Preparing for the time trial: in the wind tunnel with Leah Thomas
We asked Leah Thomas about her experience in the A2 wind tunnel as she prepared for the season. Dialing in her fit, aerodynamics, and power output were all part of the plan for the visit. All words below are from Leah, unless otherwise noted.
Trying to strike a balance between an aerodynamic position and one that is still powerful is what I worked on in the A2 wind tunnel. I feel like we made some significant gains that I am eager to test out on the road, and while there is always more work to be done, I am optimistic and grateful to finally be working in this area and to continue to work on ways to further myself as a time trialist.
There is a cubic relationship between speed and power when it comes to overcoming wind. At higher speeds it is much more important to become aerodynamic. The faster you go, you don’t have to produce twice as much power, but three times as much.
The hard part about the wind tunnel is that each rider is unique and the gains that work for one rider don’t necessarily work for another. Geoff Eaker did a fantastic job leading me through a very systematic process in order to find the places I can experience aerodynamic gains and provided me with a lot of data to take with me at the end of the session.
Geoff Eaker, A2 WIND TUNNEL GENERAL MANAGER, AERODYN TECHNOLOGIES
“At A2 we try a selection of different equipment on the athlete and bike, and make small incremental changes to the athletes position, looking for lower wind resistance which translates into lower wattage output necessary for the athlete to move at the same speed, or more often than not a higher speed with the same wattage output.”
Big thanks to A2 wind tunnel for their support in preparing our athletes to take on the wind. Leah Thomas takes on the U.S. Pro Time Trial National Championships on June 21st, 2018 in Knoxville, TN.