Carmen Small has left Jumbo-Visma and can be part of the newly established US-registered Continental crew EF Schooling-Cannondale as lead sports activities director in 2024.
In a crew press launch, Small stated that she seems to be ahead to being a part of an American crew and dealing alongside the crew’s normal supervisor, Esra Tromp.
“I feel I’ve discovered a very good house. It’s an American crew, and I’m an American. Though the crew is European-based and we’ve got a powerful, worldwide roster, that is tremendous good for me as a result of I’ve solely ever been on overseas groups. It’s very nice to consider going to US nationals. I’ve by no means gotten to do nationals as a director, so I’m tremendous enthusiastic about that,” Small stated.
“Working with Esra, I’ve solely had constructive experiences. I consider in her. She’s an unbelievable supervisor. She actually is aware of learn how to deliver out the most effective in folks and learn how to foster the goodness in a crew. Attending to work with Esra was primary.”
Small retired from skilled racing in 2017 with a protracted record of achievements that embody successful the time trial title twice on the US Nationwide Championships, the time trial title on the Pan American Championships, and the bronze medal within the time trial on the World Championships.
She was additionally a part of the Specialised-lululemon groups that received the world titles within the crew time trial on the World Championships in 2013 and 2014.
Following her biking profession, Small grew to become a sports activities director for groups Virtu Biking and Ceratizit-WNT earlier than becoming a member of Jumbo-Visma as a director in 2021, the place she spent three seasons working with Tromp.
“When Esra approached me about this crew, it was tremendous attention-grabbing as a result of it’s a first-year program. I had expertise with Group Virtu to construct that crew up, so I’m not new to the sport of latest groups, however this was good as a result of whereas, in fact, EF Schooling-Cannondale has the infrastructure arrange from the boys’s facet, it’s a clean slate,” Small stated.
“That provides you the chance to construct and create one thing new and see what you’ll be able to develop out of it. That was attention-grabbing to me.”
EF Professional Biking introduced in June that they’ll begin a brand new girls’s crew, racing as EF Schooling-Cannondale and that it’s going to start as a Continental girls’s crew in 2024.
Since that announcement, the crew has signed 14 riders: Megan Armitage, Letizia Borghesi, Kim Cadzow, Clara Emond, Veronica Ewers, Kristen Faulkner, Lotta Henttala, Alison Jackson, Nina Kessler, Clara Koppenburg, Coryn Labecki, Noemi Rüegg, Elizabeth Stannard and Magdeleine Vallieres.
“I really like the philosophy of the crew. The playfulness of it. They’re enjoyable but additionally critical. They’re very skilled, however on the identical time, they’ll have fun and create one thing that’s just a little bit totally different. You discover this from the surface. It’s not ‘we’ve got to be critical and never smile and never snort with the intention to win races.’ So let’s snort a bit, take pleasure in what we’re doing, after which success will come,” Small stated.
Small highlighted the significance of fostering good communication, cohesion and a wholesome and useful surroundings, which she believes is prime to a crew’s success.
“One factor I’ve realized as a basic is that it’s a must to have one another’s backs. That’s not simply riders, that’s additionally the workers. You wish to create an surroundings that’s useful,” she defined.
“Perhaps on paper, it’s not your job to go do a sure process, however you wish to assist your teammate, and so that you simply do it. I feel Esra and I see eye to eye on that. We each wish to construct an surroundings the place we’re all serving to one another to achieve success,” Small stated.
“Having a very good relationship with the riders, having the ability to talk to them what my expectation is, I feel, is a very massive deal. Which means having numerous pre-race talks, after which within the race, I am their motivator. I attempt to get the most effective out of them as riders.”
Small in contrast being a sports activities director along with her earlier occupation as a math instructor.
“Being a DS is, in numerous methods, similar to being a instructor. You need to be organized. You will have a lesson plan, a race plan. But it surely’s additionally about maintaining riders accountable,” she stated.
Small stated she loves her job as a sports activities director, working with the riders as a result of they provide her motivation and power.
“I really like serving to them put together mentally, and I really like motivating them. The primary factor I really feel after I’m at work is pleasure. I all the time received nervous as a rider, and now I’m not nervous. The riders should do the arduous work whereas I get to remain within the automotive and speak on the radio. If we’re coming into the finale of a race and I do know we will win, I’m nonetheless not nervous, however I’m ready. I’m bracing myself, and I’m prepared for the joy,” Small stated.
“That feeling doesn’t change whether or not it’s a camp or a race. It’s the identical feeling for me all through the season. I get that very same motivation each time. Whether or not it’s a improvement race or the Tour de France, I do my job precisely the identical, and I adore it precisely the identical.”