What is the black stick below the riders' saddles at the Giro d'Italia?

Small box used by Velon to transmit heart rate, speed, and power data for use on TV coverage

The box underneath the saddle is used to transmit live data

(Image credit: Twitter/Cannondale-Drapac)

If you've been paying attention at the Giro d'Italia, then you might have noticed the little black sticks underneath many riders' saddles, and probably wondered what on earth they are.

Similar to the black sticks that have been on riders' bikes at the Tour de France for a couple of years, the black sticks at the Giro d'Italia are about the size of a smartphone, weigh around 180g, and are used to transmit live rider data including speed, heart rate, cadence, and power.

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Henry Robertshaw began his time at Cycling Weekly working with the tech team, writing reviews, buying guides and appearing in videos advising on how to dress for the seasons. He later moved over to the news team, where his work focused on the professional peloton as well as legislation and provision for cycling. He's since moved his career in a new direction, with a role at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.