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Saturday, 4 May 2013

Germain Burton Returns to Bespoke Cycling

After coming in February, this week saw Olympic Development Squad rider Germain Burton come back into Bespoke Cycling to work on his time trial position ahead of the Junior Peace Race, part of the Junior Nations Cup, in the Czech Republic.

Germain's saddle was a little low but the hard part of this fitting was that we were restricted by the UCI regulations which state that the saddle can be no more than 50mm behind the bottom bracket. Germain is quite short and limiting how far forward Germain can sit means that his hip angle was getting too closed over the top of the pedal stroke. If he was a triathlete, I'd push the saddle as far forward as I could to open up the hips but due to the regulations, we needed to utilize a different solution.

I showed Germain the position comparison between Brad and Andy that I did last year. In my opinion, the big difference between the two is that Andy is sitting on his saddle like a road bike (in the middle) while Brad is perched on the end of the nose. While this isn't the most comfortable place to sit, it opens up the hips and allows you to ride with a flatter back.

Above is a comparison of Germain's position after I had raised his saddle and made sure his saddle was smack bang on the 50mm limit. Sitting on the nose of the saddle allowed Germain to have the elbow pads supporting his body weight rather than on his fore arms. It also allowed him to hold the bars further forward and punch a smaller hole through the air. The head is one of the most unaerodynamic parts of the body so I taught Germain to drop his chest towards his bars and duck his head in front of his shoulders. This makes the air part around the head and better flow round the shoulders.

We're pleased to report that Germain had some great performances in the Junior Peace Race. He won the bunch sprint for 7th on stage 1, finished 21st out of 109 riders (and 2nd Brit) in the time trial and won stage 2b. On the last stage, he lead out Chris Lawless from 500m out and still hung on for 10th!!! Congratulations to Germain, he's certainly one to keep an eye on.

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