Communication is mission critical for a professional cycling team; from radio communication between riders and team cars, to organising the logistics involved in racing all around the world in the UCI World Tour. At NTT Pro Cycling we have placed great importance on communication, and recently we had a perfect example of how it can make the difference.
For the Zwift Tour For All we utilised the Rainbow communications platform from our team partner Alcaltel-Leucent Enterprise. During these virtual races the riders and staff members were separated by huge distances, so we needed a way to replicate the close-knit environment of a normal cycling race. For each stage we had two communication "Bubbles"; one for the riders and key members of race staff (Sports Directors & Performance Coaches), and then a second bubble for a wider group where information could be shared without disturbing the in-race communications as the riders were working hard.
We started each stage with a full briefing, just as would happen in any other race, and then we were on-hand to assist riders with their warm-ups, cooling strategies, and nutrition. As the race was underway, communication with the riders was very similar to normal races, with directors and coaches able to give time gaps, tactical information, and motivation to the riders.
Throughout the week of racing we were able to showcase how our team harnesses technology to make the most of the performance of our riders. We ended the Tour for All with the overall win, two stage wins, and multiple podiums and top-10 positions, so it was a great race all-round!