Thursday, September 03, 2009

Day in the Life of a Pro Cycling Team Director

From an ex-team director, comes this explanation of a day in his life at the time:

"Here is what a team director's day is like the typical day of a stage race.

wake up before everyone else
make sure everyone gets up
make sure breakfast is ready
quickly eat breakfast then go start loading the cars
work with the mechanic and staff ( if you have any) to bring bikes out, fill bottles, load race car and advance car
round up the riders and take everyone/ everything to start
go get whatever race info you need and make sure everyone signs on, get car in line
have team meeting of some sort then deal with whatever radios don't work, clothes needed, bike shit

race starts
you sit there, doing nothing almost the entire time except listening to race radio and farting
periodically something will happen that will require your complete attention and focus ( feeding , flat, etc), most of the time it will be a false alarm...and when its no you'll need to respond...
then back to the sitting and farting
occasionally you'll day dream about something actually happening in the race where your team will be good enough to follow your direction and it will matter- but then you wake up and realize that pretty much a handful of riders are just stronger than everyone else and pretty much they're just going to make the race hard at the hard spots and that's all that bike racing is.

race ends
gather everyone up and organized and clothed
get them directed to the hotel...and in a point to point you're expect to know this although you've been in town just as long as everyone else.
hopefully its a group finish otherwise you ( standing in the rain) repeat the process of feed/clothe/direct as each group comes in

go back to hotel and organize everything get massages started, etc etc
dealt with tired, exhausted egomaniacs...two of whom will always be upset at each other and insecure about something that happened that day.
Check in on mechanic ( if you have one) and masseuse ( if you have one)

Check on diner arrangements
gather everyone up for dinner
go get race results and commissaires report
read result and report then decide if bringing it to dinner is a good or bad idea
get everyone fed, discuss race
send everyone upstairs

help finish bike cleaning and storage
go see whomever you need to see officials, other team managers etc
procure whatever shit you're inevitably short of

go upstairs and visit with each rider for their nightly psychology session. Have basically the same 7 conversations you had the night before.

Put them all to bed.

Go down stairs exhausted and have a few beers.

rinse and repeat.

Its really not particularly rewarding or exciting. I think I was very good at it. XXXX [Ed. name removed for privacy.] tells me that now that's he's been at it for a half dozen years, that I was extremely good at it. I would be hard pressed to ever do it again."

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