From tdf.olntv.com...

This note about Petacchi is unbelievable. They were averaging about 44 km/h and his heart rate is this damn low. Amazing. Yes he has huge assistance from the draft, but this still blows me away.

13 H 54 - Petacchi Riding At 36 Per Cent of Maximum Heart-Rate
The winner of yesterday's stage, Alessandro Petacchi, is riding in the middle of the peloton. His heart-rate is currently 63 beats per minute. His maximum is 201bpm... the shelter he is given by those around him is allowing him to ride at just 36 per cent of his maximum.

How cool is this? Domestiques are the bomb!!

16 H 16 - Yellow Jersey Collecting Drinks...
The work ethic of Victor Hugo Pena is impressive. Despite the fact that he's wearing the prized yellow jersey of race leader, the US Postal rider has dropped back to the team car to collect drinks for his colleagues.
Reading this I had to think of the "Forty percent of people can't calculate fractions. Darn, that's more than half of us" joke. 63 bpm out of 201 looks like less than 36% to me, so who knows which one of the three numbers is incorrect.

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Gerard Vroomen
3T.bike
OPEN cycle
I'm thinking only one of the three is correct...201. As far as the 36% of maximum statement, that's obviously incorrect. 63/201 isn't 36%, but, that wouldn't be how you figure this anyway.

Since his lowest HR isn't ZERO (unless he's on cardiopulmonary bypass and his heart has been arrested purposefully), use the ZERO point as his lowest resting heartrate. Let's guess and say it's 35.

Therefore his HR range is from 35 to 201, which is a difference of 166. 63-35 would be 28, therefore 28/166 would be the correct % of maximum. This is 16.9% of maximum.

Anyway, HR monitors aren't always exactly accurate...I know these guys aren't like normal humans, but I'm thinking his HR may have been higher than 63...even though he was being sheltered in the middle of the pack, unless they were going downhill. Suffice it to say that these guys are in fantastic aerobic conditioning...trying to put a number on it is difficult, I don't know why some announcer even tried.

Quid quid latine dictum sit altum videtur
(That which is said in Latin sounds profound)