Recently on Cyclingnews.com

Mt Hood Classic
Photo ©: Swift

Lance Armstrong (Discovery Channel)
Photo ©: AFP
Click for larger image
On the road before the Tour
Photo ©: AFP
Click for larger image


Behind the Blue Curtain

Inside the Discovery Channel bus with Chris Brewer

Chris will be bringing us daily updates from within Discovery Channel HQ, getting the lowdown from team management.

Discovery Channel is the team on everybody's lips at this year's Tour de France. Why?

One name - Lance Armstrong.

This network of riders and staff previously existed as the US Postal Service Pro Cycling Team, helping Lance win his six Tour de France crowns, and in 2005 they're gunning for a seventh title. Follow the progress of the team here on Cyclingnews.com from 'Behind the Blue Curtain'


Index to all entries

July 6, 2005: Recovering after the TTT

Recovery begins right after the stage
Photo ©: Jon Devich
Click for larger image

One of the things that has made this first week different from recent Tours past has been having two significant Time Trial efforts in just the first 4 stages. Instead of the shorter prologue we have come expect, the 19 km TT really added to the hurt everyone knows is coming in the 67.5km team event. While the riders know that these specific events will hurt, it's the potential long-term damage that concerns team chiropractor Dr. Jeff Spencer.

Jeff's been with the Tour team for many years now and knows what the secret is to getting through tough weeks like this: recovery, recovery, recovery. "The riders are doing very well even after the big effort from the TTT yesterday, mainly because of the proactive things we've been doing, plus we have a very aggressive recovery process afterwards," he said outside the team bus before Stage 5.

"Recovery starts on the bus immediately after a stage. We immediately address any physical concerns using a variety of methods, including micro current, manual therapy, even a hand-held programmable laser therapy tool. Nutrition of course is very important and we make sure that they are getting a good balance of carbohydrates and protein as quickly as possible because of the depletion in those areas from a big effort like that. And you're not only working to fuel recovery but you're also preparing for the following stage tomorrow. If you don't stay really on top of nutrition, and you miss a meal or the opportunity to fuel up, you can put yourself into a hole that you just can't get out of."

Max effort
Photo ©: Sirotti
Click for larger image

When you think of post-race ritual massage is pretty much what usually comes to mind. "When we get back to the hotel half the riders go to massage and half to me. Massage is very important because it helps drive the metabolic products out of the legs, then I deal with the mechanical issues plus the stretches and strains common to cycling," Jeff said. "Then after dinner we'll come back around and check on each of the riders and make sure all is well and that anything we've done is right on track. You want to make sure that the riders get to sleep with the minimal amount of stress and strain so that they'll be as ready to go as possible the following day."

And now you know what the Discovery Channel guys are doing right now to get ready for the days ahead. Thanks for checking in.



2005 entries - the Tour de France

  • July 28 - Lance's Tour curtain call
  • July 23 - Time Trial support
  • July 19 - How to become a pro
  • July 18 - All's well on rest day
  • July 16 - The Disco team car
  • July 15 - Iconography
  • July 14 - The team behind the team
  • July 13 - A little bit of Discovery tech
  • July 11 - Staying on guard
  • July 9-10 - Life at the start & Entering the Holy of Holies
  • July 7 - Coloured Lids
  • July 6 - Recovering after the TTT
  • July 5 - Stage 4 - Mystery Oakleys?
  • July 4 - Stage 3 and looking ahead to the TTT
  • July 3 - Discovery Channel Satisfied with Stage 1 Result

Previous Cyclingnews articles on the Discovery Channel team