A new study by academics in the Netherlands has found that cyclist riding in a peloton get much more protection from wind resistance than was previously thought to be the case.
Published in the Journal of Wind Engineering & Industrial Aerodynamics, the study found that riders encountered between five and ten times less air resistance than had been assumed beforehand.
It also found that the sixth, seventh or eighth rows in the bunch were the places to be to get most protection while still being close enough to the front to respond t any attacks.
Lead author Professor Bert Blocken of the Eindhoven University of Technology & KU Leuven said that a cyclist in the middle or rear of the peloton would encounter only between 5 and 7 per cent of the air resistance a solo rider would experience.
"Put it another way,” he explained. “it is as if a rider is cycling at 12 to 15 km/h in a peloton that is speeding along at 54 km/h.”
The research was based on computer simulations and wind tunnel studies of on a peloton of 121 model riders and, according to Professor Blocken, could shed light on why so many breakaways fail.
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"It turns out that current calculation models used by some race teams to determine the best time to escape are based on the wrong assumptions,” he said.
“Perhaps these new results will lead to more successful escapes and partly explain why so few escapes succeed, and why the peloton often hauls in the riders that do escape,” Professor Blocken continued.
He said that the research could help professional teams with their tactics and where they should seek to position their riders, saying: "At the very back, the air resistance is very low, but there is less opportunity to react to attacks and chances increase greatly for getting caught in a crash.
"So for classification riders or sprinters, the best position is in row six, seven or eight: there you are sufficiently shielded by other riders and you're near enough to the front,” he added.
Tony Blackburn? Isn't he dead yet? Why do third-rate celebs think their witterings are worth listening to?
Sounds to me like they're getting ripped off. People have thrown together Raspberry Pi hardware along with a camera (there's some excellent camera...
Would it be too simple to say the categories are based on sex, not on gender?
I had to go and look that up and can only agree with you. Quite a handsome Coat of Arms as well.
That G turn from 2km to 1km was something to boggle at, wasn't it. Cav was magnificent, the others especially Milan surprisingly faded. Lovely...
Think you've got hold of the wrong end of the stick there, testosterone is reduced by taking testosterone blockers, not by 'taking oestrogen'....
I concur GP4000 is the hardest I've ever had to mount on a rim, Ultegra wheelset in my case. Shifted the outer skin on my thumbs!...
Another one who deliberately misuses the term. Looking for trouble. Yeah because in London you have to stake out a road all day to find one offence.
Ticks a box, doesn't it?...
Normally I don't have a small enough violin for them but in this case I guess it's possible that their office / secretary / intern submitted this...