“Bucket! Bucket for Matt!”
Team Sky trains to win. That much was clear as Matt Stephens of the Global Cycling Network hopped on a Wahoo Fitness KICKR alongside the four-time Tour de France champions to run through a grueling 30-minute session. Team Sky’s training facility located in Mallorca, Spain is a cyclist’s paradise; winding roads, dynamic mountainous terrain, and mild winters provide Team Sky with the environment needed to push themselves to the limit in the off-season.
While beautiful, Mallorca isn’t a vacation for these riders. It’s a battleground to test their off-season fitness and prepare for the upcoming races. But why use home trainers when there’s an island outside? Tim Kerrison, head of Team Sky’s Athlete Development, said it’s critical to winning on the road.
“Investing a little bit of time in warming up actually helped the riders to recover and start the next day in better shape. Warming up and warming down’s really an important part of what we do in races,” says Kerrison.
Then there’s the consistency. Sudden rain storms, route detours, or poor tracking can ruin a training session. The KICKR boasts pinpoint accurate power indoors and keeps Team Sky cycling at peak performance. Does accurate training actually improve race day performance?
“Ah, most definitely,” Ian Boswell of Team Sky says with a smirk.
For others, it’s just a matter of preference. John Dibben, Team Sky team member who doubles as a Track World Champion, prefers a home trainer to the rollers others use to warm up. That added resistance on his KICKR is what gives him the early lead.
“Especially for a Team Pursuit, you know, the start of a time trial,” says Dibben, “you need your big power straight away, and the only way we could do that is by getting some resistance in the warm up.”