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Watios, pillows and haircuts: this is the invisible training of Chris Froome

Watios, pillows and haircuts: this is the invisible training of Chris Froome

In the first 99 editions of the Tour de France British cycling never rose to the top of the podium. In the last four, on the other hand, he has done so three times. Bradley Wiggins broke the statistics in 2012, and its compatriot Chris Froome seconded it in 2013 and now in 2015. What happened for cyclists from the United Kingdom to suddenly have become the reference in the gala round? The answer seems to be in a man: Dave Brailsford, general director of Team Sky, and in its revolutionaries mathematical training methods. In 1995 Hein Verbruggen, then president of the International Cycling Union, declared that British cycling was "the black hole of this sport in Europe", since the presence of its corridors was merely testimonial in large races. At that time, the English Cycling Federation was financed through the lottery, with a budget that did not reach 100,000 pounds a year. Team Sky In 2001 Dave Brailsford was at the forefront of British cycling, willing to change this panorama. He did it by building a new structure totally from scratch, with new forms of organization and a radically different training methodology than seen until then. Brailsford's work soon receiving a reward, first from the chase World Cup that Bradley Wiggins won in 2003 and, then, of the millions of pounds that arrived later to support their work and, especially, prepare a batch of large corridors in the face of the 2008 Olympic appointments in Beijing and 2012 in London. In the 2008 Olympic Games, British cycling was the undisputed king of the track: 8 golds, 4 silvers and 2 bronzes with Wiggins and Cavendish commanding a new way of shooting that now, after the transfer of this methodology to the cycling on the route, begins to be perceived as the last great revolution of cycling. Dave Brailsford was the person chosen in 2009 to make Team Sky a champion team. With full powers, a millionaire budget and the experience accumulated by the successes on the track, Brailsford put all its efforts to get a British cyclist to win the Tour de France. He got it in 2012, with the triumph of Wiggins. He did it again in 2013 with Chris Froome. And has repeated once again in 2015 with Froome's second victory. Where is the key to your success? Chris Froome

80 Auxiliary for 30 cyclists

The key to everything seems to be in the revolutionaries training methods and mathematical precision with which Brailsford takes care of every detail of the cycling preparation. From the food, with a team of chefs that elaborates the menus based on the weight/power requirements that the runners will need at each stage, to the sports clothing. The Team Sky has jerseys of different tissue density depending on the temperature and moisture percentage that will be done on the road. On the one hand there are conditioned training, with a scientific methodology that tries to recreate the temperature and humidity conditions that runners must subsequently support. Wiggins, for example, came to train on the roller inside a greenhouse to prepare the cycling return to Spain. On the other hand is the invisible training, one of the great weapons of Brailsford's Team Sky, focusing on aspects such as rest, emotional impact and even haircut. Dave Brailsford In Team Sky there are more than 80 auxiliaries for a 30 cyclist team. Among the former are technicians whose work is to disinfect the rooms where runners go to eliminate mites and check air conditioning flows. During the past Italy, the team resigned to sleep in hotels to do so in the Motorhome From Team Sky, a spectacular caravan conditioned for a mathematical rest of cyclists where each of the runners had a mattress and a pillow specifically designed for their rest requirements. The obsession for every detail is such that in the Team Sky the hair cut of cyclists is taken into account to measure the efficiency of heat dissipation. Even a few years ago Brailsford hired a psychiatrist specialized in criminal psychopathies to analyze the emotional springs of their runners and control their character at each stage. Nothing is left to random in Team Sky, where everything is controlled, measured and executed with scientific precision. With this Brailsford methodology it has taken a 180 -degree turn in British cycling, incorporating a new paradigm into the cycling preparation inside the squad. (Photos: Team Sky)
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