The top riders of Team CSC will take up the opportunity of their stay in California to improve their time trial skills in the wind tunnel in San Diego on February 16. Carlos Sastre, Fränk Schleck and world time trial champion Fabian Cancellara are scheduled to for a series of tests intended to check the riders' time trialling position, aerodynamics and effectiveness.
For Sastre, it will be the second time in the wind tunnel. "We already went through this in 2003 and got a lot of improvements out of it," he said. "This time, three of our sponsors will be joining us to see the influence on aerodynamics of the new materials they designed for us, and maybe improve it if needed. We'll work on our aerodynamics, always keeping in mind the power output, which is obviously the most important thing."
In the wind tunnel, the air flow is designed to test not only the cyclists' position, but also that of the bike components. "The simulation takes place in a straight line, and the wind blows with the same intensity as if we would ride at 40 km/h on our bike," Sastre continued. "The wind always blows from the front, to see the aerodynamic progression, but they also test the different materials from the side to see their resistance."
Contrary to what some cycling fans may believe, the Spanish stage race contender explained that wind tunnel testing wasn't actually hard on the legs. "You can't put in any effort, because the cadence must be 40 rpm. It's only about aerodynamics; later on they do field tests to see the results of the new settings," added Sastre, who hopes that the check-up will make him improve his time trialling skills further in view of his season goals, the Tour de France and the Vuelta a España.