What's the deal with cyclists using rollers before 100 mile races?
March 3, 2008 3:28 PM Subscribe
Why do cycling racers always warm up on a trainer/rollers thing before events, even ridiculously long ones? Doesn't it burn up energy they'll need during the race?
posted by mathowie to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (13 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I'm a big fan of cycling and follow bike racing pretty closely and I've attended a couple dozen events in the past few years but I've never known an elite-level racer personally so I've always wondered about the ubiquitous use of trainers at race events.
I totally understand it on time trail events, where from the moment you leave the start line, you need to be fully prepared to go full speed for a set amount of time. I understand that you'd want to warm up as close as possible to your start time so you could come out of the gate swinging full blast. Time trails are typically just 30 minutes or so long, and I suspect elite racers are prepared to ride for 6-8 hours a day, so 30 minutes on rollers would be no big deal.
What I don't understand are dudes doing the roller thing before a 100+ mile stage of a race, especially during a multi-day event where you need to expend incredible amounts of energy day in and day out. I've seen the starts of such long days and the field will often ride the first 10-15 miles at a recreational (for them, 18-20mph) pace.
So my question is, why the need to warm up at all on long days? Aren't you burning up the energy you'll need that day or the next, just wasting it on a quick warm up? Why not simply use the first ten miles of an event to warm up?