As well as the public facing side of VeloViewer which lets us mere mortals view all of our Strava activity history and segment info in lots of engaging and motivational ways, there is also a package offered to the top level men’s and women’s professional cycling teams to help the staff and riders prepare effectively for their races and provide real-time info on the courses during the races themselves. It is currently being used all men’s and women’s WorldTeams along with many ProTeams, Continental, domestic and National teams and also the UK Police and a number of race organisers.
Back in 2015 I heard that the classic VeloViewer 3D profiles were being used by a number of WorldTour team DS’s for race briefings including at Team Sky. For the 2016 season VeloViewer became an Official Supplier to Team Sky as I worked closely with their DS’s to build up the beginnings of my WorldTour package. In 2017 Orica-Scott (men and women) began using the package alongside Team Sky with FDJ and BMC joining them for the 2018 season. Since then the number of teams using the package has increased every year.
Current teams/organisations using the package
All men’s and women’s WorldTeams along with many of the men’s ProTeams and women’s UCI teams. Also used by a number of Continental/development, National and domestic teams across the whole season of professional, national and international competition.
The package is also used by the UK Police, marshals and TV vehicles at major UK races to allow the Police to track live locations of all the race vehicles as well as showing the police/marshals all the hazards that need covering along the courses.
A number of race organisers are also using the package to help with their race preparation, providing teams with more detailed safety information and for use during the race to help race radio, UCI Commissaires and keep track of the location of race vehicles.
So what is it?
The VeloViewer WorldTour package is made up of two main parts:
- Race Hub – A single page that lists all of the team’s races for the season with links to the details of each race/stage. Any number of custom waymarkers can be added to each race/stage to highlight the location of climbs, sprints, feeds, hazards or anything else along the route which will then be displayed in the Live app and can also be exported and loaded onto the rider’s head-units.
- Live App – Designed specifically for use in the team cars, the Live app will run on iOS and Android devices to show you in real-time the upcoming course map and profile, distances to all the configured waymarkers and a multitude of other features created to make the job of the DS easier and more effective. It can also be used to add waymarkers when doing a recon before the race or in the avant course vehicle which will then automatically appear in the Live apps being used in the cars following the riders.
The easiest way to see how it works is to watch this short video. Lots of new features have been added since I recorded it though:
The main benefits for the teams are:
- A single location for all of the team’s races with access for all staff and riders.
- Consistent graphics for all the races across the season removing any mid-race surprises caused by less-than-informative race manuals/graphics.
- Huge time saving for the team DS’s/coaches as I process all of the race routes and keep them up-to-date when the organisers need to make changes.
- All of the teams have agreed to share the race information with each other so once I have received the files for a race from one team, all the other teams doing that race will see the race in their own Race Hubs. It is tricky and time consuming for a single team to chase up each and every race organiser for route information across the season, especially to keep on top of route changes, so this shared approach is of benefit to all of the teams using the package, once again freeing up more time to allow the staff to concentrate on the real planning.
- Reliable elevation/gradient data. As part of the processing of each race, I correct the elevation data of the key climbs and time trials to make sure the gradients are trustworthy so even if a team hasn’t been able to physically recon a route, they can still plan their tactics or pacing strategies effectively.
- TCX export for the rider’s head-unit which includes any number of custom waymarkers added by the team or even the individual rider if a completely bespoke set of info is wanted.
- The Live app is a complete game-changer in the car removing (or at least lessening) the need for paper maps and notes. Everything about the app is designed from the ground up for use in the team car based on the feedback from DS’s and coaches from the WorldTour teams.
- The Live app also provides a “Recon Mode” that allows the adding/editing of waymarkers when pre-driving the course prior to the race or in the avant-course vehicle. It can also be used by team helpers out on the course to add a waymarker to show their exact location that will be automatically sync’ed to the Live apps in the team cars.
The WorldTour package (including the Live app) is available to men’s and women’s teams across all levels along with national teams and race organisers.
For more information please drop me (Ben) an email at firstname.lastname@example.org