Tuesday, July 04, 2006

As powerful as it gets

After a rather dull day at office, I decide to get out of the seat and do some physical exercise. I run towards the volleyball court only to find a couple of guys trying their hands at spiking. I join them, however and after a while some amount of perspiration results. It is not enough, so I decide to go visit the gymnasium, where my favourite instrument - a cycle - is awaiting me.

I ride hard, the indicator shows ~160W of power output, and after 3kms of ride and having lost ~100kcals I stop. Perspiration is all over, and I am satisfied with the day's performance. 10 minutes a day is not bad, at that high power levels, not bad indeed!

I go back to the desk, open up the Tour website - it's stage III today, and having noticed that there is still ~1 and half hours left, I start for home. I reach home, and switch on the TV. Wonderful scenery of Netherlands unfolds, as the peloton keeps itself in hunt for the break-away leader. Eventually the peloton catches up with the leader and a T-Mobile rider, Kesseler wins the stage with some honour.

During the race the commentators educate on the race tactics, on attacks and organisation of the peloton. They also give unlimited stats on each rider. Talking of Tom Boonen, the World Champion, they quote his power output levels: idling, Boonen churns out ~200W of power. Upon sprint and climbs he increases the level to ~600W. And at peak of his performance, hold your breath, he outputs unbelievable 1800W of sheer power.

I drop my tongue out of my mouth at that.

And it is not for ten paltry minutes that these guys do this - it is over four and half hours.

It is not sitting in the a/c gymnasium that they do this - it is in blistering heat of 32 degree C.

And it is not once in a blue moon that they do this: The tour has 22 stages, with ~2300 miles to cover over a span of three and half weeks.

It is as powerful as it can get...

This year's race has been in news for the wrong reasons - Major contenders, Ivan Basso and Jan Ullirich are barred from participating on account of doping allegations.

Read one interesting story on this here.

No comments: