In our two-part article on Team DSM, some riders testify about their time with the team. Since every story has two sides, we also asked Team DSM for their version of the facts. CEO Ewan Spikenbrink and Sports Director Roy Curvers had an intense chat with us. Below is their response.
“Our goal is clear: we want to win competitions with Team DSM. Every rider has an obligation to us that we try to do it together – with the entire organization.”
“You have to do it, because if you want to win the Tour, you don’t just do it. Everyone wants everything to be perfectly organised. The altitude training, the clothes, the materials… We employ very passionate experts, they want to make it the difference.”
We are always open to argument-based dialogue. Then everything is negotiable.
“So we want to develop the quality together. And the rider must be able to accept that he is not in control of everything. Please note: we are always open to dialogue, but it must be based on arguments. Then everything can be discussed.”
“Example: We have an excellent cyclist, who spends a lot of time and energy to put someone on the bike optimally. Do you suddenly have to adjust the saddle on the day of a Tour of Flanders and throw away all the resources invested and that is also painful for the man who works on it day and night.”
“Bike racing is complicated enough. The rider should care about that, not things that could have been arranged long in advance. When they are brought up in time, everything is negotiable with us.”
“It’s good when mistakes are made, and you learn from them”
So where is the error? “We notice that it is difficult for some people to work together. And that is really important here. Because the modern cycling team is no longer just made up of the captain and the coach. It is now an environment where you have to let go of things to other people.”
“We realized we had to focus on the basics. We shouldn’t lose ourselves too much in the last 5% of the details that we can still make with scientists and experts. Because that can cause friction. That’s what it happens to be. Nor to a good performance “.
“By the way, I hope all the riders who testified also remember the beautiful moments with our team. Because there is a lot of fun and laughter here. We are not robots in a crazy work environment, you know.”
If the rider is so uncomfortable with us, why waste another year of his career?
“This is also the result of such close cooperation. 90% of our passengers love this collective drive. And it’s good to make mistakes sometimes, because you only learn from them.”
“Many breaches of contract? Perhaps there are victims of our philosophy. Does that have to be bad? We think it would be much more negative to force a passenger to cancel their contract if they did not feel comfortable with us. So why would he let him waste a year of his career? “
“Ah, we have learned from many things. For example, we will give more weight to whether people are suitable for us. Who has the flexibility to collaborate with experts? We will not pick up people with tunnel vision so quickly in the future.”
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