Thursday, June 1, 2023

“A total time saving of between ten and twenty seconds”: was Pogacar helped by race management on the Amstel Gold Race?

We are not going to lie to each other, Tadej Pogacar has crushed everything since the start of the season and its new victory on Sunday 16 April in the Amstel Gold Race proved it again. However, the double winner of the Tour de France is at the heart of a controversy. On the live images we can see the UAE Emirates rider very close to the car of the Amstel race director, probably taking advantage of an aspiration. If he probably did not need this to win, the time saving would be significant according to Bert Blocken, professor of physics and specialist in aerodynamics, interviewed by the Belgian media

“Riding in the suction 2 meters behind a car reduces air resistance by 65% ​​and can save 36 seconds per kilometer. (…) Pogi did not stay so close to the car for so long. However … It had a big impact. In the final, he was able to ride very close behind the race director’s car and a motorcycle (of a press photographer, editor’s note) for at least two minutes, with a distance varying between ten and forty meters. I estimate the total time saving between ten and twenty seconds.”

As L’Equipe analyzes, if we look at the live images and the various gaps displayed, we see a gap of 23 seconds 9.7 km from the line and 31 seconds, at the foot of the last bump, the Bemeleberg, 7.2 km from the finish, just after the car episode when Healy seemed to be faster according to Stavia data.

The justifications of the race director

“I heard the criticisms” explained Leo van Vliet on Sunday evening on the podcast In Hel Wiel. We were driving behind Pogacar and at one point Healy got closer, so we had to pass. I know the route, it’s getting narrower and narrower. When we overtook (Pogacar), we had to be careful because the road was not very wide. If someone takes a picture and a car runs over them… What am I supposed to do?


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Latest article