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Tour de France: climbers
Around the Academy:

Lance Armstrong leads the pack through the mountains
Chris reckons Lance is the best climber around


Chris Boardman gives the Academy all the answers


I think Lance Armstrong is the best climber around.

Although he also time trials well, he has won his six Tours in the mountains.

A climber in some ways is very similar to a time trialist.

The biggest difference is they have to be light as well.

However much power they need to produce to climb a steep climb, they also have to keep their body weight right down.

Lance Armstrong tearing up a steep climb
Best climber: Lance Armstrong

This means they must have what is called a good power-to-weight ratio - this is very important to be a good climber.

Because they're going quite slowly on the climbs their frontal area doesn't matter so much.

It doesn't matter if they're tall and skinny just as long as they're light.

But apart from weight, the same characteristics that make a good time trialist makes a good climber, especially on the long climbs of the Tour de France.

Like time trialists, climbers need good concentration and must have the ability to shift lots of oxygen.

Lance Armstrong is a great time trialist too
Lance is a great all-rounder

Oxygen for climbers and time triallers is the equivalent of fuel for a car.

The best climbers in the world weigh in the region of 65kg.

But the people who win the Tour de France, because they have to be able to do everything, tend to average about 70kg, like Lance Armstrong.

Despite the similarities, climbers don't traditionally do well in flat time trials.

They don't have masses of power because they're very light.



Introduction
Sprinters
Climbers
Time trialists

Did you know?
The American rider Lance Armstrong has won the Tour de France five years in a row - from 1999 to 2003


FROM THE BBC >>
:: BBC Sport's Tour coverage

INTERNET LINKS >>
:: Tour de France

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