Ladies Road Race, London 2012.
Giorgia Bronzini flatted early on and eventually made it back in the field. Multiple crashes on the slick roads, the field stringing out on the narrow roads. Kristin Armstrong spending some time at the back of the field, with about 75 km to go, performing what appeared as a trunk pelvic roll off the saddle. She would crash later on, and got nailed on her thigh by a front wheel while on the ground. Evelyn Stevens performed a solid Sidebend Hip Hike off the saddle, bridging to Emma Pooley (Great Britain). Repeated attacks by the Dutch team and Marianne Vos on the climb.
In time a break with Shelley Olds (USA), Marianne Vos (Netherlands), Lizzie Armitstead (Great Britain) and Olga Zabelinskaya (Russia). Shelley Olds performing a trunk roll along with a hike, Armistead seemed to restrict the roll to the pelvis. The group worked very well together building a 33 sec lead when Olds experienced a flat, returning to the field. The break would stay away and the field was unable to bring them back in the rain; some of the athletes who could have chased may have be well bruised, fatigued and half frozen, it was a very active race throughout. A nice job with the camera work.
O. Zabelinskaya performing quite a steady TPR off the saddle (15 mi to go), though she would be skipping turns in the break and seemed to bounce somewhat off the saddle with 1 km to go, and would not contest the sprint (Bronze medal). M Vos also seemed slightly out of control when off the saddle for brief moments.
The Cancellara corner proved slippery for the ladies as well, the rider in the lead lost and saved the front wheel slide, no one fell down.
With 8 km to go, Vos encounters a few bumps on the road, popping the pelvis off the saddle, and her movement pattern continuing in spite of that. Vos (Gold medal) took the sprint over Armistead (Silver medal); Vos appeared to bounce a bit off the saddle though the overall sense is that of a very precise sequence (sidebend hip hike) from the helicopter view from behind, though there is a built in drop of the pelvis towards the end of each pedal stroke (more so in climbing). So, provided the events are well timed and orchestrated with the path of the crankarms, it’s a good day. There was another view from above and ahead, which looked very interesting but it was too short for a good feel of the movement. Armistead appeared somewhat disorganized off the saddle on the sprint. In retrospect, Shelly Olds would have had an excellent opportunity to medal, misfortune.
The point of these observations is that the movement pattern is one major substantive reason for a quality performance, whether the need is to ride tempo, climbing or sprinting. By comparison, amateur performances would likely be unstable on the climbs and experience poorly developed movement patterns otherwise. The second feature is tactics, and the options that movement patterns allow, and impossibility for those who rely solely on the legs. The race was a good overall display of tactics and skilled performance from the ladies, good for television, so it begs the question: why not pick one race a year that is televised and highlighted?