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:: 20 / 05 / 10 :: Alberto Contador studies his position in the wind tunnel
Alberto Contador spent Wednesday, May 19 doing studies in the Epsilon Euskadi wind tunnel, a state-of-the-art facility that is considered one of the world's best. The wind tunnel is located in the Álava Technological Park near Vitoria in Basque Country.
Contador's objective in over four hours of testing was to evaluate the performance of new equipment and to find ways to improve the aerodynamics of his position on the bicycle in races against the clock. “I'm happy with my results, but trying to improve is always important, you have to do as much work as possible along these lines,” said Alberto. “It was a long day and it's cold during the tests, but it's worth the effort.”
The Epsilon Euskadi wind tunnel is the first commercial facility of its kind in Spain. It was constructed in 2009 as part of the Centre for Technological Innovation of Ávala at Miñano, which houses Epsilon Euskadi's research division and is home to the company's training school for Formula One drivers.
The wind tunnel is said to look like a giant pipe 150 metres in circumference suspended from metal beams. It's powered by a 1,000 horsepower motor capable of generating a deafening air flow of nearly 270 kilometres per hour.
Up-to-date technology allows for fine precision in measurement, especially a “rolling surface” feature that's a crucial tool in reproducing with reliability the effects of air on test subjects. This makes it the ideal place for cycling equipment tests which have, for lack of alternatives, previously been done in the USA.
By using scale models, the new wind tunnel can perform aerodynamic analysis on virtually any object: trains, planes, cars or even buildings. The size of the chamber accommodates competition car models at up to 60% scale.