EF launches coaching business to help fund WorldTour team
Van Garderen and Docker among coaching team aiming to offer 'holistic' approach to training
EF Education First has launched a new cycling coaching business that it hopes will allow the EF Education-Nippo team to become partially self-sustainable.
Named Team EF Coaching, the new service is said to tap into the WorldTour team’s expertise and experience to help cyclists of varying abilities.
The team of coaches will include Tejay van Garderen, who retired last month, and Mitch Docker, who still rides for the team but will retire at the end of the year.
Customers can choose from three different membership levels, starting from $390 per month, with the profits going to WorldTour team that’s owned by EF Education First and managed by Jonathan Vaughters.
Vaughters has long complained about professional cycling’s business model and explained the new initiative had been inspired in part by the team’s brush with closure four years ago, when a crowdfunding campaign was launched and EF subsequently came on board.
“We saw how much the world of cycling wanted to support this team when we launched #saveargyle years ago. And many have suggested that we continue a fan-based financial support model. But we always wanted to offer something tangible in return,” Vaughters said.
“We could never figure out what our fans would love and value. Finally, we did. Coaching. Our knowledge of how to ride a bike... fast.”
There are four main components to the new coaching scheme, with customers receiving one-on-one guidance from a coach, along with customized training regimes, strength and nutrition plans, and access to a library of videos that offer hints and tips.
The service is said to “eschew dated standards for a dynamic, real-world training system”, with reference to the team’s financial limitations and consequent need to “out-think” their rivals.
“We want to teach people. How to ride a bike better. How to meet their goals. And maybe we’ll find a few undiscovered talents capable of reaching the professional ranks along the way,” said Vaughters.
“We see many talented young riders come into the pro ranks with a big engine and big numbers, but if they don’t understand the nuances of cycling, they won’t succeed. Team EF Coaching gives riders new metrics by which to measure their progress. Our metrics are more holistic and applicable to real cycling, not just being a number factory. We coach people to improve as a true cyclist, no matter what they hope to accomplish on the bike.
“We also want to change the way the professional cycling business works. We want to have a team that supports itself on some level so we can keep doing things our way.”
Click here to find out more about Team EF Coaching.
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