Visma-Lease a Bike "Control Room" Van: Fair, Foul, Meh?

Via Escape Collective - UCI opens investigation into Visma’s “Control Room” data van

So is this the next marginal gain? Or just meh?

First upgrade for v2 of the “Control Room”: switch to Starlink for internet service

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Big “meh” for me……at least for now. Limited data makes it of limited value, IMO.

What it evolves into……that could be interesting.

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I totally agree. v2 / v3 … will be the real interested part, especially if the UCI would drop the stupid no outside viewing of “on rider” data like heart rate, core temperature, etc.

My solution - which isn’t going to happen - would be: any data the rider can see, has to be broadcast live, and the teams can therefore also see this info live. If a rider doesn’t want their info broadcast live, they could have a recording device on their bike, but they wouldn’t be able to see the info.

Same with race radios: just open them up so fans can listen in - make this a premium ($$$$$) viewing feature where something like 90+% of the revenue goes to the teams

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Race radios are already public, at least at the Tour. They’re on a delay and there’s some censor/editor who decides what gets broadcast, but you do get snippets on the broadcast.

The van is super meh. It’s just a van with satellite internet. All the data they’re aggregating was already available to them. TBH doing this data analysis in a van (which I think will be stationary, not driving the route) makes a lot more sense and is a lot safer than trying to have someone in the team car do it while driving, handing out bottles/bikes etc. But this as a “limitless thinking” marginal gain is marketing IMO.

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On race radios: I was thinking no delay, no censor - fully open, but only to viewers who purchase the “premium” viewing package. With the extra premium going to the teams.

This would have 2 benefits in my mind:

  1. Source of revenue for the teams besides sponsorships
  2. End the stupid debate around race radios making racing to mechanical / the UCI looking at shrinking the number of riders who can have race radios

It’s my same thinking on why rider data should be opened up if the rider can see it.

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I’d pay for this but I’m sure somebody would be offended by the occasional emotional yelling so it’s probably a no go. I’d love to be wrong tho!!

Joe

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I suspect the UCI will change the rules to clamp down on this. Avoiding the $$$ arms race, and extra vans at the finish.

Pro tip to pro teams, don’t share your plans.

Feels like the Richie Porte RV/Camper Van all over again.

And not surprising for the luddite ASO In news that will surprise almost no one, Visma’s ‘Control Room’ has been barred from the Tour (via Escape Collective)

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Not surprise….Visma really played this wrong form the start. They should have sought permission / understanding from the governing bodies before showing up at the biggest race of the year and said “SURPRISE!!! Look what our money had bought!!”

This basically ended up being a failed PR stunt since there wasn’t really anything revolutionary in terms of data collection.

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Part of me hopes that the van is AI generated to punk the UCI & ASO. If this was April Fool’s Day, I would be going with that :rofl:

I see nothing wrong with this van. I go back to my statement that the solution is to give riders / teams two options:

  1. The rider can see power / heart rate / core temperature / whatever metrics about how they are performing - this doesn’t include things like speed, distance, position, etc. - and this information is available to fans who purchase a premium “tech” package, and 90+% of the money from the premium “tech” package is distributed back to the teams. This means that teams could also purchase the premium “tech” package to “spy” on riders from other teams
  2. The rider CANNOT see power / heart rate / core temperature / whatever metrics about how they are performing - this doesn’t include things like speed, distance, position, etc. - but this information can be captured for post race / stage analysis