Tim Kerrison: the man behind Bradley Wiggins’ Tour
“One of the things we looked at was the race programme. There’s a requirement to ride all WorldTour races, but let’s take away this approach of going from race to race to race, and in between races you have a couple of days to recover and a couple of days to get ready for the next race. Riders would go through a whole season and never actually train.
“So with quite a few of our riders we stripped the race programme down, so they were getting enough race days, but also enough blocks between race days to get some good training in. We tried to dispel this myth that you have to race to be ready to race.”
An example of this came last year, when Wiggins crashed out of the Tour de France and was preparing for the Vuelta. “We were debating whether he should go and race in Denmark to get some racing in his legs before the Vuelta, but ultimately we decided it would be better to train, and control the training load, than a race where you can’t control the training load.”
‘Control’ is the word that crops up again and again. Some of Kerrison’s innovations are visible — the warm-downs after stages, for example. “It took a while to convince everybody that was something we should do,” he says. But others are less so.
The data that Kerrison collects, which allows him to build his training models and to establish “what it takes to be the best in the world,” is tightly guarded. And the question of whether they would be willing to release it is a difficult one. “We do make some of it public,” says Kerrison, “but our reservation about making our performers’ data public is that we’re trying to develop guys and a team where the guys are all the best in world at the jobs they do.