by Paul Pfotenhauer
California brought world-class cyclists to Davis on Feb. 15 to compete in Stage 1 of America’s most successful cycling race — the Amgen Tour of California.
UC Davis has several connections to this elite international sport including a graduate student ready to go professional and a staff biomedical engineer who assists local cyclists in improving their performance.
But the biggest wheel is Allen Lim, who received his undergraduate degree in exercise science at UC Davis.
These videos tell the story of our affiliations with professional cycling and offer an in-depth interview with Allen Lim.
Lim is now one of the leading coaches in road cycling, as sports physiologist for the Garmin Slipstream team that competes in all the major cycling tours including the Tour de France.
He guided the UC Davis Cycling Team to its first national championship and coached the resident national cycling team at the U.S. Olympic Training Center.
Lim has also coached numerous amateur, professional, and Olympic athletes.
Lim says professional cyclists are the most studied, the most analyzed and the most tested athletes in the world. His educational background at UC Davis gave him the inspiration to use science in all aspects of training, he adds.
A second connection to cycling
Our second connection, Paul Mach, is a doctoral student in applied mathematics. He concentrates his academic efforts on understanding macromolecular structures in computational structural biology.
But when he is not exercising his brain cells in his UC Davis office, Mach is torching his leg muscles on his $8,000 carbon-fiber bicycle.
Mach just signed a contract with the Bissell Pro Cycling team. A former All American collegiate runner, Mach has only been cycling for about 4 years. He says cycling links fitness with tactical precision.
For the past five years, Judd Van Sickle, another UC Davis cycling connection, has gained an incredible amount of knowledge working in the UC Davis Sports Performance Program as a biomechanical engineer doing both bike fittings and performance testing.
He says, metabolically cycling is one of the most demanding and grueling sports.
On the UC Davis home page: Cyclists from the Garmin Slipstream Team power down a Yolo County road, with an entourage of support vehicles in tow. (Ken Zukin/UC Davis video screen capture)
Paul Pfotenhauer is the broadcast specialist in UC Davis News Service, and Ken Zukin is a freelance videographer and amateur cyclist.