This year’s fifth stage brings us a chance to see a different type of race. A time trial is a type which does not embody the classic group start and is driven along much shorter mileage with average speeds much faster.
The fifth stage starts April 23rd at 2:15 PM, but the rider’s preparation begins much earlier in the day. During morning hours, the team collectively drives down the route and works out a strategy, followed by a large meal. About an hour before take-off, an intensive warm up session starts and in the last half an hour riders climb onto the trainers. The route Poreč – Umag is filled with interesting rolling terrain and passes through the city centres. This kind of a race usually yields average speeds of over 53km/h, with maximum bursts just north of 60km/h.
Such highs speeds would not be even remotely possible without the proper equipment. Bicycles are being mounted with large cogs and with no peloton in the way, it is essential to improve the aerodynamics of the bike and the rider. They even use special handlebars which allow them to take on a more aerodynamic posture on the bike. Helmets are also considerably streamlined. The position of a rider is shifted to the front which is less stable, but much faster. All is subjected to speed in a time trial! (Photo by Bettini Photo)