This article needs additional citations for verification .(December 2013)
A climbing specialist or climber, also known as a grimpeur, is a road bicycle racer who can ride especially well on highly inclined roads, such as those found among hills or mountains.
In a sustained climb, the average speed declines, the aerodynamic advantage of drafting is diminishedand the setting of the group pace becomes more important. A good climber modulates his speed and chooses the best line on a climb, allowing the following riders to have an easier job. If the group maintains a high tempo, it is more difficult for a rider to attack and ride away from the group.
Another important role in climbing is that of attacker or counter-attacker. Climbing specialists use their superior abilities either to attack on climbs and thereby gap the competitors, knowing that only other climbing specialists will be able to stay with them, or simply to maintain a high pace that others cannot match. A successful escape can help the climber achieve a victory if the race has a mountain-top finish, or even in a flat finish if the climber is able to maintain his lead after the climb is over. Climbing stages, along with individual time trials, are key stages in winning long stage races.
In recent years, climbing specialists have been deployed as Super-domestiques, protecting team leaders with All-round capabilities by setting a strong tempo in mountain stages to deter attacks from rivals, a tactic known as a 'train'. Examples of this include Team Sky climbers Wout Poels, Mikel Landa and Mikel Nieve helping Chris Froome in his multiple Grand Tour victories. Froome himself played a similar role in service of Bradley Wiggins at the 2012 Tour de France.
Climbers tend to have a lot of endurance and specifically developed muscles for long hard climbs. They also tend to have a slim, lightweight physique, but some can become good climbers through concerted training.
The most successful climbing specialists come in different shapes and specializations. Climbers with very small physique such as José Rujano (48 kg), Nairo Quintana (58 kg), Roberto Heras (60 kg), Alberto Contador (61 kg) and Gilberto Simoni (58 kg) thrive when the climbs reach dizzying heights and incredibly steep slopes where their low weight makes them more efficient and able to put in repeated acceleration runs. Their endurance also makes them good stage race specialists. Marco Pantani, champion of the 1998 Tour de France, was able to make attack after attack to quickly tire out his opponents.
Another type of rider or puncheur has a similarly small physique but possess more power which may provide an advantage in short but steep climbs in races including the Ardennes classics. Examples of such hills include the Mur de Huy in the Flèche Wallonne and the Cauberg in the Amstel Gold Race. Examples of such riders include Julian Alaphilippe, Philippe Gilbert, Paolo Bettini and Danilo Di Luca, who are able to sprint their way up the shorter climbs to win a stage or a single-day race. However, their lower endurance is a disadvantage in stage races where the climbs are usually longer, albeit at lower gradients. Many climbers cannot sprint very well because their relative small size does not allow them to match the strength of the bigger, more muscular sprinters.
The last type of climber is the breakaway specialist who can ride aggressively with many attacks and sustain their lead over ascents, descents, and flats. Famous examples include Laurent Jalabert and Richard Virenque both of whom earned their King of the Mountains jerseys in the Tour de France by day-long breakaways amassing points at every summit. Most notably, Laurent Jalabert started his career as a sprinter but later transformed himself into a different type of rider. Rafał Majka won the Polka Dot jersey at the 2014 Tour de France and 2016 Tour de France in a similar manner.
Many riders who are primarily time-trialists have also been able to compete in everything but the steepest climbs because of their good power-to-weight ratio. Tour de France winners Miguel Induráin, Jan Ullrich and Bradley Wiggins were primarily time-trialists but were also among the best in the mountain stages during the years in which they won the Tour de France. Likewise, Tom Dumoulin was able to win the 2017 Giro d'Italia by defending the lead he had built in the individual time trial in subsequent mountain stages.
Sports physiologists have attributed the advantage that small stature holds in cycling up steep ascents to the way in which body mass and body surface area scale according to height (see square–cube law). As a hypothetical cyclist's height increases, the surface areas of his body increase according to the square of his height whereas the mass of his body increases according to the cube of his height. The surface area relation applies not only to the total surface area of the body, but also to the surface areas of the lungs and blood vessels, which are primary factors in determining aerobic power. Thus, an equally proportioned cyclist who has 50% more body mass (i.e. is 50% heavier) will generate only about 30% more aerobic power. On a steep climb most of the cyclist's energy goes into lifting his own weight, so the heavier cyclist will be at a competitive disadvantage. There is, of course, a lower limit to the benefit of small stature because, among other factors, the cyclist must also lift the weight of his bicycle. The additional power is proportional to the grade or slope of the road and the speed of the rider along the slope (or along the level line). For a 5% grade, each meter of road requires lifting the body weight by 5 cm. The power (watts) is equal to change in gravitational potential energy (joules) per unit time (seconds). For a 60 kilograms (130 lb) rider, the additional power needed is about 30 watts per meter/second of road speed (about 8 watts per km/hour).
Scaling factors also account for the relative disadvantage of the small cyclist in descending, although this is a result of physics, not physiology. A larger rider will be subject to a greater gravitational force because of their greater body mass. Additionally, as mentioned, the frontal area that creates aerodynamic drag increases only quadratically with the rider's size, and hence the larger rider would be expected to accelerate faster or attain a greater terminal velocity.
Although these factors might seem to cancel each other out, the climber still has an advantage on a course with long ascents and long descents: adding several miles per hour on a slow, time-consuming climb is much more valuable than the same increase on a fast and brief descent. Any rider, of course, can improve her climbing speed by increasing her aerobic power and reducing her body weight and can increase her descending speed through better bike handling and the willingness to accept an increased risk of crashing. One of the few elite riders to use descending skill as a competitive advantage is Paolo Savoldelli, nicknamed "the falcon."
For a more quantitative treatment of climbing physics and physiology, see Swain, DP, Cycling: Uphill and Downhill .
Recent advances in bicycle components give the rider a wider range of gearing choices, allowing climbing specialists to use lower gears to ascend optimally while still having the higher gears necessary to keep up with other riders in the flatter sections. Legendary climbers of the past such as Lucien Van Impe had to ride out of the saddle pushing high gears for hours at a time; climbers today are better able to match their gearing to the challenge and climb at a more reasonable cadence. The current UCI minimum limit for the mass of bicycles is 6.8 kilograms (15 lb). Although many bike manufacturers can create bikes much lighter than this, the UCI deems this weight fair in the spirit of preserving the 'primacy of man' over his equipment.
Most stage races have a special category for the best climber, usually by awarding points at the important summits of the race. In the Tour de France for example, the best climber, or "King of the Mountains", is awarded a red polka dot jersey (French: maillot à pois rouges). In the Giro d'Italia the best climber is awarded a blue jersey (Italian: maglia azzurra). In the Vuelta a España the best climber is awarded a blue polka dot jersey.
The 2002 Tour de France was a multiple-stage bicycle race held from 6 to 28 July, and the 89th edition of the Tour de France. The event started in Luxembourg and ended in Paris. The Tour circled France counter-clockwise, visiting the Pyrenees before the Alps. It has no overall winner—although American cyclist Lance Armstrong originally won the event, the United States Anti-Doping Agency announced in August 2012 that they had disqualified Armstrong from all his results since 1998, including his seven Tour de France wins from 1999 to 2005; the Union Cycliste Internationale has confirmed this verdict.
A recumbent bicycle is a bicycle that places the rider in a laid-back reclining position. Most recumbent riders choose this type of design for ergonomic reasons: the rider's weight is distributed comfortably over a larger area, supported by back and buttocks. On a traditional upright bicycle, the body weight rests entirely on a small portion of the sitting bones, the feet, and the hands.
The Vuelta a España is an annual multi-stage bicycle race primarily held in Spain, while also occasionally making passes through nearby countries. Inspired by the success of the Giro d'Italia and the Tour de France, the race was first organized in 1935. The race was prevented from being run by the Spanish Civil War and World War II in the early years of its existence; however, the race has been held annually since 1955. As the Vuelta gained prestige and popularity the race was lengthened and its reach began to extend all around the globe. Since 1979, the event has been staged and managed by Unipublic, until in 2014, when Amaury Sport Organisation acquired control, with both working together. The peloton expanded from a primarily Spanish participation to include riders from all over the world. The Vuelta is a UCI World Tour event, which means that the teams that compete in the race are mostly UCI WorldTeams, with the exception of the wild card teams that the organizers can invite.
An individual time trial (ITT) is a road bicycle race in which cyclists race alone against the clock. There are also track-based time trials where riders compete in velodromes, and team time trials (TTT). ITTs are also referred to as "the race of truth", as winning depends only on each rider's strength and endurance, and not on help provided by teammates and others riding ahead and creating a slipstream. Individual time trial are usually held on flat or rolling terrain, although sometimes they are held up a mountain road. Sometimes the opening stage of a stage race is a very short individual time trial called a prologue.
A touring bicycle is a bicycle designed or modified to handle bicycle touring. To make the bikes sufficiently robust, comfortable and capable of carrying heavy loads, special features may include a long wheelbase, frame materials that favor flexibility over rigidity, heavy duty wheels, and multiple mounting points.
A sprinter is a road bicycle racer or track racer who can finish a race very explosively by accelerating quickly to a high speed, often using the slipstream of another cyclist or group of cyclists tactically to conserve energy.
Laurent Jalabert is a French former professional road racing cyclist, from 1989 to 2002.
The mountains classification is a secondary competition in the Tour de France, that started in 1933. It is given to the rider that gains the most points for reaching mountain summits first. The leader of the classification is named the King of the Mountains, and since 1975 wears the polka dot jersey, a white jersey with red polka dots.
Road bicycle racing is the cycle sport discipline of road cycling, held on paved roads. Road racing is the most popular professional form of bicycle racing, in terms of numbers of competitors, events and spectators. The two most common competition formats are mass start events, where riders start simultaneously and race to set finish point; and time trials, where individual riders or teams race a course alone against the clock. Stage races or "tours" take multiple days, and consist of several mass-start or time-trial stages ridden consecutively.
The 1994 Tour de France was the 81st edition of the Tour de France, one of cycling's Grand Tours. The Tour began on 2 July with a 7.2 km (4.5 mi) prologue around the French city Lille. After 21 more days of racing, the Tour came to a close on the street of the Champs-Élysées. Twenty-one teams entered the race that was won by Miguel Indurain of the Banesto team. Second and third respectively were the Latvian Piotr Ugrumov and the Italian rider, Marco Pantani.
The 1905 Tour de France was the third edition of the Tour de France, held from 9 to 30 July, organised by the newspaper L'Auto. Following the disqualifications after the 1904 Tour de France, there were changes in the rules, the most important one being the general classification not made by time but by points. The race saw the introduction of mountains in the Tour de France, and René Pottier excelled in the first mountain, although he could not finish the race. Due in part to some of the rule changes, the 1905 Tour de France had less cheating and sabotage than in previous years, though they were not completely eliminated. It was won by Louis Trousselier, who also won four of the eleven stages.
This is a glossary of terms and jargon used in cycling, mountain biking, and cycle sport.
Bicycle gearing is the aspect of a bicycle drivetrain that determines the relation between the cadence, the rate at which the rider pedals, and the rate at which the drive wheel turns.
A bicycle's performance is extraordinarily efficient. In terms of the amount of energy a person must expend to travel a given distance, cycling is calculated to be the most efficient self-powered means of transportation. In terms of the ratio of cargo weight a bicycle can carry to total weight, it is also a most efficient means of cargo transportation.
VAM is the abbreviation for the Italian term velocità ascensionale media, translated in English to mean "average ascent speed" or "mean ascent velocity", but usually referred to as VAM. It is also referred to by the English backronym "Vertical Ascent in Meters". The term, which was coined by Italian physician and cycling coach Michele Ferrari, is the speed of elevation gain, usually stated in units of metres per hour.
Christopher Clive Froome, is a British road racing cyclist, who currently rides for UCI WorldTeam Israel Start-Up Nation. He has won seven Grand Tours: four editions of the Tour de France, one Giro d'Italia (2018) and the Vuelta a España twice. He has also won several other stage races, and the Velo d'Or three times.
The 2011 Vuelta a España was held from 20 August to 11 September. The bicycle race began in Benidorm with a team time trial and ended, as is traditional, in Madrid. The 2011 Vuelta was the 66th edition of the race and was the first Vuelta in 33 years that visited the Basque Country. The 33-year absence from the region was due to fear of political protests.
Tom DumoulinOON is a Dutch professional road bicycle racer, who currently rides for UCI WorldTeam Team Jumbo–Visma.
The 2015 Vuelta a Andalucía was the 61st running of the Vuelta a Andalucía cycling stage race. It was rated as a 2.1 event on the 2015 UCI Europe Tour and was held from 18 to 22 February 2015, in the Andalusia region of southern Spain. Although the race lasted five days, there were six stages, with the first day split between two stages.
The 2020 Tour de France was the 107th edition of the Tour de France, one of cycling's three Grand Tours. Originally scheduled to start on 27 June 2020, it was postponed until 29 August 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic in France. The race began in Nice on 29 August and concluded with its traditional run on the Champs-Élysées on 20 September. A total of 176 riders from 22 teams participated in the race. The overall general classification was won for the first time by a Slovenian, Tadej Pogačar of UAE Team Emirates. His fellow countryman Primož Roglič finished second, while Australian Richie Porte (Trek–Segafredo) came third.