Marcello Albasini: «I can know everything»

19 July 2013

IAM Cycling

His passion is matched only by his skill.  Marcello Albasini’s life is cycling.


For years he coached the Swiss National team as well as the American National team.  He has a long history of being a trainer for his local club as well as acting as directeur sportif at Cervélo before joining IAM Cycling.  The 56 year old from Thurgau is prepared to devote all his time to his riders.


Initially held back by some health concerns just as he was about to leave for the training camp, Albasini rejoined the group of ten riders at the Hospice de la Bernina once he had been given the all clear by his doctors.  Between making calls to organize a mountain biking trip through the hills around St. Moritz with Ralph Näf and talking with Matthias Brändle and Pirmin Lang about their training programs in his capacity as their coach and directeur sportif, Albasini took time to lift a little the veil of his daily work.

Marcello Albasini, for how many riders do you act as official coach at IAM Cycling?

I train 13 of the riders on our team.  I keep it down to that number because I also still want to act as a directeur sportif.  If I had to coach the entire team, I would not have time to work as a directeur at the races, but I like very much to keep close to the action.  Theory is one thing, but practice is another.  Nothing replaces the actual feeling of working a race. 


For how long have you been using the SRM (Schoberer Rad Messtechnik) services for your training programs?

The German engineer Ulrich Schoberer founded his company in 1986.  I have personally used it for well over 10 years I think.  Before that, I used the Jeunesse + Sport program monitors.  The problem there was the inability to see the results.  SRM fills that gap and better helps us not to deceive ourselves with unfounded assumptions.  The figures speak for themselves.  I can know everything, and can most importantly compare current results with previous data.  I can see the date, the temperature, the pulse, the cadence, the watts, the speed, the distance, and at what altitude they are riding.  This is important because when we are riding at a place like Bernina where we are staying at 2300 meters, the watts go down as fast as the pulse rises.  


How do you interact with your cyclists?

Every day, the rider sends me the data he has collected on his SRM mounted on his bike.  It is then for me to check the figures and analyze their numbers.  I use graphics as well as numbers.  I can react quickly to the data and propose changes.  Normally, I suggest blocks of three weeks, but it has happened that I’ll see the need to change things for a week or even a day.  And just as I receive their training data, I look to the rider’s program with the specific indications.

Why do you trust your training programs to the SRM system and not another competing program?

When I started with IAM Cycling, I wanted to use all the best equipment.  Of course, analysis on this level is an investment, but it is worth the effort.  Whether we are dealing with neo-pros or veterans, progress is inspiring.  And I am convinced that we are at the beginning.  All the guys can still do a lot to improve.  If they invest 100% using the SRM, their specific training programs will allow them to erase their shortcomings and consequently progress.