Post- stage, the irst thing rid­ers do is get back on their bikes

Procycling - - Recovery -

“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.

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