Track World Cup London – Eoin Mullen Sprints Analysis

The men’s sprint event at the London World Cup in early December was very interesting and when the time and performance of Eoin Mullen is analysed there is real optimism for the near future in the Sprint event.

Eoin has made great progress over the last number of years and the time and speed difference between him and the front places are within striking distance. (See Table below)

Eoin Mullen Sprint Qualification ride           

Name Place Time (secs) Speed (kph)
Edward Dawkins New Zealand 1st 9.975 72.180  
Eoin Mullen  Ireland 22nd 10.241     70.305  

           

This gives a time difference of .266 of a second or 1.875 kph   which is can certainly be closed to some extent by targeting a few areas.

HOW TO REDUCE THE DIFFERENCE

  1. Increase max speed for first 100 metres section
  2. Increase speed endurance for second 100m section
  3. Improve the aerodynamic efficiency of the bike and wheels
  4. Increase the aerodynamic efficiency of the riders position on the Bike

INCREASING MAX SPEED AND SPEED ENDURANCE

To increase his speed by nearly 2 kph requires a substantial increase in power from an effort that is already producing massive power output. This will take time to develop in the gym and on the track.

QUICK FIX

The best option to improve Eoin’s time in the short term is by improving his aerodynamics and increasing the efficiency of the bike. Improvements in aerodynamics of the bike, his position on the bike and clothing/helmet could give improvements that could get Eoin into the top 10 Qualifiers very soon

To get improvements in this way it could be a very worthwhile investment to use a wind tunnel, if it hasn’t already been done.

For example according to Cervolo Bikes and engineering website Aero drag is 80-90% of the overall resistance affecting a rider. Roughly 80% of this aero drag is the rider, the remainder is the bike.” End of Quote

So if 80% of the drag is the rider even small improvements in the rider’s position could give major improvements in time for the same power output.

IMMEDIATE IMPROVEMENTS

When I look at the photos from the London World Cup and compare Eoins position on the bike to some of the faster riders it seems to me that there could be immediate improvements possible.

To illustrate this study the Pictures of Eoin in full flight on the cycling Ireland Gallery and other sprinters in the Cycling News Gallery (links below) Note Eoins head position quite high on his shoulders compared to some of the other sprinters. Also note the angle at the elbows where the others have more of an angle at the elbow and the elbows are closer to the riders trunk..

 Pictures

http://www.cyclingireland.ie/cycling-news-item/gallery-world-cup-london/448

http://www.cyclingnews.com/races/uci-track-world-cup-ii-2014/day-3/photos/329786

An immediate improvement for Eoin

The first thing to target is the Qualification TT . This could possibly be improved by some simple changes in the qualification TT bike set up.

These are area that could be experimented with

  • Longer handlebar stem to extend his reach?
  • Raise the stem, might produce a better angle at the elbows?

The result of these alterations would flatten his back slightly more; get his head dropped more below his shoulders; and his arms a bit close to a 90% angle at the elbow.. This will could tuck his elbows in more and give huge improvements in aerodynamics

Obviously Eoin and his coaches have more insight as to whether this is possible or not but I think it is an area that could be studied with some benefits to be gained. And a session in the wind tunnel could be money very well spent

TABLES

If we look at the reduction in speed of the second 100 metre section we can see that Eoin has one of the bigger differences between the first and second sections (See Table below)

From a training point of view more specific speed endurance training sessions might give a quicker time for the latter part of the sprint.

I have also included some tables below which give an insight into the sprint performance. It is interesting to see that the two fastest also had a substantial decline in speed over the second 100 metres section, compared to the majority of riders.

To conclude see an excerpt from an interesting interview with Shane Sutton after the last World Cup and notice the upward pressure comment. Competition within the GB Squad is part of their success. It could be a good move to look for other sprinters to work with and challenge Eoin.

“Cav hasn’t come out and said exactly what he wants to do but the Omnium opens doors for the likes of him, Ben Swift and obviously Jon Dibben who has ridden well this year. That keeps a bit of upward pressure and it keeps John on his toes but as far as Cavendish goes the door is open for him but it’s just a matter of whether he wants to walk through it or not,” Sutton told Cyclingnews.

SPRINT QUALIFICATION LONDON DECEMBER

Name Time for first 100m Time for second 100m 200m Time Percentage slower for second 100m
1 DAWKINS Edward NZL 4.934 5.041 9.975 2.168
2 FORSTEMANN Robert GER 4.948 5.06 10.008 2.263
3 GLAETZER Matthew JAY 4.970 5.045 10.015 1.509
4  LEWIS Peter AUS 4.965 5.05 10.015 1.711
5  BOTTICHER Stefan GER 4.981 5.044 10.025 1.264
6  NAKAGAWA Seiichiro JPN 4.973 5.059 10.032 1.729
7 CANELON Hersony VEN 5 5.037 10.037 0.74
8 ARCHIBALD Matthew HP 4.985 5.062 10.047 1.544
9  PUERTA ZAPATA Fabian Hernando COL 4.979 5.073 10.052 1.887
10 D’ALMEIDA Michael FRA 4.996 5.074 10.070 1.561
22 MULLEN Eoin IRL   5.053 5.188 10.241 2.671

MENS SPRINT UCI RANKING AT 8TH DECEMBER 2014

Position Name Country Age Points
1 (1) Matthew GLAETZER Australia 22 580
2 (16) Fabian Hernando PUERTA ZAPATA Colombia 23 520
3 (10) Jeffrey HOOGLAND Netherlands 21 511
4 (8) Stefan BOTTICHER Germany 22 493
5 (2) Jason KENNY Great Britain 26 483
6 (5) Sam WEBSTER New Zealand 23 473
7 (6) Max NIEDERLAG Germany 21 463
8 (7) Robert FORSTEMANN Germany 28 457
9 (22) Hersony CANELON Venezuela 26 450
10 (4) François PERVIS France 30 444
23 (25) Eoin MULLEN Ireland 21 348

 

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