Former pro and longtime coach Chris Carmichael is handing over the reins of Carmichael Training Systems, Inc. (CTS) to Jeff Pierce, who comes from USA Cycling where he was director of elite athletics for four years.
The two have a long shared history together; they were teammates on the 7-Eleven Pro Cycling Team, and in 1986 they were the two riders sent back to guide Alex Steida to the finish during the ill-fated team time trial at the squad’s first-ever Tour de France.
In 1987, Pierce won the 25th stage of the 1987 Tour de France. During his career, he competed in seven Grand Tours. Both he and Carmichael have been inducted into the United States Bicycling Hall of Fame.
Carmichael founded CTS 22 years ago and will stay on as “founder, chairman, and chief endurance officer,” while Pierce will take over the official CEO role.
“As a bike racer and coach, I know when it’s time to pull off and let fresh legs take over,” Carmichael said. “CTS is my life’s work and supports thousands of athletes, along with more than 60 coaches and staff. So, it was important for me to find a leader who can take the company forward as technologies and the coaching industry change.
“Jeff brings fresh and data-driven ideas for business development, and a strong record for organizational leadership and delivering consumer value. He also has a genuine connection to coaching and endurance sports. That combination is hard to find and it’s what makes Jeff Pierce the perfect person to lead CTS forward.”
Before his tenure at USAC, Pierce held several senior leadership roles in the cycling and telecommunications industries, including 13 years with T-Mobile.
“I am excited and energized by the opportunity to lead CTS into the future,” he said. “I understand what this revered brand means to the CTS coaches and to the athletes they serve. We have an unmatched coach development program and customer service infrastructure, and a dedicated team of the best coaches in the business.”
Both Carmichael and Pierce will be in Boulder, Colorado this weekend for the Tour de Victory Cycling Challenge, a competitive ride benefitting the Davis Phinney Foundation. It will be a reunion of sorts for 7-Eleven’s 1986 Tour squad, with Phinney and Steida riding, as well.