Cycling Support Profile
Cycling Support Profile
All information correct as of July 2012
Performance Director: David Brailsford
Athletes EIS work with: 86
Investment in EIS services since 2009: £1,012,330.91*
EIS services accessed: Biomechanics, Performance Analysis, Strength & Conditioning, Performance Lifestyle, Physiology, Physiotherapy, Soft Tissue Therapy, Sport Medicine
Hours of support received: 48,346
* Investment figure includes investment in paralympic support as well as Olympic
To view UK Sport Investment Figures for each sport visit the UK Sport website
The EIS team behind British Cycling
The majority of supported provided by the EIS to British Cycling takes place out of the EIS High Performance Centre at SportCity in Manchester, a stones throw from the National Cycling Centre, the home of British Cycling.
The EIS works seamlessly with the British Cycling employed scientists and medical support staff to provide additional support across a number of disciplines.
EIS physiologist Esme Taylor has been doing valuable work with the track team to look at the climate conditions can affect the performances on the track and used the London Prepares Test event to learn from. Data was collected on temperature, pressure and humidity in the velodrome throughout racing as an opportunity to predict what the Olympic environment may be like and look at specific ways of preparing for these variables for the benefit of performance.
“Cold weather from the north means low air pressure whereas around the equator, you can expect the pressure to be high. When those meet, that’s what changes the pressure. Really low pressure outside with a high temperature will create the fastest conditions, and we could get that in a British Summer. If it’s quite stormy then you tend to have quite low pressure. It wouldn’t be nice for everyone outside, but we’d quite like it stormy.” Esme Taylor, EIS Physiologist working with British Cycling
Track sprint and BMX physiologist Jonathan Leeder’s role is to understand the physiological principles behind sprint cycling performance and apply them into training and competition. Jonathan has two main priorities. Firstly, to work closely with coaches to ensure the athletes get the most benefit from each session by providing objective information during training sessions. In addition, he researches novel physiological strategies that may have the potential to improve performances, and importantly can feasibly be applied in real world competition scenarios – he does this through close collaboration with across Performance Analysis, Biomechanics, Strength & Conditioning and Nutrition.
British Cycling has fully embraced the benefits that Performance Analysis and Biomechanics has to offer with EIS analysts working closely with the coaching staff across all disciplines within the sport.
“The performance analyst guys give us the data to understand the events, to be able to measure the parameters that really count and of all the statistics, pick out the numbers that matter. That is an art in itself and I think we have a great team of people who help us with that.” David Brailsford, Performance Director, British Cycling
Chris White, EIS Performance Analyst working with British Cycling refers to the principles of ‘analysis comes first’ which is applicable across the work of the team. ‘Analysis Comes First’ defines the approach taken by all the coaches and entails the full spectrum of PA support provided; race analysis, training monitoring, profiling GB and opposition riders, objective data for selection, high speed technical analysis, biomechanical torque analysis and everyone’s favourite, motivational montages !.
Performance Analysts utilise cutting edge technology and software in order to deliver the right information to British Cycling’s coaching team and being able to adapt software and technology to the requirements it’s used for is a key benefit for the services. The principal software used for performance analysis purposes is Dartfish, with Quintic software being used for biomechanical analysis.
Biomechanical Analysis, in the words of EIS’s Paul Barratt, biomechanist to British Cycling is concerned with understanding the forces that humans produce and the result of those forces.
He says, “The purpose of any sporting activity is for the individual to produce power. What we do is to look for ways in which we can improve power output. The way I look at it is in terms of how people move, how their bikes are set up and looking for ways in which their power output can be increased.
In cycling we are incredibly lucky to be able to measure everything we are able to. You have the force data, which is biomechanics, is called kinetics and the motion analysis is called kinematics. With those two pieces of information, you have most of the data you would need to get to the bottom of the vast majority of issues you would want to address within cycling performance.”
Paul has been working predominantly with the Track Sprint team on day to day analysis and provision and he also works closely with the Research and Development team from British Cycling and UK Sport to look at ways to improve equipment and aerodynamics for the benefit of performance.
The sport also benefits from Performance Lifestyle support, working closely with the athletes, coaches and support staff as part of an integrated team to minimise potential concerns, conflicts and distractions, all of which can be detrimental to performance.
EIS Performance Lifestyle advisor for British Cycling, Jo Harrison says “in order to fulfil the no compromise approach in British Cycling we have to also look beyond the numbers in supporting the individual athlete, the person behind the performance – that is where Performance Lifestyle comes in. I’m concerned with supporting the individual rider in their “off the bike” life in areas such as personal development, planning and organising, managing finances and maintaining important relationships.
“Performance Lifestyle is also concerned with helping athletes to create a future pathway for themselves so that they can continue in their sport for as long as possible, safe in the knowledge that there are options and opportunities waiting for them, when they are ready.
This year in particular, has been about identifying and removing (or managing) potential lifestyle distractions such as media and commercial demands, the appropriate set up of working relationships with agents and providing support around the management of their own friends and family.”
Paul Manning, Women’s Track Endurance Coach said: “The performance lifestyle support Jo has provided the girls has been invaluable in helping to minimise their lifestyle distractions and enabling their focus to stay on performance. Her guidance has allowed the girls to make good decisions with limited impact on their training.”