The International Cycling Union (UCI) organised its first instalment of a training programme for Directeurs Sportif last week, with participants calling it a worthwhile experience. About 25 Directeurs from ProTour and Professional Continental teams attended a series of workshops and discussions.
“This seminar was a total success. It was important to get together with the other DS's someplace other than at races,” said Raoul Liebregts, Directeur Sportif and Human Resources manager for the German ProTour team Milram. “There were many interesting lectures and workshops in small groups. Cycling is on the right path. We still have a lot to do for the future. With this program we have take the first step in the right direction.”
John Lelangue of BMC Racing Team was one of only two Professional Continental representatives. “This is the first time that the UCI has sponsored a course like this, even though in a lot of countries being a sports director is a regulated job for which you need to take a university degree,” he said.
The sessions were aimed toward the management aspects. “The experts would talk to us about the psychology of dealing with riders, the technical aspects of our jobs and we also had the UCI’s anti-doping head, Anne Gripper come in to talk to us also about how to face the challenges of doping in sport,” Lelangue said. “It was all so interesting, I was really happy to be there.”
The gathering at the World Cycling Centre in Aigle, Switzerland, was the first step in a UCI programme which will require the Sports Directors of all ProTour and Professional Continental to have a management diploma by 2013. ProTour Manager Alain Rumpf called it. “an important step forward for the UCI ProTour with its objective of promoting excellence in cycling over all five continents. “
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