Veloptima was born out of the desire to bring high quality science-based services to everyday, interested cyclists.
We wanted to bring our experience and knowledge of working with high performance athletes to make it more accessible to cyclists and triathletes. Somewhere athletes could get good no-nonsense help and advice based upon current scientific knowledge. Many cyclists are aware of the kind of information and services that are provided to professional and Team GB athletes, and would like to access these types of services to optimise their own performance within their time limitations.
We use current sports science research, evidence and knowledge, with an individualised approach to ensure that you can optimise your cycling. Our experience of working with all types of athletes means that we can provide the most suitable solutions for everyone.
Enjoyment and satisfaction
Cycling is a fantastic sport and it is something that should be enjoyable. As with any sport where you have certain challenges or targets, the process of training and preparing for an event might, at times mean that you have to push yourself in training, which isn’t always pleasant! For many the satisfaction gained from completing a hard ride, being successful in a race, or achieving a goal more than compensates for any amount of hardship experienced in training.
Efficient, individualised training
Cycling is a very diverse sport with a huge range of disciplines and events ranging from sub-10 second races in Track cycling, to multi-day Time Trial events on the road, to road races and IM Triathlons. No matter what event you target, training must be specific to the event, your own physical abilities and your target. The specificity of training (intensity, volume and type of training), matched to your own abilities by specific Performance Testing, is a great way to use training time and effort more effectively to perform better at your event.
Recovery and adaptation
A common mistake we all make is not to consider what our body needs to recover and adapt from the training that we do. Correct Performance Nutrition, time between training, and the reduction in other stressors are all essential to make sure that the time and effort that we put into training results in the maximal adaptation of the body. Putting strategies in place to optimise adaptation is one of our key philosophies.
There are three areas that can be altered to improve cycling efficiency: Bike set up, to ensure that leg and hip muscles are used effectively and correctly; Pedaling technique, to ensure that forces are applied in the correct orientation and at the right time on the pedal; Reducing aerodynamic drag, without compromising power production by altering both body position and equipment. Optimising cycling efficiency is a fundamental part of improving performance, and one that is normally overlooked.
Cycling shouldn’t be painful!
Although high intensity efforts, such as during hill climbs or long sprints can be painful, in the main cycling should be fairly pain free. Unfortunately many people do suffer from pain while cycling and put up with it, but it will detract from the enjoyment, and can lead to long-term injuries. Examples of commonly occurring pain are at the neck, lower back, saddle contact area, hips, knees and feet. In general you should be able to cycle without pain in these areas, but it can often be as a result of a poor bike set up, which we can help address.
Barney Wainwright, PhD
Barney is an applied sports scientist and researcher with extensive experience in performance sport. A lifelong cyclist, he studied sports science at Leeds Metropolitan University graduating with a first class honours in 1995 and following that with a PhD in physiology and biomechanics. Barney has over 20 years experience of working with athletes of all levels and their coaches to help them improve performance in areas of physiology, training and technique.
He was the head sport scientist for the GB Olympic Canoeing team from 1999 to 2009 and was a member of Team GB at the Athens and Beijing Olympic Games. In this role he worked with wide range of athletes from development to Olympic medallists. Barney was a key scientist within the system as GB transformed itself from 36th position at the Atlanta Olympics to the world contenders that they are today. Barney also spent a period of time working in Canada advising both summer and winter Olympic sports programmes within the area of sports science and biomechanics.
Barney also holds a position as a Research Fellow at Leeds Beckett University carrying out and supervising research projects and PhD students, and also managing the High Performance Lab. A large focus of his research is cycling-related either investigating aspects of bike positioning and technique or the physiology of cycling. This work ensures that an evidence-based approach based upon the latest evidence underpins his services and advice. One of Barney’s strengths is his ability to translate complex research findings and individual data to meaningful information for athletes and coaches, to enable them to optimise daily training and performance. His own experience in road cycling and time trialling helps him make sure that information is relevant, meaningful and effective.
- BASES High Performance Accredited for Physiological support in 2006
- A member of the International Bike Fitting Institute’s (IBFI) Scientific Committee
- Emergency First Aid trained
- Member of Team GB support staff at the Athens 2004 and Beijing 2008 Olympic Games
- Regularly publishes research in peer reviewed journals and presents at International conferences.
Andy Brooke, MSc
Andy is one of Veloptima’s key partners in both bike fitting and aerodynamics testing. He provides a comprehensive dynamic bikefitting service at Bespoke Cycles in Derby (link here). Andy has trained extensively with Retül and BikeFit - two of the world’s leading bike fitting systems - and is one of only six Master Retül Fitters in the UK. He brings a scientific approach to his bikefitting having an MSc in Sports Science specialising in the biomechanics of cycling, and is currently studying towards a PhD that is investigating the effects of bike position on time trial performance.
Andy is very proactive within the international bikefitting industry and is the founder and president of the International Bike Fitting Institute (IBFI), a global organisation working to raise bike fit standards. He has also written and delivered bike fitting courses across the UK and has extensive experience of the industry, having worked for British Cycling in its sports development team and as a guide on cycling training camps in southern Spain.
Lucy Wainwright, Msc
Lucy works in the field of sports nutrition. Lucy graduated from Loughborough University with an MSc in Sports Physiology and Nutrition, has an IOC Diploma in Sports Nutrition and is on the SENr Register.
Lucy has vast experience of working with athletes of all levels to ensure that nutrition facilitates training adaptation, reduces risks of illness and injury and enhances competition performance. Lucy currently works for the English Institute of Sport as the Lead Nutritionist for British Triathlon, and was a key member of the team in the lead up to the Rio Olympics.
Lucy understands the demands of training and competing at an elite level having spent fifteen years on the Great Britain Kayak Team making the Olympic singles final in Athens 2004 and Beijing 2008, becoming European Champion in 2008 and gaining numerous World Cup medals. More recently she competes in 10km to ½ marathon running races and the occasional sprint or Olympic distance triathlon.
- ISAK level 1 certified