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~ Ed Hood, as spoken to Martin Williamson from the passenger seat, riding alongside a level course on the Excursion de France.
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TT Motorcycles – The Unhealthy and the Unpleasant: Egan Bernal bumped into the again of a bus that had stopped to let a passenger off. The Colombian Excursion and Giro winner used to be coaching on his time trial motorbike, this has sparked discussions on social media concerning the risks of TT motorcycles.
The risk of the TT motorbike
Ed Hood spoke to Nikolai Razouvaev remaining 12 months about time trial motorcycles, the Russian ‘within the know’ gave us his idea at the ‘race in opposition to the clock’ motorbike – The professionals and the cons – however most commonly the cons.
Large crash for International champion Dygert within the girls’s particular person time trial
We’ve been speaking to our Russian Amigo, Nikolai Razouvaev once more and on this piece, he provides us his perspectives on time trial motorcycles. It’s debatable – however you have been anticipating that. . .
The USA workforce in LA ’84
The 1980 Moscow Olympic Video games left a footprint in my reminiscence. That used to be when aero helmets and skin-suits hit biking scene’s top time.
And ‘humorous’ motorcycles.
Image a 14-year-old bike owner who heard about 6-speed freewheels however by no means noticed one. Then image me observing on color TV how our Soviet workforce in crimson skin-suits and white aero helmets smashed the East Germans in gray skin-suits and white aero helmets in a 100 km workforce time trial on motorcycles that appeared extraordinary to me.
The ones East Germans in gray
I couldn’t work out what used to be mistaken with them till the commentator stated one thing about aerodynamics after which I noticed it – the crimson Colnago motorcycles had a small entrance wheel. It didn’t make any sense to me however I believed the fellows who rode them knew their trade. After that I watched Sergei Sukhoruchenkov blow the street race aside with an extended vary solo assault. A play like this one, you commit it to memory for the remainder of your lifestyles.
1980 Olympics highway race
That is when a brand new phrase entered Russian biking slang to explain a motorcycle with bullhorn bars – ‘rogatiy.’ It’s the similar phrase you’d use to explain a husband if his spouse is sound asleep round and everyone is aware of this aside from the husband. Via 1984 after I made the Soviet nationwide workforce, Reginald Vorontsov, the Soviet model of Dario Pegoretti, made a dozen ‘rogatiy’ highway motorcycles for the nationwide workforce and that is what we gained the junior international’s TTT on that 12 months. Then in 1985, Ernesto Colnago despatched us his masterpiece – a TT device with 2 Campagnolo disc wheels, the usual time trial apparatus everybody sought after through then.
In 1989 Greg LeMond gave us the clip-on triathlon bar and motorbike producers married it to the present TT motorcycles and that’s what we have now nowadays. That’s a handy guide a rough historical past assessment.
Now my argument in opposition to TT motorcycles
Everyone knows why time trial motorcycles have developed the best way they did – to make you pass sooner despite the fact that I don’t know the way a lot sooner the bullhorn motorcycles made us in a time trial. My wager is, no longer so much. However when we’ve added the triathlon bar, it modified the time trial racing like not anything else did sooner than, no longer even disc wheels. This innovation took the TT motorbike to its personal league in comparison to the street motorbike; conferring a large merit.
Benefit – that’s the phrase I need to zoom in on.
The BikeRadar site claims the merit a TT motorbike provides you with is 60-70 watts at 40 km/h, this is, it takes 270-280 watts to journey a highway motorbike at that velocity and 220 watts to journey a TT motorbike. Translated into seconds, a TT motorbike provides you with 9 seconds in step with kilometre merit. That is six mins in a 40 km time trial. Insane. Despite the fact that I don’t consider the TT motorbike’s merit is that staggering, it’s obtrusive you’d be silly to race a time trial on a highway motorbike if everybody else is on a TT motorbike. That a lot is obvious.
Pogačar within the surprising Excursion TT
What’s no longer transparent is that this – if everybody saves 60-70 watts, or regardless of the watt quantity is, why hassle with a TT motorbike in any respect? It sort of feels to me the purpose of technological innovation is to have an edge, a marginal acquire (as Sir David may say) over your rival. If everybody has the similar edge, it’s no longer an edge anymore.
Image automobile racing: if everybody races a manufacturing automobile, does it actually subject if automobiles are powered through 300 hp engines or 320 hp engines? They’ll pressure sooner, sure, and perhaps the display shall be extra attention-grabbing as a result of that additional energy however biking time trials are not anything like automobile racing. A rider leaves the gate and races on my own in opposition to the clock aside from now he rides sooner on a TT motorbike. Each and every unmarried racer does.
Excursion’89 ultimate TT
Not like the drama of the 1989 Champs-Élysées time trial the place Fignon may’ve had a possibility in opposition to LeMond had he rode with a tri-bar and wore an aero helmet, nowadays racing on a TT motorbike doesn’t have an effect on the outcome as a result of everybody takes benefit of a TT motorbike. And that’s it, there’s not anything extra to it – everybody will get a sooner time at the effects sheet. That’s what TT motorcycles delivered to the game – sooner occasions. One thing else they introduced: complications, damaged bones and ruined careers.
Let’s get started with damaged bones
TT Motorcycles Are Bad
It’s like anyone sat with a pen and paper and requested himself: How do I make a highway motorbike bad to journey?
That is the listing.
The first step: Scale back regulate of the street motorbike to a minimal. Get started with motorbike place. Transfer your frame ahead to load the entrance wheel and make it more difficult to manoeuvre.
Step two: Now that you just’ve loaded the entrance along with your frame weight, end the activity and position your elbows subsequent to one another at the handlebar. This fashion, you could have even much less regulate over the motorbike now and will handiest pass instantly or at absolute best lean into a large curve. When you want to show, you’ll need to get your arms off the tri-bar and clutch the bullhorns.
Step 3: Brakes wreck aerodynamics so while you design a TT body, fail to remember about brakes and concentrate on velocity and aerodynamics. While you end the body design, tack on one thing someplace that appears like brakes to cross the UCI definition of a highway motorbike. Don’t fear if brakes don’t paintings, you don’t want brakes in a time trial.
Step 4: End the bundle with aero wheels. Put at the entrance no matter you’ll break out with to stay the rider at the highway in opposition to the wind gusts. Each and every time trial, pray that after a rider takes the elbows off the tri-bar to lean right into a nook flying at 55 km/h, a surprising wind gust doesn’t blow him off the street. Sounds farcical as a result of it’s. It’s farcical and tragic on the similar time. Tragic as a result of TT motorcycles wreck careers and destroy riders’ bones. Ask Chris Froome.
That is how David Brailsford described the crash the place Froome broke a femur, different bones and broken interior organs: “He got here down a technical descent and directly to a straighter piece of highway with properties both sides he signalled to Wout that he used to be going to transparent his nostril, he took his hand off the bar to do this and a gust of wind took his entrance wheel, he misplaced regulate and went instantly into the wall of a space.”
A gust of wind
A gust of wind and the dream of successful a 5th Excursion de France is solely that, a dream. Do you assume he’d have long past down on a highway motorbike? Do you assume he’s that clumsy at the motorbike? The man who rode clear of the peloton at the descend to Bagnères-de-Luchon in 2016 Excursion de France is clumsy?
Or have a look at Alejandro Valverde’s Excursion prologue crash. Rainy highway, sure however that is an outdated professional. Rainy or dry, he is aware of what to do but it looks as if he doesn’t regulate his motorbike in any respect.
Michael Rasmussen used to be on his solution to win 2007 Excursion de France (aside from he didn’t) when he crashed two times and got here just about some other one or two as he saved going. Have in mind how sloppy he treated the motorbike sooner than every crash? This can be a former UCI international mountain motorbike champion and those guys have very good motorbike dealing with abilities. Now not an inept rider.
And there’s the megastar of the display, the Montpellier TTT level in 2009 Excursion de France. A bit of of a circus.
TT Motorcycles Require Additional Coaching
As a result of TT motorcycles transform your place at the motorbike, it’s a must to spend hours and hours of coaching to conform to this queer place. Sooner than a Grand Excursion, mucking round on a TT motorbike is a big ache within the neck as you’re seeking to tweak your shape and on the similar time journey your TT motorbike to stay the bio-mechanics tuned in.
TT Motorcycles Upload Additional Expense
A TT motorbike is an additional motorbike a workforce can do with out in the event that they didn’t need to journey them a couple of occasions in a season. They take additional garage room at the highway and on the workforce base. Extra motorcycles – extra money for organisers to spend on transfers between phases inflating the price of the race. Extra motorcycles – extra automobiles, vans and buses to transport them round and extra gas to burn. Extra automobiles and buses, you want extra drivers – extra bills.
International Excursion groups rent between 24 and 30 riders. That is some other 40 or so additional motorcycles mechanics have to appear after (some riders have 2 TT motorcycles, plus spares). You almost certainly wish to rent an additional mechanic to take care of this additional paintings. To make the most of a TT motorbike, you want to spend time in a wind tunnel including extra bills. Some groups would not have cash for wind tunnels and this loss of finances penalises them in opposition to groups with larger sponsors and larger budgets.
As a result of everybody races on a TT motorbike in a time trial, nobody will get an edge at the competitors from the TT motorcycles themselves. Via design, TT motorcycles are bad to journey. Nobody, even a talented, skilled rider, is protected from a crash, nasty harm or an finish to a racing profession as a result of a TT motorbike is a canine to take care of at prime velocity at the highway. To take a complete merit TT motorcycles be offering, you want to spend time beyond regulation to coach on them. TT motorcycles upload bills to the groups and the organisers they are able to are living with out if UCI bans TT motorcycles from the game.
The UCI won’t ever ban TT motorcycles as a result of motorbike manufactures promote most probably 40% extra motorcycles with this scheme. The riders will stay crashing. The Grand Excursions will proceed to lose main favourites as a result of motorcycles manufactures need to promote extra motorcycles. It’s the way it is going.
# You’ll meet up with extra of Nikolai Razouvaev’s ideas at: www.nikolai.com.au. #