Manchester sleep expert helps Tour de France leader get a good night’s kip

A Manchester sleep expert is helping one of the most exciting teams at this year’s Tour de France get a good night’s kip… and it’s already paying dividends!

Belgian squad Alpecin-Fenix have enjoyed a brilliant start to this year’s Tour with team leader Mathieu van der Poel sitting pretty in the yellow leader’s jersey after a win on stage two and Tim Merlier also picking up a stage win yesterday.

The team are competing in all three Grand Tours this year for the first time and have called in the help of James Leinhardt from pillow and mattress brand Levitex to help improve sleep quality and posture for riders.

Levitex – which is based at Manchester Science Park – launched in 2018 and uses a unique pressure-relieving foam technology in its products to aid recovery and improve sleep quality.

As part of the partnership, which started during May’s Giro d’Italia, Levitex undertook bespoke sleep consultations with each of the riders to understand how they currently sleep and to suggest the best option for each of the riders from the Levitex range.

Alpecin Fenix team manager Philip Roodhooft said: “Our Giro riders have already worked with the Levitex team, and commented how much they loved the products so we’re really looking forward to doing the same with our upcoming races.

“We are confident our riders will benefit from Levitex’s innovative foam technology which will contribute to our general performance goals.”

Before launching Levitex, founder James Leinhardt worked as a posture specialist in healthcare for several years, supporting patients with debilitating conditions such as Multiple Sclerosis (MS) and catastrophic brain injuries, and quickly learnt the importance of our lying surfaces and posture as we sleep. James went on to develop the Levitex foam, which uses of a special type of polyurethane foam with pressure-relieving properties backed up by scientific research.

He said of the partnership: “We’re really proud to have worked with a host of athletes and Olympians across a wealth of sports including track cycling but we’re pleased to now be supporting road cyclists too, where riders can sleep in over 70 different hotels (and lying surfaces!) during a race a season.

“What’s been a really rewarding aspect of the partnership already is educating riders on the importance of their night time posture, particularly when as cyclists, so much of their day-time posture is spent arched over a bike.

“Being able to announce our move into road cycling with a partnership alongside Alpecin Fenix is really special for us, and as the world re-opens again and more sporting events take place this year, it’s really important that athletes consider their sleep surfaces, particularly when on tour.”

The brand already works alongside a host of professional athletes and Olympic cyclists including Ed Clancy OBE and Katy Marchant but also World Tour road cyclist for Trek Segafredo, Ryan Mullen.

Image courtesy of Eurosport/GCN, with thanks.

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