ADVANTAGE HOY WHAT GIVES SIR CHRIS HIS EDGE

Technology
Barcelona gold medallist Chris Boardman is head of the cycling team's Secret Squirrel Club. It is their job to seek out any possible technological advantage across the worlds of sport, science, industry, and the military.

Sleep Nutrition
Sir Chris eats 6,000 calories a day. For breakfast it’s cereal, a chopped banana and honey, fruit smoothie, an orange juice, a protein shake and a coffee. Lunch is a meal-replacement shake and dinner is chicken, vegetables and a pasta bake. Team GB’s cyclists sleep on personalised pillows and layered memory-foam mattresses covered by hypo-allergenic sheets. Lighting, and air flow, are controlled as they sleep. Their unique beds have been installed in the athletes’ village. They can be taken apart in 30 seconds and stored in suitcase-sized bags.

Timing
Britain’s cyclists dominated in Beijing, and have dominated here, but it has not been the case in the intervening four years, where the Germans, French and Australians have regularly beaten them. “For us only two weeks matter in the four-year cycle: one week in Beijing and one week here,” said coach Dave Brailsford.

Helmet
Not just a safety feature, helmets can help shave milliseconds off riding times by improving the flow of air over riders’ heads. Team GB’s distinctive red helmets offer no special advantage but certainly help them look the part.

Hygiene
The are obsessive about washing their hands. A cough, cold or other minor ailment might cause an athlete to miss just one or two training sessions, but that could be the difference between leaving with gold – or nothing.

Thighs
Hoy’s monstrous thighs are relatively slender at 27 inches (some riders boast 34 inches or more) and they’re certainly not aerodynamic but in events that rely on power, bulk is king.

AVERAGE MALE
2,550

CHRIS HOY CALORIES A DAY HEIGHT 5ft 9in | 6ft 1in LUNG CAPACITY 6 litres | 8 litres HEATRATE AT REST 64bpm | 33bpm THIGHS 22in | 27in
6,000

Aerodynamic forks
Most teams favour wheels that are snug against the bike’s frame, but Team GB use specially wide “forks”, which apparently allow better air flow around the front wheel.

Wheels
Carbon fibre disc wheels on the back reduce drag while large “aero” spokes on the front do the same. Britain’s wheels have aroused suspicion among the French but the team insists they are standard.

14%

BODY FAT WEIGHT 12st 2lb | 14.5st

5%