World Record Performance Using VeloViewer

WorldTour app in use at the Race Across AmericaEndurance cyclists Colin O’Brady and Lucas Clarke smashed the world record for the Race Across America (RAAM) in pairs last week, and we’re delighted VeloViewer played a part in their success. Working with cycling coach Gary Hand from Espresso Cycle Coaching, the team used the VeloViewer WorldTour App to help reach the finish line in record time.

The official new world record in the Race Across America set by the team are as follows:

6 days, 6 hours and 43 minutes
20.33 mph average
Cycling from Oceanside, California to Atlantic City, New Jersey
2064 miles and over 130000 ft of climbing

Race Across America world record breaking team

We spoke to Gary Hand from Espresso Cycle Coaching to uncover the logistics behind this winning partnership, and how the VeloViewer WorldTour App was used to assist in setting the new world record.

How did VeloViewer support the Race Across America world record attempt?

VeloViewer played a key role in our success due to the ability to have the whole RAAM course time station by time station, mile by mile in one place digitally. We used the VeloViewer Live App to identify where on the course our vehicles were exactly located. Using radios and the App we articulated to riders the upcoming terrain, wind and course navigation in real-time. 

However, perhaps one of the most important challenges VeloViewer enabled us to overcome was, as a two man team, to be accurately able to plan, and distribute, information through the team for rider exchange way points. On an individual rider basis we were able to use the App to take into account wind and terrain to predict speeds and distances of rider “pulls”. Once we established a landing zone of where these “pulls” would likely finish, we used VeloViewer to evaluate safe exchange locations through the Google Earth visuals incorporated into the App. 

From our rolling HQ vehicle we synced that information immediately with both Lucas and Colin’s vehicles into their VeloViewer App, making these exchanges safe and aligned with our strategy. VeloViewer was an extremely critical tool for us in the race logistics.

What was your role in the RAAM world record attempt?

My role in the record attempt was primarily as Lucas and Colin’s cycling coach in the year prior to the event, and during the race itself I wore the Coach Crew Chief hat.

I wasn’t in the follow vehicles behind riders but in the RV which we used to oversee the race, and understand what was going on real-time against the previous record, and also analyse rider performance. Combined with the intensity and how the riders are coping, as well as good feedback from the follow vehicle Crew Captain, I could fully understand how the riders were managing in the race, and how hard to push and when not to – a big advantage as a Crew Chief.

Using VeloViewer and having everything in one place, and knowing the follow vehicles were using the same software via the VeloViewer App, was reassuring as we were able to know the exact location of riders and follow vehicles, and how far away they were from the RV. A lot of places did not have the perfect cell signals, but with a good GPS signal VeloViewer allowed us to get eyes on this data.

The WorldTour App also enabled me to put in place real-time waymarkers for rider exchanges. For example, for a rider transition waymarkers could be changed so they knew the exact point for the exchange and to make it most efficient. If the exchange point was on a climb of 4% gradient, moving the dot from one side to the other makes sure the dot doesn’t stop moving as you’re not going to do an exchange where they’re doing 27mph on flat section of road.

As mentioned, the analysis of live weather reports helped me to advise the follow vehicles on recommended set up for the next “pull”. For example, recommending a TT bike with a disc on the rear but without a tri spoke on the front, and a shallow 30, so the rider can cope with cross winds. 

Having been involved in RAAM in 2017 I knew that in the beast that is Race Across America cycling is quite a small part of it, and it involved a lot of logistics, planning and problem solving which VeloViewer were able to help overcome.

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