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During the next few weeks, riders from the EuroCrossAcademy will be writing exclusive blog posts for VeloNews as they race the “kerstperiode” in Belgium.
ECA VeloNews Journal 6
Rider: James Halverson
Hometown: North Branch, MN
A team can be like a well-maintained machine. A low-maintained team is often in disorder. Maintained well, and the team can strive for success.
It takes many different parts to make the whole team.
First, organization is a key part of that machine. Expectations for the EuroCrossAcademy (ECA) team are to be organized. We are expected to have a clean room and sleeping area.
On our off days, we are required to clean our campers which is our mode of transportation and shelter before and after races. To be organized is also to know where all your gear is which is important for race day.
Encouragement is another important role in a team’s infrastructure. To race well, each rider here on the team needs to have a clear mindset. A good positive environment is important for not only the rider but the coaches and support staff.
We are here to race, but can have fun while doing it.
The staff is the backbone of the team. Ash is an amazing cook, making our dinner meals, getting the groceries on the grocery list, and helping keep the house picked up and in order. Our mechanics, Andi and Peter, do a very good job keeping track of the status of all 24 bikes.
They both handle the quick unexpected bike repair or adjustment requests from the riders.
Our soigneur, Kristof, is here to make sure every rider is good. Kristof takes our jackets and warm-up pants at the start of our race and holds onto our recovery drinks for after the race. On race days there are a few additional mechanics who are on site to lend a hand as well.
As riders, we appreciate all the people working for each one of us to have a good race.
Finally, here in Europe (and at home), it is important for a rider to view performance on a continual improvement continuum.
No rider is perfect and we all need to be constantly adapting, learning, and sharing advice. Focusing on our health — physically and mentally — means everything so we can be a working part of the machine that is our team.