Well hold onto your socks, the UCI just updated a rule to stop pros from getting a bit of a push from follow cars in time trials. Several times in the past few years people have noticed that team cars are driving very close to riders in the individual events, and usually full of way too many spare bikes to seem logical. Many have said there’s no reason for a cyclist to have ten extra bikes in a short time trial. Instead, by stacking the roof rack, it creates a way to give the cyclist an advantage.
In March, for example, Filippo Ganna won the time trial opener of Tirreno-Adriatico . There’s no doubt he’s already one of the best time triallists in the sport, but for some reason his car had 12 spares for just a 14 km test. The reason for that, is most likely to help the cyclist.
According to retired Professor Jørn Hansen from The University of Toronto Institute for Aerospace Studies, the advantage is caused by a “bow wave.” If you’ve ever stood on a subway platform when the train is arriving, you’ll know the feeling of wind coming towards you. A bow wave is the wave that forms at the bow of a ship when it moves through the water. The reason is that there are benefits to having a car ride right behind you, ~3,7% less aerodynamical drag if the car is 3 meters behind the rider according to the work of @realBertBlocken . […]