A huge stage race demands maximum effort from cyclists, as well as from their equipment. We followed the Gazprom-Rusvelo team during the first days of the Tirreno-Adriatico (13th - 19th March) to show you a professional team “behind the scenes” at one of the largest events of the season. UYN is technical sponsor to the Russian team, providing the cyclists, directeurs sportifs and staff with kit to suit all conditions. That makes UYN a key player at every moment of the day: during races with our high-tech and ultra-performance products, and at the hotel and during transfers with tracksuits for down time.
A LINE OF KIT FOR ALPHA CYCLISTS
UYN developed ALPHA BIKING with the Gazprom-RusVelo team’s collaboration. The range was created to meet athletic performance requirements in any conditions. The Alpha collection is a new release from UYN for Spring/Summer 2019, available in stores and at our online shop. The Gazprom-RusVelo team cyclists tested the kit and were the first to wear it, giving us a preview during the very first races of the season.
The new collection includes our revolutionary Alpha Biking Bib Short, the first to combine seamless technology and Lycra for absolute comfort and total freedom of movement. It is accompanied by the ultra-lightweight and breathable Alpha Biking Shirt, and the UYN outer layers, which offer cyclists maximum protection against wind and rain.
THE BUILD-UP TO THE BIG EVENT
The Tirreno-Adriatico starts well before the race itself. It’s seven o’clock at night, the cyclists are gathered in a circle in the hotel lobby. Directeur sportif Michele Devoti is explaining how the teams fared in the time trials the previous day. Anticipation is growing; concentration at its peak. Even in these moments, total comfort and wellbeing is vital, and the team’s kit is the source of that. UYN is there for them.
9.30 am: WARM UP IN UYN BASE LAYERS
There’s a tight schedule on the morning of a race. It’s raining so hard outside that the first session is done under cover: half an hour on the rollers to get the metabolism going and get a sweat on. The UYN base layer is perfect for this as it can absorb sweat and wick it away to be evaporated from the surface, allowing the wearer to maintain the ideal body temperature. The base layer has been chosen according to its level of insulation: high thermal properties come from the NATYON range, medium from the EVOLUTYON base layer and lighter from the MOTYON range, the new base layer released for Spring/Summer 2019.
1.00 pm: EVERYONE READY
The Gazprom-RusVelo bus is parked at Lido di Camaiore (Lucca). Inside, the athletes are carefully selecting their kit for the course recce; everything from the base to the outer layers. Rain and cold pose no issue to an athlete wearing the right kit.
1.15 pm: RECCE IN THE RAIN
And the “Royal Blue” train is off, taking on adverse weather conditions to familiarise themselves with the route. The UYN leg warmers protect the legs and keep out the cold. The Alpha Biking rain-proof jacket holds up well, against these atrocious conditions. Its water repellent front and breathable back stop water from getting in while allowing sweat to escape through the back.
2.30 pm: ROLLERS BEFORE THE TIME TRIAL
The last warm up kicks off at 2.30pm, an hour before the time trial gets underway. Lined up in front of the bus, the athletes pedal away on the rollers, headphones in. They need their bodies to reach the perfect temperature. This will allow them to unleash their energy at just the right time. That is why their kit is so important. The final choice is to combine the UYN base layers with the Alpha Biking jersey for protection against the cold with optimum breathability. They are all set for their challenge against the clock.
THE CAMAIORE LINE UP
The second stage begins in Camaiore (Lucca) with the traditional presentation of participants. The young Ildar Arslanov, Russian champion Ivan Rovny and their teammates draw a round of applause from the crowd. UYN accompanies them to the start line: the style and design of the Alpha Biking collection was created specifically to highlight a cyclist’s features.
11.30 am: THE CAMAIORE-POMARANCE STAGE BEGINS
The second day of the Tirreno-Adriatico is set to be a long and demanding one: 195 km from Camaiore to Pomarance, with two categorised climbs and a climbing finish. No detail is too small to be significant - especially when it comes to kit. The Alpha Biking Shirt Short Sleeves offers unrivalled comfort and top performance. Its innovative 3D T-Hexagon structure guarantees breathability and insulation at the various points of the body where they are most needed, while the Hypermotion2 system removes the need for seams around the shoulders, giving the wearer total freedom of movement. The athletes choose to wear the jersey with the UYN arm warmers or wind-proof gilet for added protection, which they can remove during the most demanding sections of the race.
RACE TIME: A LONG BREAKAWAY AND THE FINAL SPRINT
Alpha means extraordinary performance, like that which we have already seen from Stepan Kuriyanov during these early stages of the competition. The Russian managed to make the break with four other athletes and fight off the chasing group for almost 180 km. That meant over four hours of astonishingly high output, a true stress test in which the UYN Alpha Biking Bib Short truly proved itself. The revolutionary combination of seamless technology and Lycra combines with the intelligent HP110 chamois, which is made with two density levels to give it an anatomical form. That prevents all irritation caused by chafing in the saddle. This innovative shape supports the movements typical in cycling and allows the rider to make precious savings in terms of energy.
And it is that kind of energy that allowed Evgeny Shalunov to break away during the tough final section and enter the top 20, finishing the stage in 16th place among the best riders.
The Gazprom-RusVelo at the Tirreno-Adriatico: Ildar Arslanov, Igor Boev, Nikolay Cherkasov, Stepan Kurianov, Alexander Porsev, Ivan Rovny, Evgeny Shalunov.
Directeurs sportifs: Michele Devoti and Evgeny Petrov.