September 16, 2005 – With just two stages left of the Vuelta, Discovery’s Michael Barry sits in the top half of the GC and can look forward to using some of the stage race form to his advantage in less than a few weeks at the Worlds in Madrid, Spain. To ask him a question before the Vuelta ends, just email email@example.com
How do the legs feel after almost three weeks of riding. Do you get into a rhythm? For most of us mere mortals it is impossible to understand how you guys do this.
My teammate Tom Danielson and I were just talking about this – basically the consesus is that we lose all our snap after three weeks of racing so we tend to ride bigger gears to accelerate. The trade off is that we are much more powerful and after a week of rest feel much stronger due to the intense workload over three weeks. We also generally are fatigued all over from racing day in day out. Mentally the biggest challenge becomes getting up and racing full gas everyday for close to a month.
If a rider goes into a grand tour tired or over trained he will suffer like a dog in the last half and the race will most likely put a nail in his coffin. The attrition rate has been very high at the Vuelta this year and this is due to the fact that it takes place at the end of the season, and a lot of riders are either dead tired from a season of racing, or they lack motivation.
In a sense we do get in to a rhythm as everyday we know we are going to wake up, eat a big breakfast, race, get a massage, eat a big dinner and sleep. It is the same routine every day, and honestly, after three weeks we just want to go home and do something a little different and eat something other than pasta.
For more about Michael’s book, “Inside the Postal Bus” visit www.michaelbarry.ca