Renowned for the fastest wetsuits in triathlon, we’re now throwing our energies into cycling by supporting an up and coming East Midlands track team preparing to storm the Paris velodrome in the opening World Cup event this weekend. HUUB founder and chief executive, Dean Jackson, explains why it’s both an exciting time – and the right time – to launch Team HUUB Wattbike…
“Track cycling has long been an area of fascination for us here at Huub. Great Britain has achieved huge success over the past three Olympic Games, with gold medal winners such as Chris Hoy and Victoria Pendleton becoming household names all over the country, and that cannot fail to rub off on sports fans.
“But there are many other reasons we want to test ourselves in this sport. While the athletes need to be in their best condition possible, the kit and equipment must also be the best in the world. Races are won and lost by fractions of a second, and that presents a challenge way beyond making great athletes look professional in nice kit.
“So why now? We’ve been fortunate. We met a group of local lads who wanted to achieve something great, and headed by aerodynamicist and track rider Dan Bigham, they were already making an impact. From nowhere, they’d won the national team pursuit in January 2017 and had backed it up with a World Cup win in Belarus. The raw talent was clear, but it was their attitude that made us want to support them on this journey.
“Huub has come a long way in seven years. We’re proud to be the biggest triathlon wetsuit brand in the UK, and we’ve achieved it by turning innovation on its head, working with the best individuals - from hydrodynamicists to athletes - to produce the very best.
“In Team Huub Wattbike, I see the same values and determination. They are always asking questions, agitating, and challenging convention to leave no stone unturned to be the best they possibly can be – and given they train at one of only six indoor velodromes in the country, just a couple of miles from Huub HQ in Derby, we get to see this on a daily basis.
“While it’s a new challenge, it’s also one not completely removed from our area of expertise. Dan has a background in aerodynamics from working in Formula One racing and is already the brains behind the Huub Aero Anemoi tri-suit that was worn on Saturday by David McNamee as he recorded the third-fastest time ever in Hawaii. Not a bad testing arena.
“While understanding terminology such as drag coefficient frontal areas, yaw angles and Reynold’s numbers can be complicated, we can all appreciate that when riding a bike, it’s not the machine that creates the most drag, but the rider sitting on it.
“Whether it’s over four minutes for the team pursuit or 8hrs in Kona, it’s therefore apparent how critical the material of the suit is to make sure the air passes over, around and under the rider in the most streamlined way possible.
“On to Paris for the first World Cup race of the season and we’re excited to see how Team Huub Wattbike perform. But it’s not just about the result. Everything we learn from testing and racing is fed back, so we can carry on improving. This weekend represents yet another opportunity to gather data and improve, as we keep on striving to ensure the Huub delivers the fastest kit on the planet.