What happens in Vegas certainly shouldn’t stay there. Am I right?
Last weekend, I had the opportunity to go to Sin City for the 2017 Supercross Monster Energy Cup hosted by production conglomerate Feld Entertainment Inc. They spent time going over the sport and the lay of the land explaining that the track was designed by five-time Supercross champ Ricky Carmichael. They also introduced a new biometric reading technology created by sporting tech company LITPro into the series that was being tested only by a handful of trackside athletes.
This definitely sparked my attention.
How can professional Supercross athletes and race teams influence the everyday health-oholic or even those who are wanting to step up their fitness game? This piece of equipment is definitely a step toward that direction.
The LITPro device was tested on specific athletes to monitor heartrate, speed and percentage of laps completed during each race. One of the athletes this was tested on was Red Bull and KTM Racing rider Marvin Musquin who ended up securing the second-ever Monster Energy Cup $1M prize – now known as the “Musquin Million.”
Throughout the three Main Event feat, racers were driving (pun intended) for this prize that was first won by Ryan Villopoto in 2011 – Monster Energy Cup’s debut with this contingency prize as well as one of the largest cash payouts in the sporting community.
As Musquin and other athletes geared up to head into competition to win the million, LITPro was there measuring how the athletes were performing and reacting to the pressure of the race. This type of technology was designed to influence how athletes train by allowing them to enhance their performance through analytical study.
“We started with reinventing GPS for Motocross and other high-speed, high change in position sports. So, we’ve focused most of our development on reinventing how GPS is enabled and added a bunch of other sensors to look at air time, corner analytics, basically anything an athlete could use to shave anything from a tenth of a second, at this level, to ten seconds for someone who is a beginner,” said Michael Ford, President and Founder of LITPro.
Basically, this monitoring system is designed to give live-time feedback on performance through biometric readings to trainers and athletes giving them the tools to see how they can improve lap times based on internal adjustments – breathing patterns, mental acuity, etc. This, in turn, will help athletes train for the professional races on and off the racetrack. It will also allow newcomers to the sport, and other cycle-inspired disciplines, find their pace to perform under pressure.
Not coming from a Supercross background, it was interesting to see the technology side and what it takes to actually train and perform like one of these pros. Also, I noticed that the lifestyle and passion that was radiating, not only from the internals but from the racers but fans and all who were watching for the first time was something that could not be matched in the Vegas air.
“The reaction to Monster Energy Supercross is extraordinary because it is made for today,” said Kenneth Feld, CEO of Feld Entertainment Inc. “The Main Events are 20-minutes and it’s fast, it’s nonstop action, and the athletes are probably the best trained athletes in the world. Their heartrate is somewhere close to 200bpm at the starting gate, the adrenaline from that. These young people are really focused on what they’re doing and after you walk the track [what we were doing as I spoke to Feld], you get a real appreciation for what they’re doing when they’re traveling at 50mph.”
He was right. The amount of adrenaline that must be pumping through these athletes, I can imagine, would be astronomical due to the ruts and divots on the track, as well as the pressure to perform at the quality that they do. My adrenaline was pumping and I was just walking around it trying not to fall face-first and ruin my kicks.
Follow the Supercross series by visiting their website or going trackside to mingle with the athletes at one of the stops on the tour.