Also called a Directeur Sportif, i.e. the “person directing a cycling team during a road bicycle racing event.” I’ve been asked to fill that role this year with my amateur cycling team.
While still a racer, I took to the start line this morning in sweaters and an umbrella instead of lycra and a helmet. While I’ve assisted with teams and races a number of times, I want to take a more active approach and keep a running record of my notes and tweaks, both past and ongoing; a sort of Learnings of a Cat 1/2 DS. Here’s some adhered to, and some forgotten, from today:
- Wear identifiable clothing. Like a team jacket, or better, remember Ed Schum’s red cap? Wear it every race.
- Wear lots of clothing. And rain boots. It’s colder / wetter / muddier than you think.
- Carry a large shoulder bag for storing items (like tossed jackets). Always keep the bag on you. Inside that bag:
- Compact tool for emergency / start-line mechanicals
- Extra race jackets / capes, for during the race, and podiums
- Race food (gels, bars)
- Bottles. Keep a couple on the side of the road, near the feedzone. Too heavy / leaky to carry, and you can designate someone else to help feed with them if you’re otherwise occupied.
- Time each lap with a dedicated clock (trying the phone for now); know the gaps.
- Communicate gaps and instructions clearly, succinctly. Don’t yell “one minute thirty seconds” but rather “one point five”. Work out a particular lexicon with your riders.
- Park as close to the finish line as possible. And try to stay parked in the spot you said you’d be in.
- Park on pavement, away from dirt/mud if possible.
- Park with primary vehicle doors facing into largest area (instead of making riders squeeze between curbs / hedges / other cars)
- Keep a designated, identifiable garbage receptacle in the vehicle or broken window theory.
- Have every rider check in with you after their race (whether they DNF or win). Make sure to listen to his or her story.