13 September 2021

Otakam, the benefits for the team time trial

In the first part of this article we explained how Otakama interacted with our team in the individual time trial, but in the second part we will explain the benefits of our partnership with Otakama in the team time trial.


The team time trial is like a chess game in cycling. You have to bring your riders forward, start them off in a pre-established order according to the means and characteristics of each rider, then bring your strengths forward without burning out the weakest, or on the contrary make “openings” by sacrificing so-and-so. This strategy is even more refined with the arrival of Otakam as a partner in the individual and team time trial within the Arkéa-Samsic team, with the Tour of Britain as its first collaboration. For this event,” says Gaëtan Lemoine, “we used the same algorithms that we use for an individual time trial but from a different angle. We provided a predicted finish time for the team based on the number of riders participating in the team time trial. This is how it will work every time Arkéa-Samsic has to compete in a stage race. We provided a time at the finish, but also a relay time for each rider and the power that each rider had to hold during their relay. This precise and individualised data “allowed us to have an individualised race schedule,” continues Gaëtan Lemoine, “which was included in the schedule that the team had to keep as a whole. The British course was divided into three parts: the flat part at the beginning of the stage, then the bump and the rolling and descending part in the final. We have added other competitive advantages to the team’s requests,” continues the Otakam manager. We are in fact able to provide the Arkéa-Samsic team with the time that can be gained if, for example, a rider sacrifices himself and gives a little more in the first part, in order to help the rider who has the lead in the general standings as much as possible so that the team achieves the best possible time by optimising all the potentials. Another “help” in the choice to be made thanks to the figures and algorithms: whether or not to wait for a rider in the event of a mechanical problem in a team time trial, the dilemma often being more than a little difficult for team managers. Here, the decision making can be helped by the figures. “We can also estimate the gain or loss of time at the finish depending on a puncture or mechanical incident during the stage. And in this case, if the situation arises, we are able to indicate whether it is beneficial to wait or to let a rider leave the group with X miles to go or not, whether this will allow the team not to lose time or whether, on the contrary, the opposite is true. As we said, the team time trial is a real chess game…