As Katusha warmed down after the 2013 Tour de France stage 4 team time trial in Nice, BikeRadar spoke to team coach Sebastian Weber about how the squad prepare for one of the toughest disciplines in cycling.
Video: Katusha coach on TTT warm-up and warm-down
“The warming up procedure I would say today was uncommon because we had a 25km loop as a recon, which we did easy, a little bit medio, so the direct warm-up was only 20 minutes. In that we did two shorter progressive efforts that, in the last 30 seconds to a minute, were above threshold to make them produce lactic acid.” Making the riders work hard switched on the lactate metabolism process – the body’s ability to process lactate as a fuel when you go anaerobic.
“Especially for the team time trial you have to remember that, compared to the individual time trial, when they go to the front they go above their threshold, so the riders really have to activate lactate metabolism.
“Lactate is actively transported in the muscle and you can activate this process - which stays on for 20 to 30 minutes approximately - which is why we do the last effort 20 to 30 minutes before the start of the race.”
Weber also explained how the warm-down after the race allows the body to process lactic acid and cool, which allows riders to speed up recovery for the upcoming stages.
The team eventually finished 10th, 28 seconds down on Orica-GreenEdge.