BAE boost for British bikers

Cyclist  Ryan Owens tests out the  ergometer
Cyclist Ryan Owens tests out the ergometer
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Aircraft-makers have been helping Olympic hopefuls in their bid for Rio glory this summer.

BAE Systems engineers in Warton have been teaming up with British Cycling to design a device for measuring cyclists power out put on the velodrome.

Sir Bradley Wiggins (right) and Mark Cavendish celebrate after winning the Mens Madison at the Track Cycling World Championships in London this month

Sir Bradley Wiggins (right) and Mark Cavendish celebrate after winning the Mens Madison at the Track Cycling World Championships in London this month

The state-of-the-art system measures the work-rate and energy expended by cyclists and is capable of replicating the centrifugal forces of an indoor race track more accurately than any other testing tool.

The data collected includes gas and blood analysis and enables testing at high speeds to analyse the athlete’s technique. The advanced cycling ergometer was developed as part of the technology partnership between BAE Systems and UK Sport and the easily portable device can be customised for individual riders.

Paul Barratt, lead biomechanist for the Great Britain Cycling Team, said: “Every performance on the world stage requires elite athletes to be at their best. Highly-accurate testing tools such as the cycling ergometer help to ensure athletes are performing at their most competitive.

“BAE Systems has created a portable and accurate system that we believe will be integral to the teams’ training regimes and will help us to achieve our medal winning target at the Rio Games.”

Cyclist  Ryan Owens

Cyclist Ryan Owens

Henry White, BAE Systems’ UK Sport Technology Partnership lead said: “We take great pride in supporting UK Sport and apply the same problem-solving principles and ingenuity to challenges in sport as we do to tackling complex defence and security programmes. The cycling ergometer is a unique system which we hope will boost the success of the British Cycling team and is one of a number of projects on which we are working this year with UK Sport.”

As well as track events, the ergometer can also be used to test the performance of cyclists involved in road events. It has proven instrumental for stars such as Sir Chris Hoy and Sir Bradley Wiggins.

Wiggins and Cavendish tag in their Madison race

Wiggins and Cavendish tag in their Madison race