Building to a stronger team
Cycling is an odd sport; outwardly it looks like the most individual sport that there is. Recognition goes to the “superstar” of the team who might be fortunate enough to stand on the top step of the podium if “luck” goes their way. In reality this “luck” is a team, working for the previous 200km to ensure that the leader is in a position to win the race.
It would be impossible for Chris Froome to win the Tour de France without a strong team behind him so in some way; cycling is the ultimate team sport. A sport where you are expected to sacrifice your own ambitions so the team can win – but then these riders receive little to no recognition.
So where am I going with this?
Ever since the Van D’am Racing concept came to me I’ve tried to do things as they should be done, not how they have been done. We didn’t want to be a “normal” cycling team. We focused on “holistic” before other teams made it a buzzword and we know we do it better. We focused on content and we know our reach in the community is greater than teams with 10 times our budget.
A stronger team
A team isn’t where a manager (or a sponsor, or an owner) dictates everything. A team is an entity all working together for a common goal, to get bigger, to get faster and to generally be better. The team sets the rules and expectations. The team enforces them.
So how to achieve this?
One peculiarity of cycling is that the concept of an official team captain is not one that is widely appreciated. We have road captains – riders who are tactically superior and confident in their own judgment to make calls on the road which can decide the outcome of the race. Although this is a fundamental part of the team, it is not the only part. The actions, relationships and attitudes leading up to the start of the race are just as fundamental as the actions of the riders past this point.
A team captain has authority, as they are elected by the team to talk for the team – both to the management and to the rider group. This is critical in maintaining healthy relationships as it removes the dictatorial aspect which exist within sport.
So on that note, we are excited to announce our leadership group for 2018.
Team Captain: Jason Thomason
Vice Captains: Rylan Dowdell and David Randall