Under International Cycling Union regulations, all equipment must be
commercially available and British Cycling’s kit is through the UK Sport
website, although no prices are specified.
The Secret Squirrel Club’s attention to detail in a bid to enhance Britain’s
equipment is so renowned Boardman does not share the details with British
Cycling performance director Dave Brailsford.
Boardman declined to reveal the gains made by technology, but was at a loss to
explain why rival nations are not following Britain’s lead by doing research
in wind tunnels.
“I could quantify it, but I’m not going to,” Boardman added.
“It’s part of a package. Everything they do is to the best they can be.
“All of the riders have been in a wind tunnel, because they have faith
in the team and they understand the importance of aerodynamics. It’s a
“But they’re the biggest lump, so they’ve invested a lot of time sitting
in a wind tunnel.
“Chris Hoy’s done eight-hour days sitting in a wind tunnel, helping us
develop things and improving his own position and committing for four years
to change his own position to make himself smaller, because that makes the
“Vicky Pendleton has done the same. They’ve all been through.
“The rest of the world has known since Beijing – well, they should’ve
known forever – aerodynamics is a massive part of our sport.
“They’re doing 50 to 70kph depending on the event, so why aren’t wind
tunnels a standard component in training? It’s ridiculous.
“They measure weight, they measure power and this one force that
dominates everything – 80% of energy expenditure – and they go off magazine
articles and hearsay.”
Boardman, a successful broadcaster and businessman with his own Boardman bikes
empire, is stepping away from his front line role with British Cycling after
He added: “You’ve got to put the same in that they (the riders and
coaches) put in and I know I can’t match that. It’s better that somebody
else does it.”