During the individual time-trial competitions in cycling, the cyclist’s skills are essential, but it is also important the race strategy. The race strategy includes the manner in which the cyclist competes and the selection and set-up of the cycling equipment. For hilly time-trials, part of the race strategy consists of the right selection of the bike type. Depending on the characteristics of the road such as total distance and altitude profile, a time-trial bike or a traditional road bike could be used. Additionally, in some races it is possible to change bike type as a part of the strategy. This strategy seeks to take advantage of time-trial bikes during low gradient sections and to take advantage of road bikes during high gradient sections. The purpose of this work is to plan an optimal bike change strategy to determine if it is advantageous to change the bike type, and if so, to find the point of the route where the change minimizes race time. The optimal planning methodology is based on a bike model, a simplified altitude profile and an optimization problem. A model parameters identification process is performed based on experimental tests in a hilly route. This route is used as a case study for the optimal planning of the bike change strategy.

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