Movistar Team adds a multidisciplinary work team which will take charge of all areas of riders’ performance
For what will be its third season in the World Tour peloton -the 34th of Eusebio Unzuè’s structure in the pro ranks-, Movistar Team is adding the Cycling Research Center organization (CRC), based in the University of Granada, to its staff. CRC will be responsible for all areas regarding the riders’ performance. Several aspects, such as training, nutrition, biomechanics or psicology will be covered by an expert group of professionals directed by Mikel Zabala PhD, a professor and researcher in Physical Activity and Sport Sciences at the University of Granada, as well as director of the ‘Prevent to win’ (“Prevenir para ganar”) program of the Royal Spanish Cycling Federation, related to education on values for clean sport.
The collaboration agreement between both institutions, according to Zabala, looks forward to apply the sport sciences into the structure: “It means that we will develop an integral work protocol focused on the rider’s performance, with all agents (coaches, doctors, soigneurs, mechanics) working collaboratively. It is meant to evolve a sport like cycling, that has changed in the last few years,” explains Zabala. “Out philosophy is based on teamwork. It’s obvious that the rider is the most important piece in the wheel, but not the only one. To make the rider’s performance optimal, it is necessary to collaborate with the rider, the sports director, the coaches, the doctors, the nutritionist and all other members of a pro cycling team’s staff. We all share interests, and we must walk together. Our labour is to try and get together all those pieces, integrate them so the result is the best possible one.”
Individual, exhaustive attention
The practical application of that way of working means that the 25 riders from the Movistar Team will be controlled and helped in an entirely individual basis: “That way, their performance parameters, including training data, biomechanics, nutrition and psychology will be monitored and used to take the most adequate choices at all times.” Movistar Team will be implementing the same standards of sporting preparation of high-end structures. The 25 Movistar Team riders have been working with these new methods for the 2013 season for the last few weeks. Taking advantage from the first pre-season camp held in mid November in the outskirts of Pamplona, the new work system was presented to the riders, who were assessed with the aim of extracting their batch data biomecanical, nutritional data and sporting habits to define their individual work plans.
Along with Dr. Zabala, a multi-discipline, huge team will cover all areas of performance for the Movistar Team, thanks to the collaboration, from the university side, of some of the most important research groups on the sciente of sport in the world. The working team includes professionals of cycling coaching like Xabier Artetxe, Manuel Mateo, Jorge Sanz or Francisco Cabello, who will take charge of the training and individual monitoring off all riders under the plans established.
According to Eusebio Unzué, Movistar Team general manager, “this agreement is a necessary step on the evolution of cycling, in order that the sciences of sport play the same role that they already do in other sports. It’s putting all resources offered by science and technology at the riders’ service.“