The Giro’s Synchronized Trainer Cycle Dancing Performance: Analysis & Review

I just finished reading Iain Treloar’s excellent recap of the spectacle that was the 2022 Giro Teams Presentation. He ultimately gave the 1-hour and 50-minute extravaganza a meager rating of 4.5/10. I am no expert on such events, nor how to precisely judge the ranking impact of reindeer man or any other portion of said event.

However, I did need to take a moment to review the entirety of the portion of the show that focused on leveraging indoor trainers (while outdoors) and performing a synchronized dance act atop them. Also, sometimes the bikes were more atop the riders than riders atop them.

The beginning of this situation starts at 1:31:54 – for which I’ve handily set the video to play from, if you click below. Though, as always, I perform a detailed analysis and review down below.

To begin, our five dancers rush the stage with their bikes pre-attached to the trainers. Though, they have assistants for this, one person holding the bike, and another holding the trainer. Frankly, this feels like cheating. As any regular Zwifter knows, the entire challenge of relocating your trainer with your bike still attached is whether or not you’ll fumble the play and snap your carbon frame, halfway across the living room.

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Now admittedly, I don’t usually have a dozen people vibrantly waving giant flag poles around my living room trying to impale me when I complete my trainer relocations. So perhaps I’ll cut them some slack.

It should be noted that the branding on this trainer has been removed, which is unfortunate, because as you’ll see – the stability of this unit is exemplary throughout this entire risky proposition.

Next, our cyclists sequentially mount their bikes with the biggest flex possible. No, literally they flex – by unnecessarily extending their foot well above their helmeted heads, and then sweeping it down onto the pedal. The Rockettes ain’t got nothing on this crew. I plan to mount my bike this way at my next triathlon.

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At this point, I am reminded of the infamous ProForm Tour de France indoor bike commercials of yesteryear with helmeted riders.

A short demonstration of them sweeping their arms upwards to the sky, and we’re in the starting corral with game faces enabled, ready to get this show on the road…err…stage:

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After some synchronized aero position work, the entire group attempts to steer in Zwift, however, they appear to have forgotten their Sterzo’s backstage. Nonetheless, the lack of hardware steering support doesn’t stop them though from practicing Repack Ridge.

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And in fact, they quickly try to simulate a crash (of the bike, not Zwift). Normally we’d see Wahoo KICKR CLIMB utilized for gradient changes, but that’s not compatible with this particular trainer model. Perhaps Wahoo should consider adopting their open standard to enable such artistic performances in the future. Albeit, this move probably just voided the Bianchi warranty with that backward lean (under the ‘misuse’ clause).

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With the bikes safely back on the ground, the virtual leaderboard again descends upon our petite breakaway trying to poke their eyes out with swirling flags on poles.

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Astoundingly, nobody gets flagged, and our cyclists crescendo their way towards a sprint finale unlike anything ever seen in a Peloton class. Except for the Adele classes. Those always finish like this.

And before we know it, this act is over – and we’re back to something boring that doesn’t involve a trainer.

While this performance has nothing on true UCI Indoor Cycling Artistic events, I do feel like it opens the door for a future launch event for some indoor trainer company. Just like Olympic Opening Ceremony performances and countries trying to one-up each other, I’ve gotta imagine someone in Longbeach is already working on the right choreographed dance moves for the upcoming Zwift Trainer/Bike. Especially since that thing appears to have built-in stage lighting, the possibilities are really endless.

Ball’s in your court Zwift, I’ll be waiting.

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20 Comments

  1. Brian

    No mention of the guy who messes up trainer during the bike lift and can’t pedal from 1:32:52 through 1:33:20?!

    That aside, this analysis is exactly what was needed. Hopefully 2023 brings some better trainer tech (although the leg swings definitely can’t be beat).

  2. Eli

    I wouldn’t call the trainers that stable. Notice the second from the left that folded up and so didn’t lift up the rear tire

  3. Jacquie Gaudet

    Video not available in my country! I’m Canadian but on a cycling vacation in Italy at the moment so not sure which country is causing this.

  4. Evert-Jan

    @Ray on another Giro gadget note, any idea which device Mathieu van der Poel was wearing yesterday (Friday) around his left wrist? Seems a whoop device, or (finally) an instant lactate meter…

    • Bruce Burkhalter

      Looks like a Whoop and their Twitter is posting about him. Assume he is sponsored by them.

    • Indeed, Whoop sponsors a number of pro cyclists, including Team EF. However, its important to note that road cycling with the Whoop on the wrist is pretty rough (even 4.0). On the bicep with either of the bands, it’d be largely perfectly fine though.

      It’s also worthwhile nothing that in my chats with Whoop and the folks that manage this relationship, they didn’t seem concerned if these athletes still used traditional HR sensors for monitoring their cycling efforts in real-time.

    • Andrew

      Picture is from MVP’s stage 3 Strava post.

    • Jon Greengrass

      Instant lactate meter would be banned by UCI rule 1.3.006bis,
      “Devices which capture other physiological data, including any metabolic values such as but not limited to glucose or lactate are not authorised in competition.”
      Which was introduced to stop riders using the SuperSapiens glucose monitor.

    • Jacco

      They also show some of his (and probably others) whoop heartrate data on the live feed. Presumably useless data based on Ray’s questionable results…

  5. Marianne

    🤣

  6. Wonder what erg setting they use?

  7. Andre

    Lol, these guys take indoor training to a whole new level.

  8. MatthewQC

    Why is the scenery moving by even when they have dismounted the bikes for handsprings? I can only assume motordoping is involved.

  9. Iris

    Great review of this zwift sprint race!

  10. Mike Richie

    I would cut them some slack on the helmets given the elevation on the route they selected not to mention all the pointy object obstacles they encountered.