'Top to bottom integration: The National Cycling League announces partnership with Wahoo Fitness

Plans include a qualifying round on Wahoo's KICKR smart trainers ahead of the first race

Criterium racing at the Lion's Den
(Image credit: Getty Images)

The soon-to-begin National Cycling League (NCL) has announced a two year partnership with Wahoo Fitness that will see the competition's two pro teams, Denver Disruptors and Miami Nights, use the company's tech, as well as it being employed in the racing.

Wahoo is also the main sponsor for the two squads' training camps in Tucson, Arizona, which are currently ongoing.

The partnership was announced on Thursday, with the NCL's co-founder, Paris Wallace, calling Wahoo the "perfect partner". Part of the plans include using Wahoo's smart trainers to decide the grid position ahead of the opening race.

The season kicks off in Miami Beach, Florida, home of the NCL pro team, the Miami Nights, on 8 April. The second race will take place in Atlanta, Georgia, on 14 May, before heading to the home of the second NCL pro team, the Denver Disruptors, in Denver, Colorado, on 13 August. 

The season's finale will take place in Washington D.C. on 17 September where one co-ed team will emerge victorious and claim the largest prize in the history of American criterium racing, which is $700,000 for the first place team.

Hoping to reignite America's cycling fandom, the NCL is an all-new, championship-style race series with a unique approach to bike racing.

"We are proud to align with Wahoo Fitness, a leader in sports technology innovation, to create a top-to-bottom integration with the NCL," Wallace said in a statement.

 “With Wahoo’s groundbreaking device ecosystem and Wahoo X software’s ability to track and monitor athlete performance, our Head Coaches can optimize training and racing strategies across individual athlete and team performances. Wahoo is the perfect partner to optimize our athletes and provide valuable insights for fans.”

Riders will train and race exclusively using Wahoo ELEMNT Roam GPS computers, TICKR X heart rate monitors, and POWRLINK Zero Dual power meter pedals. Before and after each of the four NCL Cup Invitationals, Denver Disruptors’ and Miami Nights’ riders will also use KICKR ROLLR smart bike roller trainers to warm up and cool down.

Furthermore, the evening before the inaugural NCL round, the athletes from all 10 men’s and women’s teams will compete in a series of single-elimination sprints on a Wahoo KICKR smart trainer. 

The sprint results will determine the start order for Saturday’s professional men’s and women’s races. 

“Wahoo has been driving innovation in connected cycling technology since 2009 and we are excited to see the National Cycling League take an innovative approach to professional cycling in the United States," Wahoo's CEO, Mike Saturnia, said. 

"In this partnership, Wahoo technology will help athletes perform at their highest level and will also play a key role supporting the NCL as they bring a fresh perspective to the professional cycling fan experience.”

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