SPORTS

Technology & Cycling

Telefónica Tech is Movistar Team's technology partner

Powering the Strategy for Data-Driven Sports Decisions
Telefónica Tech is collaborating with Movistar Team's technical staff and Telefónica's global sponsorship team to help improve the cyclists' performance and Movistar Team's results.
Thanks to advanced data analysis, we apply the latest advances in Sports Science, IoT, Big Data and Machine Learning in the planning of training sessions and in the creation of analytical tools that provide additional knowledge about the team's performance during competitions.

Telefónica Tech and Movistar Team ride together
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The technology that Telefónica Tech makes available to Movistar Team is a competitive advantage

We do not want to lose that charm in a sport where sensations and experience are essential, but we do want to win the battle to find that 1% that makes the difference just in seconds between the winner and the runner-up of a great lap.

A matter of seconds where we want to go one step further by opening up cycling to data analysis. Every single thing counts.

The Connected Cyclist

During a grand tour, cyclists cover more than 3,000 km over three intense weeks, each of them generating more than 3 million pieces of data.

Each cyclist carries a series of sensors with him/her to collect information that will be used to develop the strategy after analysis by the team managers.

The Data Race

These sensors send all the information to a device located on the handlebars, a small computer with a built-in GPS. At the end of each training session or competition, the cyclist connects the device to the Internet and synchronises the data collected with the Telefónica cloud.

Once in the Cloud, the technical team can access any data immediately and securely. This is where our work begins, after uploading the data into our Big Data infrastructure, we apply advanced analytics in a customised in-house tool so that the technical team can access the results of the analysis.

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Analysis
When it comes to analysing the data collected, we find different landscapes:

Training optimization

In most cases, cyclists and coaches live in different cities, so remote communication is essential. Thanks to data synchronization in the cloud, coaches can perform daily scheduling of training sessions and can consult the results of these sessions, readjusting training loads according to the approach to the performance targets that have been set. By integrating data analytics, training planning is optimized so that the cyclist can reach his peak condition right at the start of the competition in which he/she will compete.

In races with several stages, the data collected from the sensors are analyzed together with the historical data to make an accurate interpretation of what happened in each stage. This analysis, through different reports and customized graphs, makes it easier for the team manager to make decisions for the next days.

The team is constantly exploring and innovating with its equipment suppliers and experts in the field. The goal is to improve technical aspects related to riding, biomechanics, aerodynamics, physiology, among others, that improve the cyclists individual performance. For the adoption of a new element it is necessary to perform tests that have multiple configuration options. In this case, data analysis is essential to confirm the improvement and recommend the adoption of these changes for competition.

"The technology we apply to sport is a revolution because cyclists have a different perspective of themselves. Now they can understand, if they don't achieve what they expect, why they have done so and where they need to improve, thanks to data and data analysis."
Pedro A. de Alarcón, Telefónica Tech
"When I started, I hardly could have imagined that I could carry a computer on my bike, with an impressive amount of data: height, gradient, watts, speed... Analysing this data as a cyclist can help us a whole lot."
Alejandro Valverde, professional cyclist, current member of Movistar Team