Charly Wegelius Giro blog: the difference between winning and losing

Garmin-Barracuda sports director Charly Wegelius is blogging for Cycling Weekly during the 2012 Giro d’Italia

We have only gone and won the Giro! Who would have predicted that one month ago?  I heard some rampant speculation over the final days as to how much time Ryder could put into ‘Purito’ in the final TT, but it was actually extremely close, as you all know by now.  Hats off to Rodriguez for pulling off an amazing final stage.

Garmin-Barracuda has a strong reputation for pushing the limits on technology and innovation.  There are dozens of tiny improvements that our sponsors and sports science director Robby Ketchell have developed that could have made up the 16 seconds that finally delivered the victory. 

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We don’t see much of Robby on a day-to-day basis, but he is busy in the background, scurrying around looking for centimetres, seconds and watts hidden in every nook and cranny.

Personally, I think that a big part of the final 16-second gap can be found somewhere else.  It is in the people.  I strongly believe that good people in the right jobs are what make the difference. 

For sure, if everyone just followed the instructions on the daily planning, we would make it to the end of the Giro in some way or another.  But think what a difference it makes when each member of staff is not only following orders, but also constantly thinking what they can do better to help us win.

Our mechanics at the Giro, Geoff Brown, Alan Buttler, and Joan Linares, have between them over fifty three-week races under their belts.  This means that they are already thinking ahead way before I even need to ask them to do something. 

They see a bad weather forecast coming, and they already have rain tyres glued onto the right wheels, for example.

Equally the masseurs are always trying to put the athletes in the best position to perform.  Even if that might mean that they are out at the truck drying the rider’s clothes at 1am, it doesn’t matter; they will do it.

Ryder did something extraordinary this May, but the whole staff do extraordinary things every day to keep us on the road and keep us winning.  I wonder if the Giro organisers would send us 65 extra pink jerseys for them?

Related links
Giro d’Italia 2012: Coverage index