Podcast: Rob Stanley’s literal doctorate in bike racing

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A two-time Olympic coach, Rob Stanley is a performance scientist and men’s endurance track cycling coach with USA Cycling. Previously, he was a performance scientist at the Japan Cycling Federation. And he is currently completing his PhD at Leeds Beckett University – in bicycle racing.

Stanley joins host Ben Delaney to talk about merging his academic work and coaching athletes like Gavin Hoover, who just won the inaugural UCI Track Champions League.

Stanley’s PhD is a bite to eat: Exploring the determinants of performance in the Elite Men’s Track Cycling Open. The Omnium is a four-event, points-based competition in the Olympics as well as in track cycling competitions around the world. And the new Track Champions League used a condensed format of it for its fan-friendly nighttime series held in Mallorca, Lithuania and London,

Stanley talks about breaking races down into more manageable chunks for riders and making data summaries from past races available to them to help guide choices in the heat of battle.

He says he would like to be able to see in the minds of the drivers during the race, because the feedback afterwards is always the same: “It was tough!”

Before speaking with Stanley, we meet James Startt in Paris, who has just returned from covering the Tour de la Provence, where he managed to photograph the bikes of the winners of all four stages – before they won the stages.

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