Friday, 5 November 2010

Winter tips - Yaraslav Popovych

While some parts of Asia are basking in the sun, others are starting to freeze up or become submerged by heavy rains. We asked Pro Tour ace Yaraslav Popovych what he does when it just keeps raining...

Yaraslav in 2 minds...
When to and when not to ride is always a tricky subject; some riders blindly go out in any weather, and crash on ice or catch cold, while others are more selective. Personally I hate the rain, so avoid it at all costs, which is not always possible given our ever-wettening climate.
If it’s dry then anything above -3 degrees is generally acceptable, as long as you wrap up, but don’t forget to take the wind chill factor into account. Many top pro’s will have a thermometer outside their garage, helping them to judge the extent of the cold, if you do this then keep it out of the sun. In extreme cold you should always be aware of ice, avoid the minor roads, and watch out when riding under shade and keep away from the edges of the road.
Cold and wet is probably the worse combination; and in general many top riders will allow for 2 days of not riding, and then if it doesn’t pick up they will venture out, but generally keep things moving and at a slightly higher level and for a shorter period. Hanging around in these conditions is not advisable. If it shows no sign of easing up then an indoor trainer is a wise option. Weather is also often localised, and a 20-minute car ride can often take you out of the rain belt, and that time can be saved in bike cleaning and extra washing time alone!

NB Yaraslav was summonsed to appear before a grand jury in the USA yesterday regarding the alleged doping case against former team mate Lance Armstrong - he testified that he had seen no doping, or sign of doping at Astana, USP, or any other team he'd been on.