Two fans changed how to scout cycling talent.

Cambio is a worldwide cycling platform that use technology to change talent scouting in Pro Cycling. The platform connects talent with the best scouts.



Europeans make up more than 60% of the professional roster. When you look at the female athletes, just four nationalities (Netherlands, Italy, France, and the UK) make up 53% of the peloton. This has to change.

Cycling is a lifestyle, and once you've caught the bug, you quickly find yourself obsessing about specialty coffee, growing an awkward mustache, and sporting a beanie that is a little too small for your head. It's a religion, some say a cult, but this lifestyle is liberating, invigorating, and addictively satisfying.

Some of us cycle on weekends, watch the Classics and geek out about performance metrics from the various riders, but for most, it stops here. Very few people are fortunate enough to turn their hobby into their profession. 

Meet Olivier and Alberto, two cycling fans who just launched

Olivier Poignard is based in Paris and has followed cycling since his first viewer experience of the Tour de France in 1997. Despite the sport's doping scandals in the late '90s, Olivier's passion for cycling grew strong. His professional background in marketing, product development, and data analysis would later prove crucial to Cambio .

Alberto, an Italian who lives near Lugano, Switzerland, brings a different perspective to the table. He’s a devoted cycling fan and avid cyclist, regularly riding in a region home to many professional and ex-professional riders. His commercial and business strategy expertise complements Olivier's product-focused mindset.

The duo met several years ago, bonding over their love for cycling and desire to impact the sport. They vowed to work together on something cycling-related in the future. Little did they know that their casual conversations about the state of professional cycling would eventually lead to a venture that could reshape the sport.

The genesis of Cambio .

The genesis of Cambio can be traced back to the COVID-19 pandemic. As the world grappled with lockdowns and cancellations, Olivier saw an opportunity. He launched a side project called Fuoriclasse , focusing on cycling statistics. The venture provided valuable insights to race organizers, media outlets, and cycling publications, providing them with data when live races were scarce.

Fuoriclasse was more than just a pandemic project; it was a crash course in the power of data in cycling. Olivier began to see patterns and possibilities that others overlooked.

Some riders even contacted him directly for help to engage top teams.

He realized that he could help and not only apply the same data-driven approach to scouting talent, an area of the sport that needed an update, he could also connect the riders and teams. He contacted Alberto, and together, they started to dive deep.

The challenges in modern cycling.

As Olivier and Alberto delved deeper into the world of cycling scouting, they uncovered a series of challenges:

  1. Geographic barriers: Talents from non-traditional cycling countries struggled to gain visibility with top European teams.
  2. Outdated methods: Most teams use spreadsheets and manual internet searches to identify new talents.
  3. Data privacy concerns: Existing systems often required riders to share login credentials for their training accounts, raising serious privacy issues.
  4. Lack of holistic evaluation: Teams focus on raw performance data and often overlook crucial factors like personality and adaptability.
  5. Limited resources for smaller teams: Few teams can afford to hire data scientists and sophisticated scouting systems.

These issues aren’t just inefficiencies; they are actively holding the sport back and may let generational talents slip through the cracks simply because they were born in the wrong country or needed the right connections.

From 0 to 1.

There was a need for their product, and with new data, Olivier and Alberto started to sketch what would become Cambio .

They wanted to build a platform that would make talents more accessible to teams and teams more accessible to talents. They want to give every rider a fair shot at discovery and give teams a more efficient and data-driven approach to help them find their next star.

The co-founders knew they had to understand the needs of both riders and teams deeply. They started an intensive research phase, where they interviewed a diverse range of stakeholders:

  • Young riders from countries as varied as New Zealand, Australia, Israel, and Eritrea.
  • Team managers and scouts from professional cycling teams.
  • Performance directors and coaches.
  • Cycling federations from various countries.
  • Ex-professional riders who navigated the system successfully.

Every interview gave them crucial insights. They quickly realized that the whole system was broken:

  • Talented riders feel invisible to top teams.
  • Scouts struggle to evaluate talents from afar.
  • Scouts can’t access data points that genuinely predict a cyclist's potential.

One rider even informed them that there are a lot of riders who struggle with visibility. Even the smaller pro teams are difficult to get in front of.

Building Cambio .

Most founders would aim to build a minimum viable product and go from there. Still, with the research these two founders have amassed, they could use Olivier’s first venture as the validating MVP, as he had helped riders before.

Because the team had sufficient data, they wanted to move past the MVP and create a minimum-lovable product. Still scrappy, but a product that provides real value to users from day one.

The platform needed several key elements:

  1. Comprehensive rider profiles: Performance data, race results, physical attributes, and personal background information.
  2. Advanced analytics: Algorithms to help predict a rider's potential. The platform needs to consider factors beyond raw performance data.
  3. Secure data sharing: Allow riders to share their performance data with teams in a platform that keeps their privacy intact.
  4. Global reach: Enable discovery everywhere, even in non-traditional cycling countries.
  5. User-friendly: It must be easy for riders and teams to use the platform.

The team needed a solution that could take them past the MVP, and they needed it fast. The team had set a deadline to launch just before the Tour de France. The team searched various platforms and found a developer that suited their requirements. Kamil Nader, who runs the agency Leverall , is a massive cycling fan and was beyond excited to join this project. Kamil recommended that the team build Cambio in toddle to enable the team to move fast and maintain the high standards the team sets for quality and user experience.

The build's most challenging aspect was the algorithm that predicts a rider's potential. The founders worked closely with data scientists to create a model that considered not just power output and race results but also factors like a rider's background, training environment, and even personality traits that might predict success in the grueling world of professional cycling.

Cambio ’s feature set.

Cambio started to take shape, and innovative features emerged:

  1. Multi-discipline support: The platform now supports all cycling disciplines (Gravel, cyclocross, and mountain biking).
  2. Focus on female cyclists: The team built a separate performance algorithm for female cyclists from the ground up.
  3. Performance potential metric: A proprietary algorithm that estimates a rider's future potential based on current data and historical patterns from successful pros.
  4. Personality insights: A showcase section for riders to show their personality with video and background information that helps teams evaluate cultural fit.
  5. Race calendar integration: Riders can share their race schedules, which makes it easier for scouts to plan in-person evaluations.
  6. Multi-stakeholder approach: Different interfaces for riders, teams, federations, and even rider agents, each tailored to their specific needs.

Launch and early feedback.

With the 2024 Tour de France as their target, Olivier and Alberto worked tirelessly to prepare Cambio for launch. They chose the timing strategically, as the Tour brings cycling into the global spotlight and often prompts teams to consider their future roster needs.

As they prepared for launch, the founders focused on building partnerships to help populate the platform with talented riders. They formed alliances with cycling clubs and development teams and even partnered with the Esteban Chaves Foundation in Colombia, known for nurturing young cycling talents.

The initial response from the cycling community has been overwhelmingly positive. Riders, particularly those from non-traditional cycling nations, have embraced the opportunity to showcase their talents globally. Several World Tour teams have expressed excitement about the potential to discover hidden gems and streamline their scouting processes.

What’s next for Cambio ?

The launch of Cambio is a significant milestone, yet Olivier and Alberto see it as just the beginning. They have ambitious plans for the platform's future and will soon integrate:

  1. AI: Explore how AI can enhance talent prediction and scouting efficiency.
  2. Expanded Analytics: Improve performance metrics and prediction models.
  3. Tools: Provide data insights that can help riders improve their performance.
  4. Team Performance: Help teams optimize their existing roster performance.
  5. Global Cycling Development: Partner with cycling federations and development programs worldwide to nurture talent at a grassroots level.

The impact on professional cycling.

Cambio is a natural step that takes an ancient and highly biased process into the twenty-first century. The automation and data collection Cambio has built into an antiquated process will help cycling identify a new wave of talent.

  • Democratize pro cycling: More visibility to riders from anywhere will diversify the peloton and bring fresh talent and new stories to the sport.
  • Data-driven decision making: Sophisticated scouting methods will raise the bar for talent in professional cycling.
  • Support female cyclists: Treating female cyclists as equals can help the female peloton continue to grow and professionalize.
  • Ethical talent development: A transparent and fair platform for talent discovery will address some of the ethical challenges that still plague cycling.

Olivier and Alberto are not just building a business; they're working to reshape the future of a sport they love. They connect talented riders with top teams and hope to make professional cycling a more diverse, data-driven, and accessible sport than ever before.

We want to see more riders like Biniam Girmay, and Cambio raises the question of whether the next Tour winner is a currently unknown rider from a small town in Colombia or a powerful rookie from Japan. 

These scenarios are not just possible – they're increasingly probable. The future of cycling talent discovery has arrived, and it's more global, data-driven, and equitable than ever before. 

Chapeau gents, and congratulations on the launch.

If you want to read more about Cambio and how to scout cyclists, head over to our blog .


Team profile - Search riders
Team profile - Search riders
Team profile - Search riders
Team profile - Search riders

Alberto and Olivier built a scouting platform that will democratize professional cycling and make the sport more diverse. What will you build?

Cambio is a worldwide cycling platform that use technology to change talent scouting in Pro Cycling. The platform connects talent with the best scouts.