At the start of February several Team Giant-Shimano riders headed to the track at Apeldoorn to perform some early-season aerodynamic testing to fine tune their time trialling positions. The riders involved were Warren Barguil (FRA), Lawson Craddock (USA), Tom Dumoulin (NED), Chad Haga (USA), Tobias Ludvigsson (SWE), Georg Preidler (AUT) and Kirsten Wild (NED) from the women’s team.
The goal of the session was to find each rider’s most aerodynamic position on his or her new Giant Trinity Advanced SL time trial bikes. The test involved each rider doing two laps at a set speed before accelerating for a lap and riding another two laps at a higher speed.
This was continued until they had done two laps at six different speeds, each using an SRM power meter to measure what wattage it takes to hold each speed. After calculating the frontal surface of the riders, make some changes to improve their position and see if it improves the riders power output.
Science expert, Teun van Erp (NED) performed the testing, together with some of the team trainers and experts, and said: “The track testing day was really productive for everyone and six out of eight of them made improvements to their position and power output which will mean quicker times when racing.
“Kirsten Wild for example managed to shave off 13 watts at 50km/h, and Warren Barguil improved by 11 watts.”
Technical research and development expert, Tom Davids (NED) said: “With some riders we won a lot and others we barely changed their position. For example Warren Barguil already had a very aero position so we tried a different shaped Uvex TT helmet which suits him better when in an aero position.
“For Tom Dumoulin we copied his position over from last year’s bike to the new Giant Trinity Advanced SL and after testing different changes we ended up adjusting his bar height slightly, gaining him some watts. It’s now important for all the riders to get used to their new positions so our trainers will add some more time trial training into their schedules for this.”
We saw the results of a combination of this scientific work together with some hard winter training on Sunday when Ludvigsson won the final time trial at the Étoile de Bessèges, taking the overall GC with it.
To see a video of the track day, click here.