Pro-cycling team cyclist assignment for an upcoming race

Maor Sagi, Paulo Saldanha, Guy Shani, Robert Moskovitch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Professional bicycle racing is a popular sport that has attracted significant attention in recent years. The evolution and ubiquitous use of sensors allow cyclists to measure many metrics including power, heart rate, speed, cadence, and more in training and racing. In this paper we explore for the first time assignment of a subset of a team’s cyclists to an upcoming race. We introduce RaceFit, a model that recommends, based on recent workouts and past assignments, cyclists for participation in an upcoming race. RaceFit consists of binary classifiers that are trained on pairs of a cyclist and a race, described by their relevant properties (features) such as the cyclist’s demographic properties, as well as features extracted from his workout data from recent weeks; as well additional properties of the race, such as its distance, elevation gain, and more. Two main approaches are introduced in recommending on each stage in a race and aggregate from it to the race, or on the entire race. The model training is based on binary label which represent participation of cyclist in a race (or in a stage) in past events. We evaluated RaceFit rigorously on a large dataset of three pro-cycling teams’ cyclists and race data achieving up to 80% precision@i. The first experiment had shown that using TP or STRAVA data performs the same. Then the best-performing parameters of the framework are using 5 weeks time window, imputation was effective, and the CatBoost classifier performed best. However, the model with any of the parameters performed always better than the baselines, in which the cyclists are assigned based on their popularity in historical data. Additionally, we present the top-ranked predictive features.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0297270
JournalPLoS ONE
Volume19
Issue number3 March
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Mar 2024

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

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