folding bike, Masters and fixed wheel races. Then the elite women take to the course at 20:30 and the elite men at 21:20. The event is free to watch; just find a vantage point on the course and take advantage of the shops, bars, cafes and restaurants that line the circuit.
James Pope of Nocturne organisers FACE Partnership said, “We close down streets right in the heart of the City and create a race circuit for one day only.
“It’s a great mix and a different dynamic that no other race has. There is going to be a lot more to the event this year with a Rapha Village on the finish line and Rider Village in Guildhall Yard – we’re planning a real party atmosphere right in the heart of the City of London.”
The Rapha Nocturne London is the first leg of a newly announced World Criterium Series, supported by Rapha and including a new race in Copenhagen in August.
“With the creation of the international series we wanted to develop the format slightly to link the events and saw an opportunity to create a World Crit Series”, said Pope.
“Riders in both the elite men’s and women’s races will score World Series points in each city. Bonus points will also be available on a series of sprints during each race so racing could get tactical with riders aiming for sprints as well as the final standings.
“With the support of Rapha we are planning to take the event to some of the most iconic cities in the world, Copenhagen being the first city later this year and then expanding to the US and beyond.”
As it’s gun day, I’m going to throw down some advice for you. Don’t just focus on your biceps because they’re a mirror muscle. Your triceps account for almost 70 percent of your total upper-arm size, so if you want big guns, you’ve got to hit the triceps hard. You always want to create and sustain balance throughout your physique, so antagonist muscle groups have an even share in strength. If there are gross imbalances, then you don’t just look silly, you also increase your chances of injury.
We’re working in an opposing manner today to crush arms, going between biceps and triceps. Get your Pre-Kaged down as always, and follow my lead.
We explore the model families from direct only bike brand, Canyon
Who are Canyon Bikes?
Like many established brands, Canyon Bikes started out with a very different name and a very different business. In 1985, brothers Roman and Franc Arnold founded ‘Radsport Arnold’ – supplying Italian bike parts to racers around their home country of Germany.
In 2001, the company became a bike manufacturer, and took on the name ‘Canyon Bicycles’. From then on, frame designers and engineers were recruited and the company – based in Koblenz, Germany – began to grow.
Canyon operates via a direct sales method, selling bikes online and delivering them to the customer’s door. As a result, its most oft quoted selling point is its ability to pass the savings reaped by a lack of overheads on to the customer. The downside is that trying-before-you-buy is a big ask, unless you attend a demo day, and you won’t get kudos from your local bike shop.
Canyon bikes is still based in Koblenz – though they do have an office in the UK, based in Chessington.
Towards the end of 2015, Canyon moved its factory to a new “state-of-the-art” facility, and in the process many customers suffered through delays and incorrect delivery until the early months of 2016. CEO Roman Arnold [Franc Arnold is no longer involved with Canyon Bikes] publicly apologised, and the company hasn’t experienced any widespread criticism around the process since.
Canyon bikes are designed by engineers, with assistance from computers. However, they also sponsor UCI pro teams Movistar, Katusha, and Canyon/SRAM – giving them access to athlete feedback from those pushing their bikes to the limits.
Canyon WMN bikes
In 2017, Canyon introduced some brand new women’s frames, built around data based on thousands of female customers. The research was applied to the Canyon Ultimate, and Canyon Endurace – and in these cases, the bikes have a female specific geometry. All other model families – such as the Aeroad and time trial varieties – are available with identical frames to the unisex version, but with female specific components such as narrow handlebars and women’s saddles.
Canyon jargon buster:
A browse through the Canyon bikes range will reveal some common naming patterns. Bikes bear a model family name (Aeroad/Ultimate/Endurace), a frame grade (AL/CF SL/CF SLX) and then a number (7.0, 8.0, 9.0) which denotes the level of componentry.
Here’s what it means:
CF: Carbon Fibre
CF SL: Carbon Fibre Super Light
CF SLX: Carbon Fibre Super Light Extreme
WMN: Female frame/unisex frame with women’s components
Disc/Aero: denotes changes to componentry
Canyon offers a wide range of bikes to suit varying rider needs – here’s a look at the key model families…
Canyon Aeroad CF SLX Di2 disc
As the name might suggest, the Aeroad has been designed to cheat the wind and take you from A to B as quickly as possible. Wind tunnel testing has resulted in what Canyon call ‘Trident 2.0 tube profiles’ – which basically means they’ve been cut to provide optimum efficiency.
Aero bikes are traditionally heavier than their more climb or all-rounder orientated cousins, but the Aeroad does stand out here with a weight of 7.8kg in a medium frame with Shimano Ultegra and disc brakes, whilst a top end SRAM eTap version tips the scales at 7.3kg.
The Aeroad loses some aero points for its external brake cables and lower level of front end integration when compared with competitors. Indeed, when compared against five aero road bikes in our own independent testing, it came third to the Trek Madone Race Shop LTD and Specialized S-Works Venge ViAS. However, these elements might lose milliseconds, but can save a lot of time when it comes to maintenance.
The geometry, as you’d expect, is low and long – it’s an aggressive stance to suit a racer. The Aeroad has been the winning set of wheels at stages of the Tour de France, but it was also the frame which carried Alexander Kristoff’s to his win in the 2015 Tour of Flanders – so it can be versatile in the right hands. Models are available with and without disc brakes.
The aim of the Ultimate’s game is to combine a low weight with a stiff frame that accelerates well. The ‘Sport Pro Geometry’ is meant to be racey enough but allowing for comfortable long rides for those of us not quite as resilient as pro riders.
The Canyon Ultimate is a staple of the range, and as a result it’s available in a myriad of different iterations. Even the entry level ‘Canyon Ultimate Al’ with aluminium frame shares the same geometry as the top models, and features Shimano Ultegra shifting with Mavic Ksyrium Elite wheels for £1699. At the very top of the collection is the £11,599 Canyon Ultimate CF Evo 10.0 LTD – which features a brand new, super light carbon layup, with a top end spec including delights such as a THM-Carbones Clavicula M³ SRM Power meter crank.
Most models are available with or without discs and with lighter components on ‘SL’ models and additional speed focused elements such as integrated stems or deeper wheels on ‘aero’ iterations.
In the Ultimate range you’ll also find the new ‘WMN’ frames with fine tuned female specific geometry.
The Endurace is an ‘all-day’ bike, with a ‘Sport Geometry’ that puts the rider in a slightly more upright position to relieve pressure on the lower back and arms.
It’s not just in the measurements, though – all carbon versions of the Endurace feature Canyon’s VCLS seat post, which is split down the middle to help dampen road vibrations before they reach the rider’s body.
There are carbon and aluminium frame options to choose from, as well as disc and rim brakes on offer depending upon your preferences. Since a bike such as this is likely to be ridden in all conditions and down roads of varying conditions, disc brakes – which offer greater stopping power in the wet – seem like a smart choice.
The tyres specced are also designed to provide a little comfort over varied terrain and in an assortment of conditions, with Continental Grand Prix 4000sII tyres in 28mm featuring across almost all of the range whilst the AL 5.0 sports Continental Grand Prix rubber in 25mm.
The Canyon Speedmax CF SLX shown here with the bento box and hydration system.
Canyon’s time trial bike range has been optimised for testers and triathletes alike. The range consists of two key standards: the CF and CF SLX (no real surprises there).
The Speedmax CF is the less expensive of the two, and offers a little less integration around the cockpit. This means it loses a couple of aero points, but it is a lot easier to adjust when it comes time to tweak your position. The geometry of the CF has a slightly higher stack and shorter reach, putting the rider into a more balanced position – which will suit those not quite strong enough to hold an extreme position without losing pedal efficiency. This said, of course adjustments can be made.
The Speedmax CF SLX features greater integration – and comes with a bento box and hydration system that Canyon claims can save 7W at 50kph. With this system, it’s not UCI legal – but can be used for CTT events and triathlons and the extras can be removed easily. The brakes are also hidden behind a flexible cover, making them aero but also easy to access – and there’s a clever tool storage system located in the top tube. The seat tube angle is sharper than previous models, allowing the rider to sit forward over the bottom bracket, and as per a few Canyon models, to fork rake is adjustable so riders can tune the ride to their own handling preferences.
There are several versions of the CF SLX – the ‘pro’ has seen further geometry tweaks, with a more long distance focused geometry and a longer wheelbase for greater stability. The CF SLX SL features the same set up with a more weight conscious build.
For those who like to get out and explore the trails rather than being confined to the tarmac, Canyon has an offering in the Inflite cyclocross bike. All models feature an aluminium frame.
Since cyclocross racers have a tendency to get their bikes mud-clogged enough to require a spare in the pits, Canyon honour a ‘Sponsoring Deal’ which offers a saving to those who order two identical Inflte AL SLX 8.0 Pro Race or 9.0 Pro Race bikes.
The basic models come specced with a 52-36 compact chainset and an 11-32 rear cassette – which will provide plenty of gears on the sudden inclines you find off-road whilst still providing choice on the road. The Pro Race models come with a single 42 tooth chainring and a SRAM Force 11 speed rear cassette.
All options come with hydraulic disc brakes and the majority have DT Swiss R 23 Spline DB wheels, save for the 9.0 Pro Race with its race pedigree Reynolds Assault Carbon hoops.
There’s also an ‘S’ (slick) model, with 28mm Continental Grand Prix 4000s II tyres fitted. The idea here is to provide an all-conditions gravel bike that will cope well on or (gently) off-road. Of course, you can swap the tyres for rougher rides.
Canyon Inflite models:
AL 8.0: 9.2kg (M), Shimano 105: £1299 (was £1399)
AL 9.0 S: 8.7kg (M), Shimano Ultegra, £1499 (was £1599)
AL SLX 8.0 Pro Race: 8.7kg (M), SRAM Rival, £1599 (was £1699)
AL 9.0: £1599: 8.9kg (M), Shimano Ultegra, (was £1799)
Canyon’s hybrid bikes are far from ordinary, with sleek lines that are designed to stand out as well as integration that makes for limited maintenance. The range is split into ‘Urban’ and ‘Commuter’ models.
Canyon’s Urban bikes are designed for nipping around city streets, whilst the Urban models place a greater significance on practicalities with integrated lights, and mudguards or pannier racks fitted as standard. Belt drives keep oil away from clothing and hub gears are used across the range to reduce maintenance. Higher end models feature the VCLS 2.0 seat post, which divides in the centre to dampen road buzz.
For those with more of a fitness motivation, there’s the Roadlite range which combines a light road bike frame with flat handlbars and wide Schwalbe G-One tyres as well as disc brakes.
Simon Smythe and Paul Norman evaluate the real-world benefits of cutting-edge skinsuits that promise to cut drag to a minimum
Geraint Thomas and Mikel Landa of Team Sky debuted a brand new, secret skinsuit on stage 10 of the Giro d’Italia, which was noticeably different from the Castelli Bodypaint 3.3 suits worn by the rest of the team for the time trial.
Sky had been working with researchers from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology since 2016 and claimed to have taken a “completely new approach” to what has been done before; rethinking the fabric and way the suit is put together.
Can some esoteric fabric really make that much of a difference or was this the latest example of Team Sky deploying psychological warfare?
Geraint Thomas rides in the new Castelli skinsuit at the Giro d’Italia (Sunada)
Bioracer has supplied World Championship and Olympic-winning garments and is arguably the most experienced in the field.
“Bad fabrics will lose you a race, but you can’t always win with good ones,” says Sam Ratajczak, Bioracer’s development manager.
Different fabrics work better in different speed bands, Ratajczak explains. Bioracer, which has a long history of supplying world and Olympic champions, supplies three different materials.
There’s a fabric suited for speeds of 48-53kph (developed for top time triallists and road racers), another for speeds of 60-73kph (aimed at giving pro road sprinters the edge) and yet another for 38-45kph.
Watch: How much faster is an aero bike?
Not only are fabrics speed specific but they are also body-position specific. Xavier Disley of AeroCoach (aero-coach.co.uk), an aerodynamics testing service which also offers skinsuits designed with British company Nopinz, explains: “Different parts of the body have different requirements in terms of the way the airflow moves over them.
The airflow over your lower back is going to be entirely different from the airflow over your forearm or the front of your shoulder.
“With the Nopinz/AeroCoach Tripsuit we have a smoother fabric on the leading edge — the areas that face the airflow such as the front of the upper arm or the shoulder — since you have cleaner air.
“Then after the air starts moving around the body you get low-pressure eddies and the pressure gradient changes, so you want to have things like raised seams — ‘trips’ — or rougher fabrics in order to manipulate the airflow, to make it go where you want it to go.
A skinsuit is the first step to being more aero
“As soon as the airflow detaches from the body you have an area of low pressure and that area, like an eddy on a river behind a boat, is a source of drag that sucks you backwards. So you want to minimise that low-pressure wake behind the body.”
What sort of savings can a rider expect from a skinsuit made with correctly positioned seams and aero fabrics?
“We have a good comparison between the ‘flat’ skinsuit, the normal suit that Nopinz calls the Supersuit, and the Tripsuit that Nopinz makes,” says Disley.
“The Tripsuit is between six and 10 watts faster at 45kph. That equates to a saving of somewhere between 25 and 40 seconds over 40km.”
If Sky has developed a skinsuit that offers even greater savings than that, Chris Froome’s attempt to win a fourth Tour de France may have just got a little bit easier.
Expert take: Xavier Disley, AeroCoach
Do you need aerodynamic fabrics?
“For road riders, something like the Nopinz/AeroCoach Trip Jersey that we make is designed for the road position. If you have well-fitted bibshorts and one of our Trip Jerseys, it’s as quick as some skinsuits.
“If you don’t upgrade your current kit, just make sure it fits well, making sure you’ve pulled it down properly. Avoid baggy bits around the shoulders, which is quite common. That huge baggy section at the back of the neck and the tops of the shoulders — that’s not aerodynamic.
“If you go from a really terrible club skinsuit to a Nopinz/AeroCoach Tripsuit you can double the savings of 25-40 seconds over 40km [of the Tripsuit over the basic Nopinz skinsuit].
“Rather than buying a Cervélo P5 or whatever, making sure you’ve got the right skinsuit actually represents incredible value for money.
“Generally speaking, the biggest savings come from aerobars first; a good, well-fitting skinsuit and aero helmet second. Things like frames, wheels, tyres come after that.
“But if you’re coming from a flappy jersey and ill-fitting bibshorts then a good skinsuit could potentially save you as much as aerobars.”
Clearly the surface area of the body is much greater than that of the bike or the wheels, so garments that improve airflow over your body could not only save you watts but also thousands of pounds.
Even the most sophisticated, custom-fitted pro-level skinsuit is many times cheaper than a new aerodynamic bike.
World champion Sagan, meanwhile, won Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne and finished second behind Van Avermaet at Het Nieuwsblad. He also came second at Milan-San Remo.
There are nine stages at the Tour de Suisse and though predominately mountainous – stages four to seven all take place in the high mountains – there are three stages were it is likely the pair will go directly head-to-head.
Sagan, leading his Bora-Hansgrohe team, will fancy his chances on stage two, a hilly circuit race starting and finishing in Cham. Including four ascents of a long, but shallow climb, the race ends with a slight uphill finish, and if the breakaway is reeled in, and the GC riders hold back, Sagan will be eyeing victory.
Stage three, ending in Bern, finishes with a bigger uphill finish than the preceding stage, but it isn’t unfeasible that Sagan and Van Avermaet will be tangled in a sprint for the win.
Stage five includes the huge climb of Simplonstrasse, but the fact that it reaches its near-2000m summit at 120km and then a flatter parcours follows, it opens up the possibility that a sprint between the Classics specialists and rouleurs could occur.
The fourth and final stage where we could see the world and the Olympic road race champions fight it out for stage honours is stage eight, which features an undulating circuit. However, with the general classification likely to be in play, the climbers and overall riders may prevent a stage win for Van Avermaet and co.
However many stages the pair battle directly against each other, every cycling fan will be pleased to see them back in the same races.
Sunday, June 11 at 3:30 pm will mark a historic, bittersweet moment for USA Water Polo – Azevedo’s Farewell.
At this time, Stanford’s Avery Aquatic Center will host an exhibition game between the United States and Croatia, which will feature five-time Olympian Tony Azevedo and his final match of water polo.
The match was created specifically for Azevedo to honor his time as a Cardinal and as a member of the U.S. National Team. Before announcing his retirement in May, he earned four-straight Cutino Awards and led Stanford to two NCAA titles.
Arguably the greatest men’s water polo player in USA Water Polo history, Azevedo is the all-time leading scorer in FINA World Championship history. He has earned five Pan-American Games gold medals, two FINA World League Super Final silver medals and was named the Pac-12 Conference Men’s Water Polo Player of the Century in 2015.
After his time at Stanford, Azevedo also embarked on a professional water polo career that saw him play with some of the top clubs in the world including: CAN Bissolati (Italy), J.K. Primorac (Montenegro), VK Jug Dubrovnik (Croatia), Fluminense (Brazil) and most recently Sesi (Brazil). Domestically he’s been an anchor for the New York Athletic Club, helping the team to multiple National Championships.
“It’s crazy to think that after playing water polo for 27 years I am finally finished. I have often been asked how long I could go and my answer was the same: ‘When the time comes I will know.’ I still love this sport and will never leave the water polo community. But I’m ready to shift my focus from playing to working outside the pool to grow and innovate the sport in general. I am starting programs that I hope will take water polo to the next level,” Azevedo said.
Azevedo’s Farewell: USA vs. Croatia Exhibition
Photo Courtesy: Adam Pretty
The match between the USA and Croatia will lead into a four-game series at Stanford which serves as a warm-up for the FINA World League Super Final taking place June 20-25 in Moscow, Russia. USA and Croatia will meet again to open competition at the FINA World Championship this July 17 in Budapest, Hungary.
According to Stanford Coach John Vargas, a game like this rare. The exhibition was specifically designed and created to honor Tony Azevedo.
“We’ve never done this before,” said Vargas. “But if you’re going to do it, this is the guy you do it for. We want to sell this place out. When Tony was here, we would get full crowds because he was so exciting to watch play. It’s really fitting that it’s here, and just one more sellout for Tony.”
Fans, players and many people who have have been affected by Azevedo throughout his 27-year water polo career will come together to honor him on Sunday. Azevedo said he is incredibly grateful for this experience and all the meaning and effort put into the event:
“I couldn’t be more excited to play my last game at Stanford, because during my four years at the University I was molded into the person/player I am today. I met my wife at Stanford, won four Cutino awards as a student, and made best friends for life on campus. To officially retire at Stanford is a dream scenario: with my Team USA boys, in front of USA fans, and playing against Croatia (I lived in Croatia for three years and my son was born there).”
Tickets for all games are on sale now. To purchase tickets for the Tony Azevedo Retirement Game at Stanford University click here. To purchase tickets for any of the three Southern California games, please click here.