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Giant-Alpecin to Accelerate Innovation Projects with Delft University

Team Giant-Alpecin is pleased to announce its science-based partnership with Delft University of Technology (TU Delft). The German-licensed team recognises the importance of technology and science in its constant search for improvement. The partnership will be focused on innovation projects, the first projects started early in 2015.

Team Giant-Alpecin Performance Manager Jorn Knops (NED) said: “We are very pleased with our cooperation with TU Delft and we are happy to formalise this cooperation into an innovation partnership. So far, our projects resulted into valuable and satisfying results and insights.

“There is a lot of potential in applying fundamental scientific knowledge into the daily practice of elite sports in general and professional cycling in particular. It has been hugely motivating to work together and we are looking forward to further intensify and extend our cooperation in the near future, with the aim of improving our performance.”

Broad range of TU Delft’s disciplines involved in partnership
“Within TU Delft we hold a significant amount of fundamental scientific knowledge,” explained Dr. Daan Bregman (NED), coordinator of the TU Delft Sports Engineering Institute. “We strive to apply our knowledge in several different disciplines within the field of sports science, and cycling is one of those areas. A year and a half ago we came in contact with Team Giant-Alpecin, a cycling team acting on the highest international level and really open to adding more science to their team to further improve performance.

“A unique facet about our partnership is the diversity. It’s not only a cooperation between a professional cycling team and a university; within the university a range of different disciplines are involved, from mathematics and informatics to aerospace engineering.”

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Four innovation projects
So far, there are four projects to offer a decisive advantage over competition. One is the “sensorbike”, aiming to analyse braking behaviour and the way to corner ideally, with the analysis being used to improve the individual riders’ descending skills. Another is data science, where all training and racing data of riders are scientifically analysed, by the use of advanced statistical modeling and data analysis techniques, offering valuable new insights.

The third project touches the areas of mathematics and informatics, and concerns the optimisation of power distribution – how a rider can optimally ride and how this correlates to the correct choice of equipment. And last but not least, aerodynamics, based on how to optimise the rider’s clothing and position on the bike in order to reduce air resistance. TU Delft uses a wind tunnel and advanced measuring techniques.

Speed up innovations and bring expertise to next level
“This cooperation with such a leading university is crucial and extremely valuable to us in meeting our goal of getting a competitive advantage and making a difference,” said Team Giant-Alpecin’s Scientific Expert Teun van Erp (NED). “We started working on analysing power data together with smaller projects four years ago. It always has been our aim to cooperate with a big university such as TU Delft, which has the resources and knowledge needed to speed up our innovations and bring our expertise to the next level.

“The partnership is unique because it allows us to focus on very specific projects and it offers us access to many specialised faculties containing very specific knowledge and input. Obviously it is not possible for a sports organization to have all such science and knowledge in-house. So far it has already brought us new insights and has resulted in some great results with the ‘sensor bike’, data analysis and in aerodynamics, and we are ready for the next step.”

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