The last pedal revolutions, whirring of wheels and thrashing of bikes fell silent on the 9th of October for the team after the last races of the season ended, with riders heading into their off-season and a much deserved few weeks off the bike. Yet, from the quiet doldrums of no bike racing; the sounds of keyboard tapping, mouse clicking, and meeting chatter have taken over at our HQ.
A hub of activity throughout the season, there is a certain special buzz about the place in the off-season as plans for next year come together from the various departments within the team. We thought you might find it interesting to peak behind the curtain so to speak, and see what we’re all up to in the “off-season” (term used very loosely!).
Combining the needs and interests from all the different departments, our Performance Team helps to bring everything together throughout the year in terms of planning and schedule. Ahead of the season and months in advance, each department gives their input for the new season to Performance Team. They then build a plan for the year which takes this input into account: so the plan is not only focused on race schedules, but also Activation Days, Team Camps and Commercial activities and so on.
Of course, they also set out the sportive goals for the new season and from that, make a clear plan to reach that goal, including everything it takes to get there; such as planned altitude camps, Team Camps and race schedules for riders (and staff!). Internally that means head coach Rudi Kemna works more with the coaches while head of science Narelle Neumann brings in the expert group; aligning everything with the other departments to execute the plans in the best possible way. In fact, the group has already been brainstorming and thinking about performance plans for 2023 since the middle of 2022.
With some incredibly smart and gifted people working within Team DSM, our experts take the plans from the Performance Team and what that means for the upcoming year; such as a rider’s training plan towards top shape, optimising their body composition through nutrition, looking at where we can improve aerodynamics and so on. That leads towards the early Team Camps where training is an obvious focus, but it also gives the experts and riders a chance to get together in person and have workshops, nutrition appointments, bike fittings, plus more. Some of this has been done already at our HQ such as bike and clothing fittings for some riders.
Alongside direct work with the riders and aiding their progress, our Expert Group are also continuously busy with plans for the development of innovations for 2023 and beyond. That happens in coordination with our partners, whether that’s DSM, Scott or Nalini for example, and how as a team we can make the next step in pushing the boundaries of technological innovations.