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The surprisingly professional world of amateur cycling

Adam Foster, Group Executive - Communications, Dimension Data | Aug. 18, 2015
Amateur cycling is a sport on the rise. Here's how and why.

Cycling is closer associated with the professional use of data than other sports and that training regimes, even at the amateur level, often require performances to be recorded digitally.

If one looks at a reasonable amateur level of football, there's still a whiteboard with information on it: at the pro level, the performance is recorded hugely. Cycling and triathlons are two sports where data is most used. As with many individuals who were coached for long-distance triathlon, the only way they could be coached properly was to present their data to them online.

More data and greater visibility of cyclists on the roads has caused a groundswell of interest in cycling at the amateur level. When people research it, they realise the social and fitness benefits which can be enjoyed by people of all ages.

Cycling is one of the sports which has less impact on your body. It's also quite accessible, you don't need the latest and greatest. You don't need special peddles, just a helmet and a pair of trainers and you can get out there and see things in a different way. It's an amazing way to see places.

Evidence of the spread of cycling's popularity is everywhere. According to Gizmodo, by August 2014, there were more than 600 cities worldwide with their own cycle schemes, up almost 100 since the previous year. Meanwhile, the number of bikes available for hire more than doubled between 2011 and 2014, with the total now way over half a million.

Adding to the sport's global appeal, the Tour de France this year features a team from Africa for the first time, while last year saw the first Columbian grand tour winner in Nairo Quintana. These events are likely to send a ripple through new geographical markets currently untouched by the cycling bug.

Coupled with the rise and rise of competitive data in amateur cycling, the sky is the limit for the sport globally.


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