By Hedwig Kröner
As reported earlier this week, IT Factory, the new co-sponsor of Team Saxo Bank for next season, plans to put its software skills to the service of cycling. Stein Bagger, CEO of IT Factory, not only announced the backing of the squad directed by Bjarne Riis, but also said that the company wanted to contribute to cycling's anti-doping efforts.
In fact, IT Factory plans to create the first web-based anti-doping control system, "available to all cyclists and the general public alike," according to Bagger.
"Our aim would be to make it more equal to the journalist, the critic and the public to get information about riders and teams," he told Cyclingnews at Riis' press conference announcing the new sponsorship. "We've been talking to laboratories and specialists that welcome the initiative."
Bagger explained that the participating riders' values from the laboratories would be published on a website, accessible to all. "We could imagine a dashboard graphic with a green, a yellow and a red area and a meter that tells you whether a rider is good to race or not," he said.
The ambitious project has the objective to streamline information for the general public. "We're used to simplifying very complicated things, as we work closely with business intelligence," Bagger continued. "I'm not saying it's an easy task, but we'll try to create something that would make it possible to look at every individual team and have the same way to compare them. By measuring their rider's values, you could measure the teams. That would also mean getting the information faster to the media."
Asked whether he thought many riders would want to collaborate in publishing their medical data, the IT Factory CEO replied, "Maybe not all values, because some of them might not be interesting to the media. But if the cyclists don't want doping, and the teams don't – why wouldn't they? We'd like to put up a system free for everybody, accessible from all over the world. Any rider who would like to join it is welcome and will be helped."