Tyler Hamilton's Back Injury
Why would a man who finished last year?s Tour with a broken collarbone abandon the Tour with only a bruise on his lower back?
Roadcycling.com?s Chad Asplund, MD explains why a man who finished the Giro d?Italia with a broken shoulder blade and the 2003 Tour de France with a broken collarbone would abandon the Tour with only a bruise on his lower back. <?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" /?>
Tyler Hamilton abandoned the 2004 Tour de France at the feed station 79K into stage 13 secondary to a back injury. According to a Phonak team spokesman, ?<?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" /?>
Before the start of stage 13,
Why would a man who finished the Giro with a broken shoulder blade (scapula) and last year?s Tour with a broken collarbone (clavicle) abandon the Tour with only a bruise on his lower back? The contusion to his lower back musculature greatly diminished the function of his ?core muscles? and greatly stripped him of his climbing power and ability to ride efficiently and effectively.
These core muscles lie deep within the torso. They generally attach to the spine, pelvis and muscles that support the scapula. When these muscles contract, they stabilize the spine, pelvis and shoulders and create a solid base of support. They are then able to generate powerful movements of the extremities. The core is the foundation for all other movement. The muscles of the torso stabilize the spine and provide a solid foundation for movement in the extremities. If you have poor core function, you lack a solid base of support from which to generate power. This results in an inefficient pedaling form with power loss and improper muscle recruitment.
Your core musculature allows you to transfer power from your arms through your middle to your legs, holding your torso stiff so you can provide maximum power from your quads as you push against the pedals. "You can tell immediately when the core fatigues," Vern Gambetta of Gambetta Sports Training Systems in
?When your core is strong you can climb in bigger gears. A strong core increases your power transfer from your arms to your legs, especially when you're pushing out of the saddle? , says Chris Carmichael, Lance Armstrong's personal coach. Again, the stronger your core, the longer you can ride without fatigue. Andy Pruitt, director of the