Last Sunday’ Omloop van de Houtse Linies was all about the new concept of a rider being sports director. Jordi van Loon was the first of our riders to take on this role. He did this properly and he learned a lot about tactics and race situations. Jordi had to explore the route beforehand. He had to brief the riders about the wind directions and race tactics and had to take place in the team car. He saw the race from a new perspective as he was sitting next to Frank Pennings, his assistant during the whole process. The riders on the bike had to execute the plan Jordi made and this led to a impressive third place by Timo de Jong.
It went really well, Jordi made the tactics and briefed the riders about the wind and its direction.
Jordi says that he has learned a lot from his experience of being sports director, especially the race tactics and the hectic in the caravan of team cars. ‘’These are the things you don’t see as a rider, it was very nice to experience the race from another perspective. I will definitely use this experience when I’m back on my bike racing again. ‘’ Assistant sports director Frank Pennings looks back to the race happily: ‘’It went really well, Jordi made the tactics and briefed the riders about the wind and its direction. He saw the race from a completely new perspective. He definitely learned a lot and can use this experience in his own future racing. It was a great learning experience and we will do this more often in the future.‘’
Altogether it was a great first time for this experiment. The riders get to know the other side of bike racing and can proceed with an awful lot of extra experience. This is what makes our team unique, we not only develop the riders physically, they also develop tactically and as a human being.