WE ARE CYCLISTS →
WE ARE CYCLISTS →
#wearecyclists 3 CycloSport | #wearecyclists 2 We’re proud to introduce the very first issue of #WeAreCyclists. Our Road Cycle teams wanted to share a behind-the- scenes look at our Signature Sport, as well as some great stories of men, women and products. Sharing our passion is the raison d’être of this magazine, which is aimed at all the Decathlon team members. #WeAreCyclists will be issued twice a year and will be available in Decathlon stores and warehouses. In this first issue, we go behind the scenes of a photoshoot in Scotland; head off on a road trip to Vietnam, where we visit the factory of our industrial partner who manufactures our bikes’ carbon fibre frames; and take a closer look at the work of our technical partners alongside whom we develop our products.
Beautiful stories are lived together, so feel free to share yours... who knows, they might end up published in a future issue of #WeAreCyclists! The Decathlon Road Cycle Teams #WEARECYCLISTS #WeAreCyclists - Issue 1 A publication of the Decathlon France Road Cycle teams. Text : Alexandre Chenivesse, Jonathan Maupin, Quentin Le Claire Photos : Quentin Le Claire, Damien Lecarpentier, Gus Sev, Pascal Giroire Layout : Alexandre Chenivesse, Camille Thiebaut Proofreading : Yann Carré Printing Imprimerie Guillaume, all rights reserved - September 2018 LE VELO ROUTE MIS A L’HONNEUR DANS UNE PUB TV VESTE CYCLOSPORT HIVER HOMME 50€ CHAUDE, COUPE VENT ET RESPIRANTE DÉVELOPPÉE ET TESTÉE PAR NOS INGÉNIEURS POUR LES CONDITIONS HIVERNALES, CETTE VESTE VOUS PROTÉGERA DU FROID LORS DE VOS ENTRAÎNEMENTS. DISPONIBLE EN 3 COLORIS A PARTIR DU 17 OCTOBRE 2018 PRINT : CMJN > 95-45-5-0 PRINT : CMJN > 95-45-5-0 DISPONIBLE EN 3 COLORIS EDITORIAL
#wearecyclists 5 CycloSport | #wearecyclists 4 CYCLE TOURING February 2018, the Isle of Mull: An autumn outing along wet roads, exploring the lakes and coastline of western Scotland. BICYCLE TOURING (n.) 1. Also known as cyclotourism. Cycling trip whose main objective is the discovery and enjoyment of roads and landscapes, independent of distance or elevation. Synonymous with comfort, fun and discovery and devoid of competitiveness, it is open to all. CONTENTS 8 Destination: Scotland 16 Garment Design 20 Our Cycle Touring Selection 22 Ladies Ride ©Pascal Giroire BTWIN
#wearecyclists 7 CycloSport | #wearecyclists 6 CONTENTS 26 Carbon Frames Manufacturing 36 Behind the Scenes at the 2018 Fall-Winter Collection Photoshoot 46 The History of the New CPR Shoes 50 Our Sport Cycling Selection 52 In the Wheel of Our Technical Partner B’TWIN | AG2R LA MONDIALE U19 58 Crash Test: B’TWIN 900 Helmet SPORT CYCLING July 23, 2018, Innsbruck (Austria). Dry run of the next Road World Championships route by the members of the B’TWIN | AG2R LA MONDIALE U19 team. © GusSev SPORT CYCLING (n.) 1. Intense amateur cycling on the road. 2. Cyclosportive (n.): The cyclist’s state of mind: get up at dawn, no matter the weather conditions, put on your race number, pedal, climb, descend, take relays, fight it out in the peloton. 3. Sport cycling = a thirst for speed, for larger spaces and for the pleasure of riding with friends.
#wearecyclists 9 CycloSport | #wearecyclists 8 CycloTourisme | en shoot WINTER IS COMING* IN THE COLD, IN THE RAIN, AGAINST THE WIND For five days we travelled the roads of beautiful Western Scotland, the perfect destination for putting our new fall/ winter 2018 collection to the test. The trip was also an opportunity to discover a country with incredible natural resources - a dream playground for any rider looking for dramatic scenery. Discover the story of our road ambassadors, accompanied by stunning photos of their cycling expedition.
* l’hiver arrive Article : Jonathan Maupin Photo report Pascal Giroire
#wearecyclists 11 CycloSport | #wearecyclists 10 CycloTourisme | en shoot Crossing a sea channel with your bike has something romantic about it. Doing so in Scotland, in February, in temperatures well below 5°C... now that sounds like the beginning of a real adventure. Our five ambassadors (Mathilde, Rebecca, Mick, Matt and Sébastien) arrive at the Isle of Mull, one of the countless jewels of the Scottish west coast. Once landed at the picture-perfect village of Tobermory, there’s no wasting time. First up for our riders, an 80 km loop on the island’s northern tip, before enjoying some down time in this traditional fishing village.
Our five cyclists quickly leave the colourful sea views and the fishing boats behind to find themselves in a breathtaking landscape. Peaty lichen and moss on the side of the road are still covered with a thin layer of snow that struggles to melt despite the low temperatures. The feeling of being alone (apart from the hundreds of sheep) on a new planet begins to set in, as our explorers continue their journey of discovery. The sun finally makes a brief appearance - but as for warmth, we’ll have to come back much later in the year for that! The landscapes are breathtaking and the roads, though somewhat damaged by a harsh winter, are passable. The bumps are manageable and when it gets a little too tense, we have the group, and that helps. Mick and his fellow cyclists agree to take a break at Calgary Bay, whose white sand and turquoise waters are like an oasis in the desert, unexpected given the temperature.
No swimming this time, though. After 2 hours of cycling, it’s high time to think about hitting Tobermory and have a well-earned meal, before taking the ferry to Drimnin and its small port. Our cyclists then make their way to their accommodation for the occasion, located in the village of Ardnish. This trip was the perfect definition of cycle touring for Rebecca (UK financial controller). “I love discovering new places, spending time with friends or family, sharing a passion and having some time to catch up while exercising.” Winter conditions don’t phase Rebecca: «If I had to put my bike away every time it rained or got cold in England, I would never ride! You just need to choose your clothes wisely and be equipped to deal with the weather, and after a good ride there’s nothing better than having a hot chocolate.» Mick (cycling advisor in Sheffield) is of a similar mind. After spending his younger years racing, he now prefers to go on long outings, taking the time to enjoy the landscape, sharing with his friends and taking a break for a coffee and a piece of cake before heading back in at the end of a great day outdoors.
Time now to check out this autumn-winter collection, amidst the wonderful Scottish scenery. Bon voyage! «This island was ama- zing. Incredibly beau- tiful, incredibly cold also...» Back from his trip of winter colours, Sébastien, a Decathlonian of 15 years and cycling enthusiast, answers our questions and shares his experiences of this new getaway destination: Had you ever visited Scotland before? “As a teenager I went on a language exchange programme in a farm, but not in the Highlands. It was fall, and it rained all throughout my stay. It was extremely cold. We had hot-water bottles in the bed because there was no heating in the rooms. It was a bit tough...” What did you expect to discover in Scotland? “I knew there would be some incredible landscapes, but they were far from what I had in mind; like everyone you imagine rolling hills, a lot of green with castles and guys in kilts who drink whiskey (laughs). But actually, it is incredibly mountainous - not very high peaks but steep slopes - and there are lots of lakes. The views are incredibly powerful; You discover a wild side and an aspect of nature that are completely different from what I could have imagined.” What struck you the most?
“Without question it was the landscapes; they make me want to go back. The vastness of it all was a shock for me, everything is so visual.” Would you recommend this destination to a fellow cyclist? “If you want to experience something different, it’s probably one of the most beautiful countries you could visit (and it’s not too far, either). It’s designed for cycling; you come across very few cars while you’re cycling on the islands. There are winding roads, so you’re never bored; no two things are the same. It’s otherworldly without having to go to the other end of the world!” Ready to head off on a trip to Scotland? «Without question it was the landscapes; they make me want to go back»
#wearecyclists 15 CycloSport | #wearecyclists 14 CycloTourisme | en shoot “After a good outing, there’s nothing better than going for a hot chocolate or a coffee!”
#wearecyclists 17 CycloSport | #wearecyclists 16 CycloTourisme |conception Every year, our product lines evolve to offer our athletes the best solutions for their road cycling. We went to meet our garment design teams to get a better understanding of their craft and of the entire design chain, from the initial ideas to the final product. Read on to find out more about what our product managers, garment product engineers, designers and prototypists do when designing our touring collections, courtesy of Wim, Eloi, Marion, Jean Philippe, Camille and Amélie.
GARMENT DESIGN UNDERSTANDING OUR CONSUMER THE RIGHT TECHNIQUE With brief in hand, it’s now up to the product engineer to deal with key technical questions: choice of materials, suppliers and costs. For almost 4 years now, Eloi has been the Triban team’s garment engineer; here he explains the team’s mission: “Using the product brief, we highlight a list of benefits we want our product to have. The choice of components is very important, so I work closely with the garment engineers at the Decathlon development centre when it comes to choosing material. For the winter lines, for instance, we look for elasticity, coupled with breathability and warmth – not forgetting visibility! It can sometimes be complicated, but that’s our job, so year after year we make sure to ask the right questions in What for? For whom?
Asking the right questions is the first key step to meeting the expectations of our cyclists when designing our products. Before any product hits the market, there is the preliminary work of market research and moodboard design before a specific request is brought to the design team. That’s Wim’s job. A consumer- outfit manager, road-bike enthusiast for over 17 years and born in the road cycling capital of Flanders, Belgium, Wim’s job is (in his own words) “to understand the road-cycling market, the cyclists themselves, and especially their needs. We now work on a per consumer basis, which allows us to better refine the product responses we are working on.” Once the answers are summarised in a brief, it’s time to design the products. It’s at this point that our design team comes into its own.
order to make improvements.” This commitment to ensuring our collections evolve explains - for example – why we changed the sizes of pockets, altered sleeve lengths and expanded the necklines of our upcoming jerseys, as well as a myriad of other little details that serve to improve the product’s performance. All of these choices are made with the help of the other members of the design team, including the designers and prototypists, with whom our engineers are in constant contact. Article : Jonathan Maupin photos : Quentin Le Claire
#wearecyclists 19 CycloSport | #wearecyclists 18 CycloTourisme |conception WHEN IT’S BEAUTIFUL IT’S EVEN BETTER DRESSED TO THE NINES If you ask Triban designers Marion and Jean-Phi- lippe to define their job in three words, they begin with creativity. «It’s a job of constant awakening; every day brings its share of surprises which then lead to an idea that is adaptable to the product.» Next they both mention team effort, because they need other disciplines to put their ideas to the test and make the designs feasible. Finally, discipline, which is needed to “rein in the creative spirit that sometimes gets too wild”, according to Marion. For Jean-Philippe, it’s appeal, because that is the purpo- se of their work.
“It’s not about making the same cold-weather year in, year out so we can stay in our comfort zone. We have to bring coherent responses to the needs of each consumer. We need to express the potential of the pro- duct through our design proposals.” Marion concurs: “The choice of colours and material is not just a matter of the product looking good, it plays a role in how it is perceived. Take a simple example, that of safety. This is a very important aspect for all cyclists. If we place it at the centre of our project, we’ll opt for bright colours and retro-reflective graphics, for example.” The job of a designer is in constant flux: trends, needs and expectations change every season. Wor- king on the upcoming collections over two years ahead of time, it’s sometimes hard to remember the products within the collection that’s just about to come out: “The fall/winter 2018 collection? I can’t remember… I’m working on 2020 right now!” laughs Jean-Philippe.
the most technical categories, which is really satisfying to work on!” This motivation and desire to learn are also found in the ever-evolving industry techniques, as Amélie explains: “For example, even my colleagues who have more than 30 years’ experience are still learning about new processes; machines and tools evolve quickly, not to mention 3D software, which is becoming more and more common.” The atelier is clearly a place geared towards innovation, with products that will meet new expectations in the years to come. “Even though riders will always be sitting on a saddle, and those riders will always feel heat in the same places, new answers are available through fast-developing techniques and materials,” concludes Camille.
After conceptualising the product and making technical choices, we need to create prototypes; these will give us a first physical feel for what will become the future products. The prototype will also help us perform tests in real conditions to make any necessary changes before large-scale manufacturing begins. Amid a huge printout of patterns, sewing machines and mannequins covered with dozens of pins, Camille and Amélie are working away on future models of the line’s shorts and jerseys. When asked why they work in cycling rather than in the world of fashion, as per their initial training, Camille replies: “It’s cool to make clothes for everyday use, but when you deal with a particular sport with its own additional constraints, such as Decathlon’s price standard or certain technical elements, that makes the job very challenging. Cycling apparel is one of
#wearecyclists 21 CycloSport | #wearecyclists 20 WINTER ESSENTIALS COLD-WEATHER 500 CYCLO-TOURING JACKET Suggested price : 70€ - réf 8502379 This jacket is a must for any cyclist wanting to venture out on the roads this winter. While guaranteeing essential breathability, the RC500 jacket protects you from the cold, and its water-repellent membrane will keep you dry under a fine rain. MEN’S COLD-WEATHER 500 BIB TIGHTS WITH SUSPENDERS Suggested price : 40€ - réf 8502381 Whether on short or medium distances, the RC500 bib tights are guaranteed to keep your legs warm while providing comfor- table seating. The back mesh al- lows for better moisture-wicking to stay dry and warm.
LONG-SLEEVE 500 BASE LAYER Suggested price : 15€ - réf 8369383 Whether on a cool autumn morning or a winter outing, this base layer will give you the warmth you need during workouts, while guaranteeing good moisture-wicking. COLD-WEATHER 500 CYCLING GLOVES Suggested price: 18€ - réf 8396968 Designed to be used throughout the winter, these glo- ves are easy to carry and easy to wear when handling brakes, gears, etc. COLD-WEATHER 500 SOCKS Suggested price : 8€ - réf 8396773 Designed to improve the ther- mal comfort of cyclists’ feet in cold weather, the blend of Me- rino and Thermolite wools is light and doesn’t retain mois- ture.
CycloTourisme | boutique
#wearecyclists 23 CycloSport | #wearecyclists 22 LADIES It’s been over a year and a half since the B’TWIN WOMEN’S ROAD CYCLING project saw the light. The goal of the project was to better serve our female athletes by creating products that were designed with their morphological requirements, activity and style in mind. The market proves that there’s an increasing number of women trying out road cycling - so, it’s time to let people know about it and highlight women cyclists to get more and more of them on our roads! CycloTourisme | ladies RIDE !
Mathilde, Image Leader et Rebbeca,UK Financial Controller
#wearecyclists 25 CycloSport | #wearecyclists 24 CycloTourisme | ladies Virginie Depres, consumer head for the women’s road-cycling team, had a clear vision: to engage with women cyclists, she wanted to design and develop a dedicated range to help promote the sport and recruit new cyclists. By surrounding herself with an all-female design team, she’s able to respond to their expectations and meet their needs better than anyone else. Virginie told us a little more about her role, her background, the team’s objectives, the future of their collections and about the investment B’TWIN has made in women’s road cycling.
Virginie first explained her role in the women’s road-cycling project: “My job is to build a global offer that meets the needs of female road cyclists. To achieve this together with designers and product engineers, we spend a lot of time observing consumers and asking them questions; we pay close attention to what’s happening on the market to better understand expectations and trends, so we can come up with products that will help our female consumers. After that comes the whole design phase where, together with the design team and key industrial processes, we develop the products that eventually reach the market.” Virginie has been and done it all, starting out as cycling department manager 12 years ago. She then joined the “Passion brand” as head of communications of children’s bicycles, before becoming bicycle accessories merchandiser. She went back to retail seven years ago as general manager of the Arras store and the Henin Beaumont store. As a mother-of-two that’s passionate about cycling, Virginie returned to B’TWIN and became product manager of children’s bicycles. Then, a year and a half ago, the company asked her to lead the women’s road-cycling project—where everything had to be built from scratch. Virginie took up the challenge, and started building her all-female team. ““Today, we’re a team of eight, all passionate about cycling in different ways. For example, in the team we have a former professional cyclist and a few triathletes, but also girls who just ride for the simple pleasure of taking in the landscape. That said, we all believe in the project – that’s success for me!” “WE’RE PROUD TO WORK ON PRODUCTS MADE FOR US, BY US!“ VIRGINIE DEPRES As a result of women’s interest in this activity, industry leaders are beginning to understand the need to have a dedicated product response, as opposed to a mixed one - the case for a long time. “We are proud to work on products that are made for us, by us! Why should we settle for products designed for men when we are not built the same at all?” Thus a completely new range was developed, with newer products to be gradually introduced to Decathlon stores. Bicycles, outfits, new shorts with a customised skin and other innovations are all on the drawing board. “For newcomers to the sport, our newly designed bike will make all the difference: the ‘Triban Easy,’ which will definitely remove a lot of obstacles from cycling. It will be equipped with extra resistant tyres, a double braking position, a simplified gear shifter, all at unbeatable value for money.” There are also several garment innovations planned for 2020, particularly in terms of new shorts.
To conclude, Virginie shared her ambition for the next few years with us: “My dream is for women’s cycling to become as widespread as men’s (which is already the case in some countries, like Canada for example). Women’s cycling is following in the footsteps of running, where today we have almost as many female runners as male ones. Every year we have more and more women taking up the cycling. So, if as a team we do a good job of designing products that will be relevant for women, at unbeatable value for money, then we will have won.” We can’t wait to see where Virginie and her team will go next!
Big cycle-touring news will be announced in the next issue as well as the latest for 2019. We’ll meet the designers of our future TRIBAN bikes to learn about their job and their product-line choices. We’ll introduce you to our new featured personality as well as the story of people and products she stands for through the spring-summer collection. We can’t wait for 2019 to be here so we can share all our stories with you! But for now, the road-cycling team wishes you a good end of the year.
GET IN TOUCH Enjoy the article? Have any questions? Maybe an idea for a topic or article? Don’t hesitate to contact Alexandre at: email@example.com or via B’TWIN’s Facebook page. SHARE YOUR PHOTOS When sharing your cycling photos on social media, don’t forget the hashtags! Here are a few: #TRIBAN #TRIBANCOMMUNITY #ROADCYCLING #RIDEWITHTRIBAN #TRIBANEXPERIENCE #TRIBANXPERIENCE #TRIBANCYCLING WHAT’S NEXT ? Interview by Jonathan Maupin photo : Quentin Le Claire
#wearecyclists 27 CycloSport | #wearecyclists 26 HAUTECOUTURE CycloSport | immersion FRAMES Going deep into carbon-frame production facilities Article : Alexandre Chenivesse Photo report : Damien Lecarpentier
#wearecyclists 29 CycloSport | #wearecyclists 28 B’TWIN VILLAGE (180,000 m²) site.» says Damien, Image Leader and author of the photos for this story. “What surprised me the most were the heat and the humidity: 35°C, 80% humidity. In the building where they paint the frames, and in most of other buildings, the climate and humidity are controlled... but, man, is it hot!” The small group was welcomed by Mark, the factory’s commercial manager, who speaks impeccable English.
“We then took a tour of the factory, where they walked us through each production stage,” recounts Pierre. VIP collaborates with many international bike brands. “They are real experts in this field,” explains Marc Antoine. STAGE 1 is the production of the raw material, prepreg sheets (carbon fibre impregnated with resin). “It’s a top secret process,” explains Louis. The temperature and humidity are controlled; this is very important for the stability of the process and the quality of the product. VIP controls the formulation and manufacture of the resin. They use about a dozen types of fibres with different weights (g/m²), and resistance (24 T, 40T, etc.).These long sheets measuring several tens of meters are wound on spools and then stored in freezers at -18°C to stabilise the resin. STAGE 2 consists in making a form with EPS (expanded polystyrene), which takes the inner shape of the frame. These EPS forms are made in aluminium moulds; the process is secret and very technical. “We can’t take pictures,” points out Damien. A bladder (a very thin plastic tube) is placed on the EPS form and then a vacuum is created in order to press it against the EPS. STAGE 3 consists in preparing the pieces that will be used to manufacture the frames. The carbon sheets (previously thawed) T his spring, our design teams travelled to Vietnam, from 16 to 21 April, to visit the factories of our industrial partner, VIP. Here, VIP makes the carbon fibre frames of our ULTRA CF road bikes, as well as a part of the Rockrider CF mountain bike. On the trip: Louis, frame engineer; Marc-Antoine, designer; Pierre, designer; and Damien, Image Leader. The trip’s purpose? Oversee the launch of the new ranges of carbon fibre frames. “We’ve been working with VIP because they truly have the know-how when it comes to carbon. Our partner’s teams are doing superb work and have unparalleled expertise in this area,” explains Nicolas Pierron, CycloSport sports leader. The factory is located 45 minutes from Ho Chi Minh City.
“It’s pretty weird; the factory is lost in the middle of the forest. We get there after travelling 30 minutes on the highway and 15 minutes along small roads leading to the site. The factory is huge – it’s as big as the immersion
#wearecyclists 31 CycloSport | #wearecyclists 30 CycloSport | are cut to lengths of about 2 m, stacked and folded with a predetermined angle (±45°, ±30 . This forms the slabs from which the pieces that will be used in the manufacture of the component will be cut. The carbon slabs are cut according to very precise specifications. Highly skilled operators place the carbon pieces on the EPS form; this is high-precision work. Each piece must be placed down to the mm and in a specific order. More than 200 carbon pieces are needed just for the front triangle. All the pieces are weighed to the gram. “I was impressed by the accuracy of the operators’ actions,” said Pierre.
STAGE 4. The casting. While the frame is still flexible, it is placed in the mould and pressed down. The mould is heated and air is injected into the bladders following a precise temperature and pressure cycle. The resin will harden; this is called polymerisation. At the end of the process the frame is rigid. STAGE 5. The frame is pulled out of the mould and deburred to remove excess resin. The bladders and the EPS (which has recessed with the heat) are removed. STAGE 6 : Machining. The frame is machined and prepped for the steps of bonding the bases, fork and aluminium parts (front derailleur hanger, cable stops, etc.). “Actually, at this point it still doesn’t look like a bicycle frame, because the elements haven’t been assembled yet. We can’t wait to see the assembling,” says Damien. STAGE 7. Machining. The frame is machined and prepped for the steps of bonding the bases, fork and aluminium parts (front derailleur hanger, cable stops, etc.). “Actually, at this point it still doesn’t look like a bicycle frame, because the elements haven’t been assembled yet. We can’t wait to see the assembling,” says Damien.
“THE QUALITY CONTROLS ARE PRECISE” immersion “There are essential check points to ensure the quality of the product throughout the manufacturing process,” explains Mark, who knows the secrets of carbon fibre frames in detail. There are checks for appearance, geometry, weight, etc., with a camera (for internal inspection) and with x-rays. Non-compliant frameworks must be immediately destroyed. In addition, a number of frames are taken from production for destructive lab tests.» STAGE 8. Surface preparation. After the bonding stage, all appearance defects have to be corrected. The frames are sanded down ever more finely. The smallest flaws have to be fixed so as to have a perfect surface for painting. It’s a very long and painstaking stage. “Here we start to see a bicycle frame,” adds Pierre. STAGE 9. Painting and decorating. On to another building. Our group goes into the paint workshop, where temperature and humidity are controlled. Only liquid paint is used for a better rendering, a finer thickness (weight requirements) and a low processing temperature (90°C max).
Several primer and colour coats are required. Next the decorative elements are applied followed by a coat of varnish. The more colours there are, the more complex the procedure. “No making mistakes here, this is top craftsmanship work!” says Damien. STAGE 10. The frame is now polished to give it a perfect finished look. “Now, we go into the details—the frame in all its splendour,” gushes Marc Antoine. STAGE 11. Guides are placed inside the frame to facilitate the mounting of cables at the Lille factory. “This is an important time saver for the assembling of the bikes. Just like the traceability that is put in place at all stages of the frame manufacturing. We know exactly which carbon sheets have been used,” says Louis.
#wearecyclists 33 CycloSport | #wearecyclists 32 immersion STAGE 12. Logistics. The frame is protected and packed. All done! Now for a long 5- to 6-week journey by ship. “What struck me most from this visit was the incredible level of expertise of the VIP teams. You feel the mastery in their actions, the minutiae of the assembly in the different stages,” points out Pierre. “We have many framework projects for years to come, and we know we can count on the know-how of our partner VIP to realise those projects,” adds Marc Antoine, design chief of the upcoming carbon fibre frames.
Our group ended their visit with a working meeting on the brand’s future bikes, with various projects underway. Finally, the VIP teams returned the favour and came to France to visit the B’TWIN VILLAGE this summer. A true win-win relationship.
#wearecyclists 35 CycloSport | #wearecyclists 34 technique FROM A TO Z Since last summer, the AML factory, which is located within the B’TWIN Village in Lille, has been assembling the CycloSport road bikes using workshop stands manned by a single techni- cian, for both the ULTRA AF and ULTRA CF frames. ASSEMBLY The workshop stand assembly results in improved quality, relia- bility, and flexibility compared to an assembly line. At the end, every bike is “signed” by the technician who assembled it. Photo report: Damien Lecarpentier
#wearecyclists 37 CycloSport | #wearecyclists 36 CycloSport | TAKING ON THE PYRENEES en shoot Article : Alexandre Chenivesse Photo report: Pascal Giroire
#wearecyclists 39 CycloSport | #wearecyclists 38 page 38 ÉLISE THE COMPETITOR I t’s Elise Delzenne’s first B’TWIN photoshoot. “During this week in the Pyrenees, I was really impressed by the photographers’ skills: they would lie in the middle of the road at 7 in the morning to get the best shots,” says Elise. A former top athlete, Elise has been working as a garment product engineer in the women’s road bike team for almost a year now. “My job is interesting and rewarding. I feel totally at home. I have the chance to combine myexperienceasaprofessionalcyclist, my studies in textile engineering and my passion for cycling.” Elise’s career is atypical. In 2007 she won her first France Road Race Championship title and got her Science Baccalauréat. In September, she decided to stop competing to focus on her studies. In 2009, she was admitted to the Ecole Nationale Supérieur des Arts et de l’Industrie Textile.
“In my last year of school, I felt something was missing and so I started competing again. The following year I became Championne de France élite, and a few months after, I became a professional cyclist.” The former France team member started as a technical partner for B’TWIN. “I enjoyed testing the textile products and offering my input, both positive and negative. Soon the product manager offered me the job – I didn’t think twice!” “I like challenges and I approach my job as such. That’s my competitive side. I get involved 100% in every project. But it’s also one of my flaws. I take things to heart.” Elise has since pulled away from the pelotons - but not too far, as she occasionally appears on Eurosport to comment the women’s races as a consultant.
“I have no regrets about not competing anymore. I feel more fulfilled now.” en shoot ACHIEVEMENTS AND TITLES: : 2007 Championne de France sur route juniors 2013 Championne de France sur route 3e de la Coupe de France Prix de Nogent l'Abbesse 2015 Dwars door de Westhoek 5e étape de Gracia Orlová 2e de l'Erondegemse Pijl 2e de l'Open de Suède Vårgårda TTT (contre-la-montre par équipes) (Cdm) 2016 Trophée d'or : Classement général 1re étape (contre-la-montre) 2e de La Classique Morbihan 3e du championnat de France du contre-la-montre 3e du Grand Prix de Plumelec-Morbihan Dames 3e de Gooik-Geraardsbergen-Gooik 3e du BeNe Ladies Tour 2017 2e étape du Festival luxembourgeois du cyclisme féminin Elsy Jacobs
#wearecyclists 41 CycloSport | #wearecyclists 40 Discover what goes into signature-sport photoshoots with some road cycling fiends! When it comes to organising photoshoots, Damien Lecarpentier, Image Leader, relies on an internal network of expertise. “I scouted and set up every ‘spot’ where we’re going to shoot. We prep all the gear before the trip, every outfit kit, every bike... and every cyclist,” says Damien. “Next, off to the Pyrenees for a week of work. We’d get up before sunrise, around 6:00 a.m., to get the right light. It’d often still be dark when we headed out. But once on location, we hit the ground running.” For every picture, there’s several ride-by’s: “In fact, there was a ride-by for the drone footage, then two for the onboard cameras, then another two or three for the actual photos.” Every day had an outfit kit and a shoot location assigned. Unsurprisingly, it required a lot of organisation to make sure nothing’s forgotten or missed.
“Side note: we actually had to turn around at the Col d’Aubisque pass because of the snow blocking the passage. Otherwise, the funniest incident was when we crossed paths with a group of cyclists wearing their summer outfits... while we, we were wearing our winter gear in 28°C heat. The teams had a laugh about it and were game to do the take again. We got really lucky with the weather. It was just during the last two hours of the last day of shooting that we had to deal with a mix of snow and rain.” Back in Lille, we sat down to tackle the long work of sorting and editing the images. Of the 20,000 photos we shot, only 2,000 could make the cut.
Want to get involved with our next photoshoot? Contact firstname.lastname@example.org CycloSport | en shoot
#wearecyclists 43 CycloSport | #wearecyclists 42 CLÉMENT BODIN JOB : PRODUCT ENGINEER MISSION : DESIGN THE MOST TECHNICAL OUTFITS C lément Bodin has been working as a garment product engineer in the men’s CycloSport division for a year now, having previously worked as part of the Géonaute team as well as the R&D team. AlongtimememberoftheFrenchCyclingFederation, Clément was a 1st class racer with the BIC 2000 club in Brest. He has stood alongside riders such as Olivier LeGac, who today is a professional team member of Groupama-FDJ.
He is no stranger to photoshoots. “The teams would often ask me to play the ‘dummy’ on the collections,” says Clément, who still trains today up in the North, but no longer competes. “We ride several times a week in Lille; we call it the ‘Tour du Midi.’ My mission is to break Séb [Sébastien Alonso, bicycle product engineer] in the sprint. I sometimes win.” With a master’s in engineering and physical activity ergonomics, Clément is in charge of the design and development of garment products for the CycloSport division.
“I love working on the product from A to Z. From the original idea, to the first prototypes, all the way to its manufacturing,” says Clément who is working on the 2019 Autonomous Winter collection as well as on the 2020 Spring/Summer collection, already. «I take advantage of the photoshoots to test my future products in real-world conditions, as well as those of my colleagues (helmets, shoes, bikes . This allows me an opportunity to self-critique and listen to the feedback from other users,” explains Clément. His dream? “I want to work on the garments in collaboration with a real pro cycling team, to develop the outfits with them... and, hopefully, see them win the best races,” says Clément. CycloSport | en shoot photo : Gus Sev photo : Alexandre Chenivesse
#wearecyclists 45 CycloSport | #wearecyclists 44 SERGE : MISSION MONT BLANC S erge, 54, works at the Decathlon workshop in St Etienne Les Villards. When Damien contacted him with the idea of participating in a photoshoot in the Pyrenees, he didn’t think twice. Those crucial few days in the Pyrenees will make for good training towards Serge’s current goal: doing the Tour of Mont Blanc. A huge cyclist, Serge rides year-round with his club and he loves long distances. “That’s where I’m at my best,” he says mischievously. On this photoshoot, Serge was able to test for himself the comfort and the braking performance of the AFGF 500 on the slopes of the Col du Soulor. Equipped with the 500 RoadRacing outfit kit, Serge was in total control. “I’m not looking to go fast, but I am looking to go farther; that’s my philosophy,” he says assuredly.
So, what happened with his challenge? Well, Serge did indeed do the Tour of Mont Blanc back in July. Some key numbers: 330 km, altitudes of 8000 m, 15h 19m, cycling through France, Switzerland, Italy and arriving back in France. His passion continues, with Serge aiming at the Tour des Stations in Switzerland - 220 km and altitudes of 7000 m... en shoot
#wearecyclists 47 CycloSport | #wearecyclists 46 This spring, the cold of winter has yet to leave the north of France. Having arrived the day before in Lille after participating in the Grand Prix de Denain, Nans Peters is at the B’TWIN Village offices at 9 a.m. sharp to spend the day with the B’TWIN road teams. On the agenda: debriefing Nans’s recent road-testing, which took place at the beginning of the year in the Australian heat, as well as his road-testing the previous afternoon on the cobblestones of the famous Paris-Roubaix cycling route. If there’s one cycling accessory that’s difficult to manufacture, it’s the shoes. The development process of B’TWIN shoes involves a very long design and engineering phase before their actual manufacturing can be launched. For several years now, Eric Bastin (footwear product manager) and his team have worked with several technical partners. First up was Jean Christophe Péraud when he was still a pro cyclist; today, Eric works with Nans Peters, pro cyclist for AG2R LA MONDIALE, and Antoine Raugel, France’s Junior Champion of 2017.
“When it comes to designing a pair of shoes for either professional or amateur racers, for us it involves the same requirements,” says Eric. “Except that professional racers will cover a lot more distance in a shorter time than an amateur.” The development of the RCR shoe began in 2015. It took almost three years of development before the teams arrived at a marketable product. “I’ve always been drawn to this type of product, which merges complexity and design,” says Nans, who has worked with us since his junior years with the brand - first on the bikes and soon after on the shoes. “Since the CPR project launched, I must be on my tenth pair of test shoes.” “The appeal of working with racers such as Nans Peters is that, first of all from a safety point of view, he can give us valuable feedback on the whole upper/footbed fit/sole ensemble. Specifically, we know with him that the bonding of the components will last, in all weather conditions and temperatures. A pro racer who covers thousands of kilometres every year is a great test case! They also tend to be more demanding than an amateur, because it’s such a key piece of their kit.” avec les pros PROS OR AMATEURS, THE SAME HIGH EXPECTATIONS. Article : Alexandre Chenivesse Photo report: Damien Lecarpentier / Pascal Giroire
#wearecyclists 49 CycloSport | #wearecyclists 48 avec les pros This morning, it’s time for debriefing session on the latest RCR version Nans has tested. He tells us about his start to the season at Australia’s Tour Down Under: “It was so hot! I removed this part of the shoe to increase the air flow and ventilation.” Pierre and Romain, who work with Eric on the shoe project, take notes and carefully study the shoe in question. “For me, carefully choosing my product testers is important. Especially if I consider the profiles of people like Nans or JC—they’re demanding, they studied engineering, and so on. Their attitude is also very important. These guys share Decathlon’s values; they are down to earth, approachable and available, despite their jam-packed calendar,” says Eric.
“When we started developing this shoe, we started with nothing, a real blank slate. We listened to customers’ opinions, then we wrote down the specifications. We wanted a truly breathable shoe, with a full carbon fibre sole as customers requested,” explains Eric. “We tested different shoes on the market to check out their stiffness and compare it to our new sole, made in Italy (instead of being made in Asia like the competition’s). Now we have one of the stiffest soles on the market, with evidence to support it. Then we worked the inner sole - called insock. It’s a dual-density insole offering stability and comfort.” Other improvements include the closure system (“requested by JC Péraud”), which provides better support in traction and thrust, as well as key changes to the shoestrings.
Finally, the interior is made of water-repellent synthetic leather. “Something our customers have been asking for for ages!” Finally, the heel cup has been reworked. It now has two side cushions to provide lateral heel support. At the other end, a frontal rubber injection offers adhesion and protection, as the front of the shoe usually gets damaged when walking “Together with Nans, we’re already working on our future models. We’re going to rework the RCR to offer a ‘honeycomb’ mesh version to address extreme-heat cycling. They should come to €150. Nans is already testing them on the Vuelta,” concluded Eric Bastin.
cycling shoes RCR Price : 130 euros Available in 3 colours: chrome / black & white / blue & pink Launch: October 2018 «WE’RE ALREADY WORKING ON THE NEXT ROAD SHOES WITH NANS»
#wearecyclists 51 CycloSport | #wearecyclists 50 OUR SPORT CYCLING SELECTION B’TWIN 500 CYCLING METER Suggested price: €25 - rating 4.3/5*- réf 8382192 Our design teams were challenged to come up with a simple, effective and functional bike meter. “The idea was to have a meter that could be installed in seconds on the bike, and then hit the road right away,” says Tom, «performance measurement” product engineer. Discreet and very easy to install (a sensor without magnet that mounts on the hub of the wheel), the B’TWIN 500 bike meter features eight basic functions with wireless transmission of up to 3 m for mounting on rear wheel. Functions: Instant/AVG/max speed, trip/overall distance, time, stopwatch, temperature.
Average rating from 26 reviews as of August 28, 2018 HOME TRAINER TACX FLUX SMART Suggested price: 500€ - réf 8534451 The Tacx is an online exclusive home trainer sold by Decathlon. “The big trend now is to have a home trainer for consistent activity, but also to share results of sessions online and via connected apps,” explains Guillaume, head of Home Trainer products. The TACX FLUX combines the incentive of interactivity with the comfort of an integrated drive. In short, you get the real feeling of the road in your living room! With its direct drive, simply hook up your bicycle and experience the realistic variations of a given road outing or specific training mode. What’s more, it connects seamlessly with apps such as Zwift.
900 OUTFIT 900 Jacket - Suggested price : 99€ - réf 8403022 900 bib tights with suspenders - Suggested price : 90€ - réf 8500830 The 900 outfit is one of Decathlon’s ‘Best Products.’ Featuring a removable balaclava, the jacket has been designed in partnership with Team B’TWIN | AG2R LA MONDIALE U19. “The technical components of this jacket will protect you from the cold and light rain, while the removable balaclava and plastron provide a second layer of protection in very low temperatures,” says Clément, garment product engineer. Finally, the long bib tights offer perfect protection during rainy outings thanks to their front membrane.
#wearecyclists 53 CycloSport | #wearecyclists 52 ENTER LA RONDE We join the B’TWIN - AG2R LA MONDIALE U19 junior riders for the Tour of Flanders Juniors, known in Belgium as “La Ronde”. Article : Alexandre Chenivesse - Photo Report: Gus Sev CycloSport |partenaire
#wearecyclists 55 CycloSport | #wearecyclists 54 For the last 10 years, B’TWIN has been a partner of the U19 project, a top-level training institution for young racers between the ages of 16 and 18. Working together with them, B’TWIN designs and develops the future product offer. The Tour of Flanders Juniors is held on the same day as the pro edition. Here is a behind-the-scenes look at this race where the B’TWIN | AG2R LA MONDIALE U19 took its start. The weather isn’t looking good. On this eve of the race, Saturday, 31 March 2018, everyone is busy working towards tomorrow’s race. A race unlike any other—it’s the Tour of Flanders. It may be the junior version, but it takes place the same day as the pro version. We won’t see it on the TV, but for the riders it’s already a cycling milestone.
Having arrived here on Friday from across France, our five juniors—Hugo Page, Hugo Toumire, both J1; Valentin Retailleau, Maxime Jolly and Pierre-Emmanuel Dubois—surveyed a portion of the route by bike and another by car. On the menu: mountains and cobblestones, and not just any kind. The Muur van Geraardsbergen ascent, twice. The Bosberg also twice, which is linked with the Geraardsbergen. Early in the race, the quintet will also take on the cobblestones of Paddestraat in the Zottegem district.
“When I heard the team was headed for the Tour of Flanders, I immediately signed up for it,” says Hugo PAGE. The recent winner of the Bernaudeau Junior, a French UCI race, Hugo is a huge fan of the Flemish courses. The week before, he got a taste of the Gent- Wevelgem as part of the Junior Nations’ Cup (French team). It is still raining in Belgium. At the end of this long Saturday afternoon, the racers listen to the briefing by the Sportive Director, David Giraud, while mechanic Antoine Petit washes the bikes and gets them ready for tomorrow.
“With rain all but guaranteed, we decided to use wheels with tyres. We’ll have better braking action and the Power Endurance tyres won’t slip on the cobblestones,” says Antoine, as he finishes prepping the last bike under the spotlight of the workshop lorry. On this last day of March, it’s not very hot - barely 6°C, in fact. The frame plates are in place as well as the transponders, used to record the competitor’s time and place at the finish of the race. Inside the team’s rental lodge, Pierre Henri Lecuisinier, assistant to the team, former professional racer and World Junior Champion in 2011, prepares the snacks and the water bottles for the race. The water bottles have to be tightly closed so they won’t pop open during the race on the cobblestones.
The atmosphere is relaxed. Valentin Retailleau pins his two numbers to his THE TOUR OF FLANDERS, A ONE-OF-A-KIND RACE FOR A JUNIOR partenaire jersey. Nine safety pins on each bib. “That way they won’t budge,” explains the Junior 2, who recently finished in the Top 20 in Gent-Wevelgem. 8 p.m. Everyone gathers round the table. The staff take stock of what remains to be done. They check the weather one more time. It seems there might be less rain than expected... “We’ll stick to the tyres. Tomorrow morning we’ll do a final pressure adjustment,” says David Giraud while checking the evening weather report. David shares some of the info from the directors’ meeting, held on Saturday afternoon.
#wearecyclists 57 CycloSport | #wearecyclists 56 On a map, he sets the different checkpoints for the assistants to cover every key zone. “For this challenge tomorrow, we’ll have reinforcements to help us. We’ll have four assistants spread out through the course who’ll have wheels and water bottles ready. And 2-way radios to provide information.” Sunday morning, while still dark out, the workshop lorry leaves to set up at the starting zone. The racers will arrive a little later. Start at 9:00 a.m.—it’s early.
Spirited and taken by the race, our juniors are giving it a bit too much at the outset. Valentin Retailleau takes off with the Norwegian Daniel Arnes, who will go on to win the race. Valentin lets go at the Muur van Geraardsbergen. Behind, Hugo Toumire, who’s taken off too early, passes the “wall” alone under the cheers of the public (photo pages 52/53) who are already in place for the pros. The fine rain continues to fall. This tough “wall” will set many of the riders in the peloton on foot. Not our juniors, though, who make climbing it on their bikes a point of honour. Too hasty at the start, our riders eventually pay the price of such early efforts.
Maxime JOLLY did the best of the five, finishing in 35th place. Only 61 competitors manage to finish the race out of 176 starters. It was a great experience even if the hoped-for result eluded the team. Fast and furious on the start, and excessively so, they tried their best, but in vain. It’s important to learn to bide your time, to play it cool, to keep things measured. Our two Junior 1’s have learned their lesson. They’ll be there again next year determined to take down the “wall”.
The race finished, David Giraud gathers his riders for a debriefing while the mechanic and the assistant round up the bikes and gear in the lorry. End of the day, it’s time to head back to the lodge, take a nice hot shower and enjoy a well-deserved dinner all together. The return is scheduled for tomorrow afternoon, after a morning survey of the Paris-Roubaix Junior. The riders have covered a lot of distance on their bikes... and on motor transport. “They are learning what the life of an elite, professional cyclist is like,” concludes Pierre-Henri Lecuisinier. partenaire
#wearecyclists 59 CycloSport | #wearecyclists 58 CycloSport | témoignages THE B’TWIN 900 HELMET SAVED ME The use of a helmet has become mandatory for children under 12. But it also saves the lives of many athletes every year. Valentin Paret- Painter, 16, a young top-level rider member of the Annemasse Bicycle Club and of the B’TWIN | AG2R LA MONDIALE U19, knows what he’s talking about. A France team racer during the Nations’ Cup, Valentin suffered a bad fall in one of the passes in Switzerland.
Seeing the state of his helmet after the fall, we can imagine how hard the accident must have been. The helmet was completely deformed on the outside, but the inside stood the blow well. “At B’TWIN we subject our helmets to extreme mechanical-resistance tests,” says Benjamin Delerue, helmet product engineer. “Our helmets are tested for impact resistance from all directions, because no two falls are alike. We try to anticipate every possible fall our athletes might suffer. Thus, our helmets are tested on more points of impacts than those required by the EN1078 standard. In addition our internal pass thresholds are more rigorous.
To certify a bicycle helmet we have to respond to mechanical tests such as tests simulating a curb or a flat-ground blow, a strap-tear test or a loose- helmet test.” We have developed in-house methods for computerised impact tests, which have allowed us to refine our helmets in such a way as to offer our cycling enthusiasts the best all-around product balance (design, ventilation, weight). IN THE NEXT ISSUE OF JANUARY 2019 See you in January 2019 for the second issue of #WeAreCyclists, with a special issue devoted to the launch of the new CycloSport hallmark!
We’ll tell you all about the changes and new features coming in 2019. In the meantime, have a good winter on the roads... and lots of fun! #WEARECYCLISTS Textes : Alexandre Chenivesse - photos : Gus Sev - Damien Lecarpentier
#wearecyclists 60 der de couv #WEARECYCLISTS