The giant jigsaw puzzle

Theo Maucher

In my career, I have worked in and met with many pro teams. The thing is, it’s not necessarily about the sheer numbers. “More” or “bigger” is not always better. Of course, you need a minimum budget and a minimum number of quality riders. Every rider needs enough bikes, wheel sets, tires… You need staff, transport, equipment, food… But the real challenge is making the numbers work for you.

Running a pro team is like putting together a giant jigsaw puzzle. Every day. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of pieces to choose from. A tight structure and a well-performing organization are key. Why? Because the odds of making a mistake when taking into account all the parts of the equation are substantially higher than those of making all the right decisions.

The image below (combined with what I told you last time ) gives you some idea of what it is going to take to run this team. And that’s without mentioning the approximately 1,900 (!) different hotel rooms that will have to be booked each year. Or the more than 700 (!) flights and/or train tickets. Or… Well, you get the picture.

It’s often said that a rider wins races in his bed. There’s a lot of truth in that. Time to rest and recover is maximized when the team manages to put the right rider on the right bike at the right race at the right time with the best possible preparation and under ideal traveling circumstances. You do not want to be the guy who shows up at the start of a race having just spent 12 hours in a car.

By the way: are you sure you even want to be a pro bike rider?* Spending more than 200 days a year away from home, sleeping in more than 100 different hotel beds? Being expected to train (yes, that’s without counting race time) for at least 4 hours on average every day?

The numbers can be overwhelming if you think about them. Fortunately, we are slowly building a team and structure that will be able to master the puzzle!

*You do? And you have the credentials to apply for a spot on a Pro Conti team? Well, in that case, perhaps we should talk…