DS Anderson writes:
It is a mark of the distance we have travelled this year as a team, from start up with ambition and potential to a cohesive team that is mildly disappointed with 10th and 11th placings. The disappointment was expressed by the riders, at the end of the latest edition of the EMRRL. You get a sense of the feeling straight after the race finishes when you overhear the riders’ chit chat. There wasn’t a feeling of elation but a sense of how it could have been done better.
I was upset for the riders that they were feeling a bit down but the more I thought about it the better it was. The riders were spending time analysing the race, where the break went, where they were in the bunch, what was happening, what was covered, what wasn’t covered and what they could have done with hindsight. There was a driving competitive spirit, and an insatiable desire to improve, to get better; but not individuals throwing their toys out of the pram at each other but as a team, a team performance, and the whole getting better. As part of the support team this feels like you’re on the outside looking in. There isn’t much you can do about it, it’s for the riders to sort out and work through. That’s totally the wrong approach. As a support, there is a whole lot you can do. Encourage the right environment, provide the supporting comments, raise the odd question, inject a bit of critical humour into the pot, and most importantly follow up with actions. To do that same things repeatedly and expect a different result is a sign of madness, right?
So what are we going to do? Well that’s is for us to know and others to observe. There’s a full month before the next EMRRL and we will be getting together on a team training ride to go over roles, tactics and what we’ll be trying next. As is always the case, the team makes decisions as a team, there’s no edict and there’s no management override. We do have a core theme of “make something happen in the race” which we all bought into at the beginnings of the team, and that remains our team ethos that runs through everything we do. The riders have been through a massive learning curve and have improved as individuals and as a team. One thing we are planning for is National A and B races next year to stretch and test the team at the next level, whilst juggling regional races…? (We’re not sure yet on that one just yet as the team will have to expand to support those demands).
Are we ready to take the next step? If we don’t we’ll never know is my opinion but it’ll be a team decision on the direction we take next.