We caught up with Rod Ellingworth, Director of Racing at INEOS Grenadiers, to explain the importance of testing for the team.
“As a team, we have to continually improve every aspect of our operations and performance. Testing and data are absolutely critical to that. In the highly competitive world of elite sport, if you stop moving forwards, you risk finding yourself on the back foot.
“Riders train and push themselves year round to prepare for a Grand Tour. The team uses a range of fitness and medical tests and training methods to ensure we always have a comprehensive understanding of where the riders are at, and where they need to be. We constantly look at their fitness, health, nutrition, speed and power outputs through our data capture at training camps and preparation races.”
Ellingworth added: “For the Tour de France, the majority of our squad travels to Tenerife for an altitude training camp in May. These will be some of the hardest training blocks that the riders will undergo all year. It enables them to train to their limits at altitude and to target their ideal power to weight ratio, which is critical for a three-week endurance race like the Tour.
“In addition, the races leading into a Grand Tour are very important, both for looking at riders’ physical condition and the data we get from the power and other monitoring tools we use, but also to check in on their commitment to the teams’ objective.”
The riders aren’t the only key members of the team where preparation and testing oneself is important.