A secret kept until the eve of the London Olympic Games helped the Team GB Cyclists to their best ever tally of Olympic Medals – 12 in total and 7 in the velodrome.

A technology which took four years to create and is a collaboration between British Cycling, Loughborough University and Adidas saw the potential of marginal gain of a substantial increase in sprinting power if athletes’ bodies could be kept warm between their warm up session and until just before racing.

Scientists showed there was a benefit when cyclists used stationary bikes to warm up on the velodrome floor but which they were physically unable to maintain whilst they sat down to compose themselves before starting the race.

The solution came in the form of the ”Adipower” muscle-warming, battery-powered “hot pants” to keep the bottoms and thighs of the British riders at the optimum temperature of around 38C before competing. Quick release zips then allowed the cyclists to swiftly remove them just before the start of the race.

“Adipower” is a Registered Trade Mark taken out by Adidas which covers a number of its products.