Stories of our impact

Bespoke technology proves a winner for TDD

Even those who haven’t spent all summer glued to the Tour de France know that there’s more to cycling than pedalling. When it comes to competitive cycling, race strategies make or break the team. With just milliseconds separating the winners and losers, performance directors are under pressure to make split-second decisions in the heat of the moment.

But with so many factors influencing the result – weather, crashes, riders breaking from the peloton – how can teams make sure these decisions are based on more than just guesswork? Find out how we’re helping to give professional cycling team Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka (TDD) a competitive advantage through our in-race technology solutions.

Smart cycling is in

We've been working alongside TDD to develop a data analytics technology solution that can help the team to make critical decisions during a live race environment. This move towards ‘smart’ cycling is centred around the creation of two applications, Deloitte Smart Map and Deloitte RaceMonitor, which work together by collating and analysing open-source data. TDD’s performance director can see this data on an easy-to-use platform accessed using a tablet or laptop.

The apps analyse hundreds of different datasets, from athlete performance to competitor tactics and course conditions. Understanding what to do in all these varying scenarios is vital. What happens if there is a crash? What should the team do if certain riders break away from the peloton? What if it rains or the wind picks up? Our analytics tool allows TDD’s performance directors to track any changes and make fully informed, strategically driven decisions.

On yer’ bike

The technology has been used at various tour events throughout this year including the Tour de France, where TDD produced one of the most memorable victories of 2017, with a little help from our smart cycling technology.

Stage 19 came down to a nine-rider duel on the last 3km stretch. After a 220km slog, the turning point of the race came at the final roundabout. The riders all went with their instinct and turned left, but TDD’s Edvald Boasson Hagen turned right, based on the data from Deloitte Smart Map communicated to team just moments before. Turns out it was the correct decision, as he immediately had a ten-metre advantage – all it required was a quick burst of pace and a sprint to the finish line to claim TDD’s first win of Le Tour.

Doug Ryder, team principal of TDD, commented: “I have been so impressed by the capabilities that Deloitte has brought to our team and we have already seen the positive impact it has had on our training and race performance. We truly believe that Deloitte’s ability to deliver a real time solution enabled by cutting-edge technology will contribute greatly to our success as we continue to build a world-class team.”