If Jonathan Vaughters ever gets tired of this whole 'cycling' thing, he could probably find a job as a sea captain, since he has become well-versed in navigating uncharted and potentially rocky waters – building an entire team from the ground-up, and moving it from a small developmental team to become, at least on paper, a contender for just about any race in the world. Of course Vaughters does not take sole credit for this work. Actually, he only credits himself with one thing, picking the right people for the various jobs.
"I do have a crack staff, that is for sure!" he said. "They are smart and don't necessarily come from a cycling background, they are just hyper-perfectionist people from a business background. My biggest part is that I'm really good at picking people. At the end of the day I can only do so much – I bring a leadership and emotional component to things. I'm not an organized person myself, but I have good vision and pick people who are organized. That is the most bragging you will ever get out of me!"
If a theme of the 2008 Slipstream-Chipotle team could be extracted, it would be this: everything about it is different, from the organization, to the logistics, to the personnel, to even the mood of the riders – which is one of the best indicators that the differences are working. All of this begins and ends with the team support staff, and how they are working is also different.
"From a staff perspective, their year would end usually after the bike shows, take a break and then slowly ramp up at the beginning of the year," said Vaughters regarding previous years. "But I said let's just work through it. With the pace of the build-up that we are doing and the learning curve we can't afford it.
To read the full interview with Jonathan Vaughters, click here.