Team Directors: Field Commanders
41“Noel is brilliant. He knows the courses, the riders, every scenario and can predict and anticipate, nearly flawlessly, what’s going to happen in a race.” Ted King, Pro Cyclist on Noel Dejonckheere, then US National Team-European Director now with Team BMC
The best directors know their riders, competition, courses, and conditions and can suggest tactics which comprise a thoughtful strategy. The height of directing excitement is watching a rider realize what was imagined in pre-race discussions while calling modifications to meet real-time race demands.
Command-Control-Communication or C3 is a system of information exchange within a military organization; its functional process verifies and corrects activity based on knowledge and rapid two-way information exchange between strategic or tactical units in order to attain its objective.
The chief officer in cycling’s C3 is the Directeur Sportif who commands race strategy via a reliable communication network with some form of feedback. Historically or under technically challenged circumstances, C3 is simple race-side support with team meetings. Now sophisticated radios, secretly coded and requiring special licensing meet the need for responsive, short reactions to racing’s rapidity. The DS cannot always see the action or sense the peloton, so riders must still learn what’s required of them to act at the critical moments, just as foot soldiers on front lines take orders from the Pentagon.
One of the beautiful aspects of directing is utilizing tactical insight, based on knowledge, intuition, and sensory perception, which prognosticates foreknowledge of race probabilities. The beauty is demonstrated by riders capable and willing to take advantage of it. Even a prophetic director’s vision is exceeded in victory. As the teams head into battle, pray for the front line field commanders.
Prayer for Directeur Sportif
“Strength! Courage! You are going to lead this people…Give it everything you have, heart and soul…Don’t get off track, either left or right, so as to make sure you get to where you’re going.” 42Joshua 1:6, 7
We are grateful to those seers among us whose prognostications and high-speed calculations are part of cycling’s arsenal. We confess we lose our line when improperly directed. We ask for courage, incredible perception and blessing on team directors.
Ponder Do I see what really goes on in a race? Affirm I can listen to that insightful voice in my ear and respond immediately. Watch for all the intuitive and sensory information you can absorb at high speed.
41Conversations with Teddy King, pro cyclist. Teddy was on the US National espoir team and rode in Europe for Noël Dejonckheere in 2005.
42The Message, Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson.