With the team time trial ( TTT) taking place on Monday in Cholet, the focus for the teams and their riders will not only be on their power meter numbers but also on ensuring they are as efficient with power and as aerodynamic as possible.
In the lead up to the race, Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka participated in several test sessions using Garmin’s innovative TAS system to help them in their efforts to evaluate their aero performance as a group.
“With the margins nowadays so slim, the real next frontier is in figuring out how to make yourself more aerodynamically efficient.” – Andy, Ph.D. in Aerospace & Mechanical Engineering, Garmin.
Using the system, the team is able to analyze the riders’ coefficient of drag (CdA) as they ride, allowing them to determine the optimal position and equipment combination for both the riders and their bike — ultimately improving their performance. By turning data into aerodynamic performance insight, our ultimate goal is to make Team Dimension data for Qhubeka faster.
Dr. Jonathan Baker, team coach, has been working with Garmin and our velodrome aerodynamics testing during the 2018 season in order to focus on 3 key aspects:
- Position on the road and time trial bikes
- Equipment testing, e.g. effects of different wheels
- Education of riders as to how to position their bodies in different race situations, e.g. what speed does a tucked aero position become beneficial on a climb
“Time-trials are certainly about finding the right balance between aerodynamics and power production to maximize the speed over a given course. Having accurate aerodynamics data (CdA) for a rider is critically important when modeling the equipment and pacing options for the event. Once these things are known, we are able to set up specific training to prepare the riders for the event.”
With elite riders like Mark Cavendish keen to make his impact on this year’s race after crashing out during stage 4 in 2017’s race and an eventful performance in Italy back in March, every marginal gain the team can make during the TTT will help set them up for the challenging 3 weeks ahead. Follow the team’s performance on Facebook or @teamdidata on Monday to see how they #BeatYesterday.