Cyclists Ready to Run and Draft in Large Packs Monday in Chattanooga

Chattanooga-(WDEF) The USA Cycling National Championships get underway this weekend in Chattanooga.

The 102-mile road race goes down on Monday.
Just like NASCAR drivers, cyclists try to take advantage of drafting in large packs.
While riding in large waves is energy efficient, it’s also kind of dangerous.
    Cyclist Carmen Small admits it takes time getting used to racing in big packs.
Her first experience was a nightmare.
"It was a Criterium. It was really scary. I think I stayed midfield the whole entire way."
Added pro cyclist Ben King,"It certainly can be tense and nerve racking riding in a bunch, especially in races where there’s a turn that everybody knows they need to be at the front for this turn because something is going to happen."
    Perhaps more tense than a turn is traveling downhill in large groups.
Said King,"The fastest that I have been on bike before is about 75 miles-an-hour."
Reporter-"In a group?"
"In a group, yeah."
Said Small,"Yeah, it’s pretty crazy. I’m not sure the women go 75 miles-an-hour. Maybe out of fear. I don’t know. Or maybe we’re smarter."(laughter)
   Amen sister.
And if you see Alex Howes in a pack, there’s no telling what he’s thinking.
"You can be ripping down a hill at 60 miles-an-hour thinking to yourself, did I pay my rent in Spain? I think I did, but I’m not sure."
    But in a pack, it’s not about paying the rent, it’s about paying attention to your fellow riders.
Said Howes,"You learn what wobble is just a wobble, and what wobble is going to be coming at you at 60 miles-an-hour.
   But the benefits of riding in a pack out-weigh the wobbles.
Said King,"If you’re riding close behind someone else, you’re actually on a flat road with no wind, you can save thirty percent of your energy."
Said Small,"Just anything that’s breaking the wind for you helps. That’s how the draft obviously works."
    One problem with the pack, they seem to attract animals.
Said Small,"A horse ran out like one of those miniature horses in Holland. Ran up on our road while we were going. That was pretty nerve racking because that’s not a small animal."
  The road race starts at 1:30pm on Monday in Chattanooga at the corner of Market Street and MLK Blvd.
Categories: Sports, Sports – Local Sports News

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