IRF has Technology Partner in Wattbike

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

The Italian Rugby Federation (FIR) has announced a new partnership with Wattbike, creators of a high performance stationary bike.

The deal, which is initially aimed at improving players’ fitness levels, encompasses not only the Italian national rugby team, but also clubs from the country including Benetton Rugby and Zebre Rugby Club. Wattbike has provided four of its Pro version bikes to the FIR.

As outlined in this video, by Pete Atkinson, Lead of Human Performance at FIR, the plan is to develop the partnership further too eventually provide players with bespoke training plans.

Tito Tebaldi, a scrum-half for the Italian national team said: “Wattbike is massively important for us and our sport. It is super good for helping players’ to manage their fitness levels.”

The creators of Wattbike developed the bike with support from British Cycling and was the first stationary bike endorsed by the officiating authority. Its makers claim that it is the world’s leading stationary bike for capture metrics including power, technique and performance data and seeks to recreate the real-life experience of cycling, indoors. The bike has a “Wattbike Performance Monitor,” (WPM), which records these data points and is a central console in front of a rider’s eyes. An app accompanies the bike too, which enables users, in real-time, to review their performance data, while the Wattbike can be connected to other apps like Strava, too.

In a statement, Atkinson, also said of the partnership: “It helps us be efficient with players who need to offload following a matchday, or those with a background of injury, in order to maintain the highest possible level of fitness.”

“The intention is to develop the partnership and use Wattbike’s bespoke knowledge to help us prescribe specific sessions to our athletes. As we develop the partnership, they will send their staff to share information with our staff on cycling and cycling fitness. It represents a great option to be smart, and more and more precise in our training.”

Richard Baker, Managing Director at Wattbike, said in a statement: “Over the past five years we have worked with top rugby players and teams from around the world to understand the best ways the Wattbike can be used to enhance player performance. Having the opportunity to work with the FIR and be part of their journey to develop the competitiveness of their national team is something we are very proud to be part of.”

Other professional athletes outside of rugby players have also used the product, including professional cyclists like Joanna Rowsell-Shand, while the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI), the governing body of cycling, has also used the stationary bike. Wattbike has also been rolled out in the U.K. in gyms too, including the Anytime Fitness and Virgin Active franchises.