With just one more sleep until the U23 Dutch Time Trial Nationals are back in action, we want to take a deep look at the work that we do together with our performance partner, CyclingLab, on the aero testing and positioning of our riders on the TT bike. Aero and TT specialist, Maarten van Kooij is the one managing the progress, adjustments, and improvements on the position of our main TT riders in order to find a balance between comfort, power, and bike handling.
“To get the best out of a rider in a TT, you need to invest a lot of time. It’s not just one simple bike fit or aero test that will give you the best result. Normally we start with a visual bike fit in the winter months. A lot of our riders already have some experience with bike fitting and TT riding, so for most of them, it’s just a check if we see any red flags. We must not forget that some U23 riders still grow and their bodies are changing over the years. Next to that, we have to work with new equipment. After that, we do a bike fit in our bike fit studio in Amsterdam. We can now fine-tune the position. Once this is set and the riders have done some riding in the new position he comes to us with feedback (Can they hold power while in the aero position? Do they feel ok on the bike?). That, in combination with what we see during our measurements, we can adjust and fine-tune again. If needed, we can do CdA measurements on the velodrome or outside with our mobile CdA device. Next to position, we practice with pacing plans and course recons” points out Maarten van Kooij.
Having the knowledge about TT positioning and how to work and improve it, it’s integral to the development of young bike riders, and that is why at the SEG Racing Academy all riders undergo this process. Regardless of your speciality, being able to ride a fast time trial, or to keep up with the pacing plans is becoming more important in the cycling world.
“It’s very important for a young rider to work on their TT position and TT skills (pacing, warming up, pre-cooling, etc). A lot of stage races have a TT, so if you want to become a competitive rider, you must be able to perform well in a race against the clock. For me, as a coach, the most important thing is that riders must realize that time trialing is an art that everybody can learn. It’s controllable. You make a lot of difference when you try to control what you can control. Check the course, think about pacing, material choice, etc. When riders have these experiences in a young age, they can further develop if they become a professional bike rider”