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MORI, Italy (VN) — Ramunas Navardauskas (Garmin-Sharp) might have raised his hands in error yesterday after crossing the line second, but there’s no doubt that the Lithuanian is coming out as one of the revelations of this year’s Giro d’Italia.
The 25-year-old Lithuanian has been on a tear in the second half of the Giro. Once Garmin lost its GC options with the departure of an ill Ryder Hesjedal, the team cut him loose.
Navardauskas quickly delivered, winning stage 11 out of a breakaway. Over the past two days, he claimed bunch sprints in stage 16 for fourth and stage 17 for second, respectively.
“It’s been a very good Giro for me. I am very happy,” Navardauskas told VeloNews. “It’s a very big step to win the stage. What we are doing here is good. We still hope to show some things in the coming days.”
His Giro victory, coupled with a stage win at the Tour de Romandie, has confirmed what everyone inside the Garmin organization already knows.
“This Giro has shown Ramunas how good he is,” said Garmin sport director Charly Wegelius. “I think it’s an open book. There’s not a lot he cannot do in cycling. Maybe he’s a little bit big to get over huge mountains, but there are plenty of things to keep him busy.”
The 6-foot-3 Navardauskas had an impressive under-23 career, capped by a victory in the espoirs Liège-Bastogne-Liège while racing with Velo Club La Pomme Marseille in 2010.
Garmin picked him up in 2011 and surprised many when the team tapped him to race the Tour that same year. He proved an able teammate, helping motor the squad to the team time trial victory and the team GC prize, and made it to the finish line in an impressive grand tour debut.
Last year, Navardauskas snagged the pink jersey when Garmin won the team time trial in stage 4 of the Giro before helping pace Hesjedal to win the overall. Later in the season, he rode to second overall at the Tour of Denmark to confirm his promise as a stage racer.
Wegelius said the future is bright for Navardauskas, who can also do well in the classics, time trials, and shorter stage races.
“He’s got a huge engine. Hopefully he realizes how good he is. There are a lot of one-week stage races he could win, perhaps a Milano-San Remo, or a world championships,” Wegelius said. “I hope that the fact that he is such a nice guy doesn’t get in the way of his ambition. He is always the first to come back to get water bottles.”
Navardauskas has helped raise the spirits of his stricken Garmin teammates, who have been hobbled by crashes, illnesses, and otherwise bad luck.
“This year, it’s just been bad luck from the beginning. Our silver lining is the ‘honey badger,’” said Peter Stetina. “It’s all about Ramunas, it’s pretty amazing.”
Navardauskas picked up the nickname a few years ago when a youtube video was going viral.
“It was during the Circuit de la Sarthe. The ‘honey badger’ video went viral at the same time, and he was just doing ridiculous stuff that defied all logic of strength, and it just caught on,” Stetina explained. “We started calling him the honey badger. It still fits to this day.”
For Navardauskas, the future is bright. Even he doesn’t know where the roads will take him.
“I have no idea, actually. I can do everything OK. You never know when the legs are going to be good,” he said. “I am trying to help the team, to get into breakaways, to try to win a stage. I am trying to do my best. You never know when is your day. You have to try to take the chance.”
Navardauskas certainly lives up to his nickname. He’s not afraid of much.
- repost from USA Cycling Referee Marijn Braadbaart
Posted 21 May 2013 - 05:23 PM
That was an interesting race (Ofallon Crit) and I am amazed at how many people race without having ever having looked at the rules. This is the interpretation of the USAC rulebook per the people who wrote the rule-book and who resolve disputes about rules interpretations:
1) Once the break (leaders) have caught (lapped) the field, then the entire field (break-away riders and original field) can race together just as they did when they started their first lap from the starting gun.
2) OTOH, you can NOT drop back from the field and wait for your team-mate who is in a break, and then help your team-mate lap the field. You can sit on his wheel, but you can't help him. Once he laps the field (on his own or with the other breakaway riders) then item 1) above applies.
Them's the rules. I'm planning on doing a quick explanation of the "lapped rider" rules next time I'm reffing Tue Night Worlds.
- Please join Granada Cyclery this Saturday for the 2nd training ride in it's training event series. The ride rolls out @ 9:30, which includes 23 and 53 mile routes to choose from in the low traffic rolling roads of the St.Paul area in St. Charles county. This is a No drop ride, all abilities welcome(helmet required) Support vehicle out on route, free food and drinks post ride. For more information please visit www.granadabicycle.net or call 636 936 2453.
All the very best in everything you do!!
- Raleigh is sending one lucky person out to DealerCamp in Utah this July to check out the goodies being presented, and to get VIP treatment at their Midsummer Night’s ’cross race. You’ll get the chance to ride their latest bikes, visit with pros like Ben Berden and Caroline Mani from the Raleigh-Clement team and enjoy [...]
Normally we don’t compare data between men and women because it can be like comparing apples to oranges, but we decided to make an exception this time when two world-class cyclists and time trialers shared their data with us after racing the same course on the same day.
Spanish rider Juan Antonio Flecha (Vacansoleil-DCM) shared his Powertap data and American Alison Powers (NOW-Novartis for MS) has shared her SRM data from the 19.75-mile course through San Jose, Calif. It was stage 6 in the men’s Amgen Tour of California.
An initial comparison of their data is below.
Powers’ TT summary
Result: 56:45, 2nd place, 56 seconds behind the winner
309 Average Watts
93.4 Training Stress Score (TSS)
313 Normalized Power (NP)
185 bpm Average Heart Rate
89 rpm Average Cadence
21 mph Average Speed
Flecha’s TT summary
Result: 51:15, 14th place, 2:23 behind the winner
413 Average Watts
158 bpm Average Heart Rate
81 rpm Average Cadence
23.2 mph Average Speed
Other than the obvious differences in that Flecha was putting out more watts and completed the course 5:30 faster, there are definitely some interesting comparisons to make.
One could argue that Powers actually did a slightly better job at pacing after comparing the two VI (Variability Index) values. VI examines the ratio of Normalized Power (NP) versus average power for a ride, and the resulting value shows how steady or constant the power output for an effort was. A VI of 1.0 (NP equals average power) indicates a perfectly steady effort, and most skilled time trialers will have a VI figure lower than 1.05. For more context, a VI for a road race full of surges, attacks and varying terrain may be in the range of 1.2 (though this can vary widely depending on circumstances).
Powers completed the TT course with a VI of 1.01 while Flecha logged a 1.03 VI. Both demonstrated excellent pacing, but Powers really nailed it with close to a “perfect” 1.0.
Flecha opted to ride his time trial bike the entire race, while Powers changed to a road bike for the final climb up Metcalf. After the race, Powers felt that the bike change worked to her advantage because the climb was so steep (900 feet in elevation change over 1.9 miles), and the road bike allowed her to ride in a more comfortable position.
For the section prior to the final climb, Powers spun just a little more than Flecha with a higher average cadence of 89 rpm vs. Flecha’s 81 rpm. However, on the final climb, both ground it out at a similar cadence: 63 rpm for Powers vs. 65 rpm for Flecha.
Powers’ Metcalf climb
321 Average Watts
191 bpm Average Heart Rate
63 rpm Average Cadence
8.7 mph Average Speed
Flecha’s Metcalf climb
439 Average Watts
163 bpm Average Heart rate
65 rpm Average Cadence
10.3 mph Average Speed
Although Flecha had the higher average speed overall (23.2 mph vs. 21 mph), Powers had the higher maximum speed. She hit 44.6 mph on the technical, challenging descent while Flecha topped out at 42.3 mph. Powers comes from a downhill ski racing background and she definitely put those skills to work!
Overall, both riders had great time trials while demonstrating excellent pacing, technique, and strength.
Editor’s note: Thanks to TrainingPeaks.com, we are looking at two riders’ power data from stage 6 of the Amgen Tour of California. Today, Shawn Heidgen, a USA Cycling certified coach, former professional cyclist, and Education Specialist at TrainingPeaks, recaps the data from the eight-day race. For more, follow Shawn on Twitter.
- by Molly Hurford In anticipation of Issue 21 of Cyclocross Magazine with our huge women’s feature, we’re taking a look at some of the kit and gear options out there for women these days. The fashion spectrum has improved drastically over the years, and finally companies are making clothing for women, not just taking men’s [...]