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The Power of the Team

Paolo Bettini for MyCycling

Working as a team is not easy or obvious. Especially in individual disciplines, where the only apparent winner is the individual.
Even in road cycling, the team has always been of primary importance. Cycling competitions are increasingly long and challenging for the physique of professionals and amateurs, stage races involve cyclists for several consecutive days, it would be impossible to maintain high performance for so many days without a team strategy.
Paolo "the cricket" Bettini, Tuscan, who grew up in the province of Livorno, knows it well. He has always nurtured his passion for cycling, inheriting this great passion from his father Giuliano. At only 23 years old, he became a professional and took part in the MG Maglificio-Technogym team, and three years later, he won his first race at Liege-Bastone-Liege.
Trainer of the Italian national road cycling team from 2010 to 2013, he is now dedicated to the promotion of cycling and collaborates with Technogym in the development and continuous improvement of training equipment. Like MYCYCLING, the first smart trainer for professionals and enthusiasts.

Paolo Bettini participates together with Technogym at the Bike Academy, in a completely suggestive location, almost out of time: Borgo Egnazia, in the heart of Puglia.

Technogym Bike Academy in Borgo Egnazia: how did the idea come out?

Teamwork has been at the centre of my whole life as a cyclist. The goal of the academy is to use my experience on the field in order to stimulate participants to be selfless and share their experience with a group. Not just twenty seconds here, it has to be at least one minute to be effective. You start and finish as a group and it is not a competition, it is just about having fun and being together. It’s about achieving basic skills and improving techniques so that participants go home and when they go back cycling with friends they might be able to outdistance those who were always ready to mock them.

How much of you and your technique did you manage to pass on to the participants? What did you concentrate on?

There are two pedalling techniques: piston-like and pedalling in circles.
Piston-like means pushing first on one foot and then on the other. When you pedal in circles instead you use both feet at the same time pulling up and pushing down continuously. We believe this roundness of the pedal stroke and cyclists’ balance and stability can benefit from indoor cycling training activities.

Do you think MYCYCLING is the complete solution for this type of indoor training?

MYCYCLING was conceived and designed for this purpose: to help the individual focus on each small but crucial movement to improve athletic performance. Indoor workouts are faster and much more accurate and I can monitor my indoor activity in detail. It’s like relying on a professional personal trainer who notices and correct your mistakes, mistakes you wouldn’t probably notice on your own. Aided by indoor technology your work out is more effective and there is no waste of energy and time.
The difference with MYCYCLING from other products is that you can immediately detect and indicate the athlete’s imbalances including their slight swings on the left or on the right. This means that the position can be promptly corrected within the optimal range in green.
Mistakes can be immediately detected and corrected on the spot.

How did your collaboration with Technogym come out?

Life is strange, I became a professional cyclist in 1997 with MG Technogym and that’s when I accidentally got to know this world leading wellness company.
Years later, after a break, Technogym approached the cycling world again and I was asked to share my experience in order to create the cycling product they had in mind.

How do you consider the experience?

It has been an amazing experience: first the idea, then a draft and some months later the final product. Seeing it for the first time, testing and trying it has been very rewarding. Honestly, it has been an experience that I won’t forget: when I see the product I consider it a part of me. The most exciting part of this job was being part of a team. We were all part of a whole.
After twenty days seeing the project fulfilled was thrilling when after a few weeks I was presented with the plastic mockup we looked at each other and I thought: “it will work, but even if it doesn’t I still want it in my house because it’s a great piece of design”.

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