Team Sky's Bernhard Eisel sat down with Cyclingnews during the Giro d'Italia to explain his role as a road captain. As he explains, his role is to ensure a clear line of communication between the riders and the team's sports directors in the car and keeping everyone updated on how the race is unfolding.
"It's someone who should take responsibility in the race as it's not always the sport director who makes the call," Eisel explained of his specific role. "Sometimes it's the road captain in the race who tells the boys, 'stay together, stick together, stay at the front.'"
Being the road captain isn't just about pulling the strings during the race but also knowing the parcours and the weather for example as this knowledge is key to making the right decision and winning races which Sky is more than accustomed too.
"Doing his homework, reading the road book and being there from kilometre zero — doesn't matter if the road goes uphill or downhill — he has to be at the front," Eisel explained.
"Pretty much overlooking everything and at the same time, small things like telling people to go for bidons, keeping the sports director updated on whose riding on the front and which teams came up to talk to us."
But how does the role change when they aren't race radios?
"You probably have more to do," Eisel said of the differences. "It feels like the responsibility is higher, but at the same time you have to do the same job when you have radios but you can always blame somebody then."
And what are Eislel's top tips for the neo-pros? Watch the video below to find out.
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