Wednesday, March 19, 2014

INRNG Contador photo

It's really worthwhile following the INRNG Tumbler page. I'm glad I do. Because of it, I found this photo of Alberto Contador approaching the brutal finish of Stage 5 of this year's Tirreno Adriatico stage race. Contador won the stage and thus took the lead, for good, in the general classification.

Oh, the pain, the pain...

But I can't stop looking at it.

It helps I've always admired Contador. He rides with style, he pays meticulous attention to equipment details (experimenting with things such as large-diameter derailleur pulleys, lightweight wheels and saddles, and low-friction bearings), and he's always modest and polite in his interviews.

Of course, there's the inevitable doping questions: convicted doper Contador who dominated during the peak of the microdose-plus-transfusion era is back due to "a good winter". But training at altitude is no gimmick, and if he indeed went to a structured, focused off-season it shouldn't be too shocking he begins the season in shape. In previous years he's documented to have gone into the early season over-weight. This year, he's supposedly right where he wants to be.

For what it's worth, on the climb of Passo Lanciano, the final 9.10 @amattipyoraily (veetooo) extimated Contador's power at 5.75 W/kg assuming a CdA of 0.35 m2, which he averaged for 28 min 30 sec. That was the final long climb of the stage, but the above photo was taken on Muro di Guardiagrele, the far shorter but much steeper finishing climb.

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