IZU, Japan (AP) — Everybody expected records to fall when the. Still, nobody expected the German women’s to shatter the mark held by the two-time defending gold medalists from Britain. Or the Chinese to lower their record. Or Denmark taking down the Olympic history in .
All on the first day of the competition. “We knew there would be world records broken this. That’s the first thing,” explained Gary Sutton, the endurance coach for the U.S. women’s . “The is shaping up to be fast, so is the Siberian pinewood of the Izu Velodrome.
But this is not some new. It’s a decade-old velodrome in the wayward forested hills near Mt. Fuji. Nor is it located at high altitudes, like the historically fast velodrome in Aguascalientes, Mexico, where the thin air has produced many .
So why are records falling in Japan in seemingly every race? Well, it’s a combination of factors — a, if you will — that has allowed riders, regardless of discipline to set their sights on some quick times.
THE PHYSIOLOGICAL ASPECT
Simply put, training methods continue to evolve and improve with each workout plans. Still, it also means finely tuned recovery periods and the right nutrition to fuel the efforts, all customized for each athlete’s specific body composition., making athletes themselves even better. Yes, that includes more effective and productive
And all of it is constantly monitored by an array of technology. Like in many other sports, they are aware of the specific output of watts in training, the quality of their sleep, and a complete breakdown of the food they consume.
THE ENVIRONMENTAL AFFECT
It may seem counterintuitive, but those studying physics and chemistry know that humid air — like the air in a Japanese summer — is less dense than dry air. The velodrome sits about 1,000 feet above sea level, so riders aren’t benefitting from thin air. But they are getting a boost from the warm weather and the air density.
“The track is good,” Italy’s Elia Viviani said. “The temperature is perfect. But mainly, the density of the air will make a huge difference, so I think in the, we’re going to see some speedy times.”
THE TECHNOLOGICAL ADVANTAGE
The American women have drivetrains on the left side rather than the right, which studies by bike manufacturer Felt have shown improves aerodynamics since riders only turn left. The British are, with input from sports car maker Lotus, which have radically different geometry to enhance airflow.
Many teams are riding bikes that use proprietary 3-D printed components, revolutionary lubricants, and extensive wind-tunnel testing.that is lighter and stiffer than in previous Olympics. Others have experimented with
“The basic rules of aerodynamics haven’t changed – you can’t alter the laws of physics – but what we have learned over almost 30 years is to take a more holistic approach to every project,” said Rich Hill, the chief aerodynamicist for Lotus. “As far as goes, it’s man and machine in perfect harmony.”
It comes at a cost, too. The rules state any bike used in competition must be made available to the public, but the price tags could require a second mortgage on your house. National teams and their equipment partners pour millions into research and development, and bike companies can only hope Olympic success translates into increased retail sales.
The Hope x Lotus HB.T the Brits are riding will set you back about $20,000. The Felt TA FRD of the American team has a list price of $25,999. The most expensive bike, the Worx WX-R Vorteq ridden by Malaysia, comes in at $39,000.
“This is the bestbecause all the shiny bits come out,” British sprinter Jason Kenny said. “We have our best bike, our best wheel, our best tire, our best kits on. This is it. An enjoyable https://apnews.com/2020-tokyo-olympics and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports.