Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Olympics 2008 - Great Britain skin suit

This Saturday we will see the GB Olympic cycling squad unveil their new revolutionary bodysuit when they take to the track in the chase for a record number of nine gold medals at the Beijing Olympics.

The team hope the suit, which has been kept under lock and key at the team’s headquarters at the Manchester Velodrome, will have a similar impact to the “body suit”, which has allowed swimmers to dramatically improve times in the pool by reducing drag. The new cycling suit is similarly designed to reduce air drag in a sport where even the whisker of an advantage can be translated into victory.

It is one of a string of technological innovations that have made the British a leading force in world cycling and hopeful of a record haul of medals in Beijing. For example, the sprint and pursuit riders will be using a new £10,000 bike.

The Beijing games will be the first time all the new elements of the bike and rider’s kit will have been assembled in competition. Even now they have only been used in training in their final state on a handful of occasions – and then behind closed doors.

The new equipment, which the team hopes will carry the likes of Mark Cavendish, Chris Hoy, Victoria Pendleton and Bradley Wiggins to the medals podium, also includes individually-moulded shoes, a crank that measures each rider’s heart rate and wheel axles designed using aerospace technology.

Only the pedals, sprockets and chains have emerged from the hi-tech transformation of British cycling unaltered – because the team’s technicians felt their performance could not be improved upon.

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