Amgen Tour of California: Team Dimension Data riders testing new analytic software
In addition to showcasing the Tahoe region and the rest of the Golden State, this year’s Amgen Tour of California will also be a testing ground for new technology.
Team Dimension Data’s title sponsor will field-test new software to livestream team rider data this week as part of the race coverage on social media and the NBC Sports Network broadcast.
“We’re going to be transmitting during the event in real time,” Dimension Data sports practice executive Adam Foster said. “Hopefully it gives another level of understanding of what unbelievable athletes these cyclists are. Television picture alone only tells a small part of the story.”
Through the company’s wireless technology, information being collected includes rider heart rate, speed, power, cadence and position within the race.
According to Dimension Data, the software will also allow live weather and wind conditions for the first time.
“I think those insights are going to be really interesting for the fans,” Foster said.
For Team Dimension Data riders it’s another step in the evolution of cycling, according to team principal Doug Ryder.
“[The team] has used the power of data and analytics to optimize our riders’ performance,” he said in a press release.
“They’ll have real-time understanding of how the rider is performing on the day,” Foster added. “They’ll be able to use it to make informed decisions.”
Last year Dimension Data signed a five-year agreement to be the official technology partner for the company that puts on the Tour de France, Amaury Sport Organisation.
Team Dimension Data will be the only team in the Tour of California using the company’s new software. Whether it will be adopted by the full peloton of the Tour de France has yet to be announced.
“This is technology that we’re working on specifically for our team for now,” Foster said. “We’re looking to learn a lot. This week for us is all about testing in a live environment.”
Data through their current system will be transmitted via mobile data as opposed to radio signals as has been done in the past.
“This is just another step in the right direction for us,” Foster said. “We are firmly committed to helping the sport evolve from a digital standpoint.”
Team Dimension Data joined the UCI WorldTour last year, becoming the first African-based team to compete at cycling’s highest level. The team also signed famed British cyclist Mark Cavendish. Cavendish won multiple stages at last year’s Tour of California and is competing again this year.
Prior to Dimension Data taking over as title sponsor, the team competed in it’s first Tour de France in 2015 as a continental team — MTN-Qhubeka.
Team Dimension Data is on Twitter — @TeamDiData.