TURBO COOL DOWN
Post- stage, the irst thing riders do is get back on their bikes
“Studies into recovery techniques have focused on compression, ice baths and a cool down on a turbo trainer. From an evidence-based standpoint the only strategy that is effective on performance the next day is the turbo trainer work. The reasons for this are unclear, but blood is the medium in which oxygen and nutrients are
Team Sky introduced the idea of turbo-training warm-downs in 2012, leaving peers bemused. “One of the first races I did for Sky was the Tour of the Basque Country,” explains Sky’s Luke Rowe. “We finished the race and hopped onto the turbos. The other guys were laughing their heads off. Those guys are now doing exactly what we do.”
The idea had been around in sport for years but cycling, clinging to convention, took a while to warm to warm-downs. A progressive 10-minute spin helps to remove metabolic waste products from the muscles by maintaining a reasonable bloodflow around the body.
The cool-down is so important that riders don’t have to report to the doping control until they’ve completed it. Not everyone hits the turbo, of course. If a rider’s had an easy stage – it’s all relative – and they’ve sat in the pack all day, they might head straight to the bus. Then there are more masochistic cyclists like KatushaAlpecin’s Tony Martin, who regularly cools down on a set of rollers.
Compression socks are also common. “Compression wear offers a multitude of benefits,” says Akbar de Medici, medical director at apparel outfit Compression Advisory. “They include improving venous return to speed recovery and reducing muscle damage.”
The idea is a sock with greater pressure at the ankle than the calves will act like an extra heart, sending blood back to the heart faster, oxygenating it and flushing waste products more quickly.