Velon and RCS Sport today announce a partnership to bring RCS Sport’s most iconic races closer to the fans, using the latest rider performance-tracking technology. This agreement sees the very best professional cycling teams, including Cannondale-Drapac, employing Velon’s data package at some of world’s most exciting races. The two-year deal beings on Wednesday on the opening stage of Tirreno-Adriatico and includd the Giro d’Italia.
The full Velon rider tracking system – showing position, speed, power, heart rate, cadence and acceleration – will transmit data from a number of different riders in each race. For Cannondale-Drapac, time trial specialist Ryan Mullen will carry the Velon data device on the opening and close time trial stages. General classification hopeful Rigoberto Uran will use the data device during all five road stages.
“All the additional insight for fans aside, I like the transparency,” said Mullen. “It’s important to give the fans of this sport an inside view. It gives them a benchmark. They can compare what they’re doing to what we’re doing in real time. It allows them to see for themselves exactly what’s happening beyond the pictures they can see. I see new technology as an important step forward, and I would compare this to what’s been happening in Formula 1 for years. Velon has pushed the sport to adapt and it’s good for fans that teams are embracing it.”
“I’m really excited to hear about this partnership and be a part of broadcasting data from RCS Sport races,” said Paddy Bevin, who used the tracker at RideLondon last year. “It’s a step forward for cycling. We’ve already seen the way these tools bring fans into our races, especially the data. It adds another layer of inclusion and knowledge. We know the demand is out there, and it’s exciting to see seven of the biggest races on our calendar offer additional insight for viewers.
Alongside the 10 Velon teams contributing to the data package, non-Velon teams will also take part in the tracking system so fans are served access to the most complete race picture possible. The plan is, for the 100th edition of the Giro d’Italia in May 2017, to have whole teams providing data for the very first time. This means that race fans worldwide can experience this special edition of the Corsa Rosa in a way no other Grand Tour has ever been seen before.
Graham Bartlett, CEO Velon, said: “This is a landmark partnership for Velon and we look forward to bringing this exciting technology to the great Italian races. The agreement with RCS Sport will bring extended coverage of data and further raise the profile of riders and teams involved, we can’t wait to see the action unfold in Tirreno-Adriatico.”
Paolo Bellino, RCS Sport Managing Director said: “We are very happy to announce this new agreement with Velon, it will allow us to immediately introduce technologies that, through the development of the narrative, will give further value to our races, benefitting all the fans worldwide that follow us on TV and on our digital platforms.”
Mauro Vegni, RCS Sport Cycling Director said: “This agreement with Velon is very important for us because this will improve the overall experience for our fans. The dedicated data graphics to showcase riders’ performances will answer many of the questions that fans always ask themselves while watching this fabulous sport.”
2017 races include: Tirreno-Adriatico, Milano-Sanremo, Giro d’Italia, Milano-Torino, Il Lombardia
2018 races include: Strade Bianche, Tirreno-Adriatico, Milano-Sanremo, Giro d’Italia Milano-Torino GranPiemonte Il Lombardia