Three national titles after working with Aerodynamicist Dan Bigham
After the last of the 2018 national road champions were decided yesterday, CANYON//SRAM Racing riders came away with three new titles and four podiums. Alena Amialiusik claimed her fifth road title and sixth individual time trial (ITT) title when she took the double at the Belarusian championships. While Hannah Barnes won her first British ITT title in Kirkley Hall, UK.
“I’m very happy to be back in the Belarus national champion colours in both the ITT and road,” said an elated Amialiusik. “The road race yesterday was in really tough conditions, 7 degrees and heavy rain all throughout the race. It was a challenge for everyone but I’m really happy with the win,” said the 29 year old after soloing to the line with more than one minute advantage.
While Hannah Barnes will also wear her British champion colours in the next ITT races, there were very strong performances from many of CANYON//SRAM Racing’s riders over the last two weekends. Alice Barnes stormed to second place in the British ITT, while Trixi Worrack and Lisa Klein stepped on the podium in the German ITT championships in second and third respectively. Christa Riffel added to the tally when the 19 year old took her first elite national medal at the German championships, sprinting to second place in the women’s road race. While Elena Cecchini won the ITT at the Mediterranean Games in Tarragona, Spain.
The strong performances come on the back of the news, revealed today by Team Manager Ronny Lauke, that the team has been working with Aerodynamicist and three-time British track champion Dan Bigham as part of its aerodynamic optimisation project for time trials this season.
“I read an article about an amateur team trying to revolutionise the team pursuit in Great Britain through their innovations and ideas, and I thought okay, I have to speak to them,” stated Lauke.
“I’m very happy to be working with Dan. I like that he comes from a diverse background having worked in Formula 1 previously. He has a slightly rebellious mind and I believe he sees many areas of time trialling from a different angle and this has added a lot of value to the time trial performance of our riders,” said Lauke.
Bigham, who recently switched from full time work as an engineer to focus on riding, broke through at the 2017 track nationals collecting three titles. He catapulted to further success at the international level when his Team KGF won a UCI World Cup on the track in Minsk earlier this year, raising interest worldwide about his view on aerodynamics in cycling.
“I’m coming from motorsport and engineering and think that I bring a different approach to the sport compared to people who traditionally have been involved in cycling from a young age,” said Bigham who spent several days testing CANYON//SRAM Racing riders during the spring.
“Overall I’m really happy with how the testing has gone. Every rider has seen improvements. They’re feeling comfortable, more confident riding in their new positions, and they’re quicker for it,” added Bigham.
Hannah Barnes spent two days testing with Bigham at the High-Performance Sports Centre in Frankfurt-Oder, Germany.
“I’ve seen what he has done with Team KGF in Britain, how aero Dan is and what kind of extra areas that they are looking at, not just focusing on what everyone else is doing. What we have done here is very interesting,” said Barnes.
“Dan has adjusted my position quite a lot and I’m definitely feeling more comfortable, which is not always possible when you are trying to achieve an aerodynamic TT position. I’ve also put a lot of extra effort into improving my time trials and with the combination of this plus my position, I am feeling faster for it,” added the new British ITT champion.
Lauke admitted CANYON//SRAM Racing maintains its sights on medal performances at the upcoming UCI road world championships. “I hope that Dan helps our riders to improve their performances in time trials and in the long term we have in our mind the team time trial world championship in Innsbruck in September. We want that we have a significant role to play and a chance to go after the medals again,” added Lauke.
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