Team Australia's Michael Rogers is using a high-tech approach to win a medal in Beijing. When Rogers rode the Good Luck Beijing race last year on the Olympic course, he "had a little pill in his stomach when he was riding the test event, and it was collecting core temperature data to a data logger," according to Australian Institute of Sports physiologist Dr. David Martin.
"This gave an insight to how hot he was actually getting," reported The Australian News. Martin took Rogers' weight to calculate how much he had sweated, and, Martin said, who used the collected data to help to create "cooling strategies" to counteract the expected heat and humidity.
The Australian team – also including Cadel Evans, Simon Gerrans, Matthew Lloyd and Stuart O'Grady – has gathered for a training camp in Varese, Italy, and has been practicing on gradients like a "mini-Beijing course." Head women's "coach Warren MacDonald has gone so far as to even map out the final 800 metres of the road race and the time-trial, which is a really difficult, undulating steep uphill kick to finish the whole thing off," Martin said.
AIS has not forgotten the bikes, nor the athletes' health. The bikes will have "special coatings on the cogs to minimise friction," while the riders will be on a course of probiotics to help their immune systems and prevent intestinal problems. "We populate the gut with a lot of good bacteria in attempts to increase the robustness of the athlete," according to Martin.
The team will stay in Italy as long as possible before flying to China. "They are not there for the Olympic experience," Martin said. "They are there to win a medal." (SW)