Archive for the ‘Michael Rich’ Category

We’ll get the green jersey back

Friday, July 15th, 2011

The first week of the Tour went up and down like a yo-yo for our team. It all started with a bang with fast Phil’s impressive victory on stage 1, but was followed by our below par performance in the team time-trial and Jurgen van de Walle’s retirement from the race following a crash on stage 1. After that we had superb results with André and Phil, who could have easily won 3 stages. Jurgen van den Broeck’s crash, during which he sustained serious injuries and Frederik Willems also went down in and couldn’t continue, was of course disastrous. Most recently we had the superb success for André, who was able to get the better of Mark Cavendish in a direct duel and thus provide the best answer to all the negative remarks he had received over the last few weeks. We also had the outstanding second place of Jelle Vanendert on the first tough stage in the Pyrenees.

Now Phil has lost his green jersey and we are already making plans how we can get it back. In fact it’s really easy – he merely has to pick up more points than the others. That’s the theory but in reality it’s not quite so simple. I have looked at the coming stages and the only possibility I see is that Phil drops his rivals and takes points in the sprints which come directly after big mountain climbs, thereby turning his current deficit into an advantage. It would of course be helpful to win a stage, for example in Pinerolo and/or Paris although I wouldn’t begrudge André the win in Paris because that makes a sprinter immortal. So you see, it’s all very difficult, but I never said that it would be easy but possible. We shall see what happens and if he recaptures green, then that will be great. If, however, he doesn’t quite manage it, we’ll still be happy that he wore it for at least a few days.
Best wishes,

Michael

Rider position optimization in the Mercedes GP windtunnel

Wednesday, February 9th, 2011

On 27 January we were at Drag2zero in the Mercedes GP windtunnel. I must admit that when I see the entire infrastructure and the truck pool at the Formula 1 team I become really envious. You always think you are putting a great deal of effort in but in comparison to Formula 1 in cycle sport it’s a drop in the ocean. The Formula 1 team has 12 trucks with equipment we can only dream of. They, however, have a much greater budget than us. I was simply happy that we were able to be their guests.

The result is also very pleasing. I didn’t think that we had so much room for improvement. As is often the case, it’s the little things that make all the difference. If one for example slightly over stretches the wrists, then that significantly improves the aerodynamics and the helmet should always be just touching the rider’s back. Apart from that it’s not really possible to generalize as everybody is of a different build and the circulation of air around the rider’s body varies.

The 3 riders were very satisfied. They invested 2 days of their precious time, and I’m also always happy when such an exercise has been worth it and that is certainly the case here. Now it’s up to the riders to get used to the new positions on the bike when training and to turn this into measurable results.

Our cameraman also accompanied us to Britain and succeeded in getting a few shots – that wasn’t so easy because filming is actually forbidden all over the complex. Have fun with the film!

All the best,
Michael

Never lose that momentum!