Stayer Shadows

One of the more intriguing parts of watching the six-day race was watching the motor pacing.

It’s an art that has pretty much all but died out.  Except here in Germany.

The concept is simple, ride behind a motorcycle for the requisite amount of laps, working in concert with the motorcycle driver to keep a manageable pace.

Meaning 65kph/40mph.  Covering 25km (15mi) in about 35 minutes.

On a bicycle.

These guys are pushing some massive, massive gears.

For the bike geeks out there, the frame starts out as a standard track bike, but they turn the fork around so that there’s negative rake (so they can get closer to the motorcycle), then swap out the 700c front wheel for a 600c (same reason).  Due to the forces generated, the chainring is beefed up significantly and a support system is built to support the stem so that the handlebars don’t snap off during the race.

It’s all quite impressive.

For a good read on the bike technology, click here.

Stayer Shadows

Speaking of impressive, the last three laps had the top three riders (and their motorcycles) going three-wide into the turns and along the straightaways.  At a clip a fair bit quicker than 40mph.

To get a feel for it, here is the 1993 World Championships, the second-to-last time that this event was held at that level.

Luckily we did not see any crashes last night.  The velodrome was concrete.

3 thoughts on “Stayer Shadows”

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