After many weeks of inactivity, the Cross Team by G4 is ready to hit the ground running at the start of the season. We asked its leader and founder Steve Chainel a few questions to get a better understanding of how a professional cyclo-cross team gets ready for the start of the season.
Steve, tell us about the start of the season and how you get yourself mentally and physically ready after several weeks / months of inactivity?
The season officially starts on 9 September with L’Urban Cross d’Epinai, organised by our club. I cannot wait to finally start racing again after many weeks of heavy and lengthy training. The season now lasts a full five months, so it takes plenty of basework to be at the top of your game for both French and world level events. I took advantage of some road and mountain bike competitions to put on a bib and vary the routine of my training.
What is the purpose of this camp and what’s on the programme?
The camp’s aim is to bring together riders and staff for a week-end to forge bonds, giving everyone an opportunity to get to know one another outside of competition, that way we’ll work better together in a competitive environment. It is also an opportunity for the riders to receive their equipment clothing, inner tubes, pairs of…. and plan for the forthcoming season. It’s also great to be able to meet each rider individually, to establish a good working and sporting relationship with them so that not only is our team more effective but that everyone feels at home in the team.
How do you handle the relationship with your manager? How are the meetings, briefing, objectives, discussed and decided with the whole group?
Julien’s our team manager with whom we have an open and honest relationship. We chose him because he not only is he straight forward; he’s both determined and frank. He’s in constant contact with the riders and the staff. The objective of each one of us is also the objective of the team. We cannot expect everyone to be world champion. There is an overriding goal of riding to the best of one’s ability, whatever that might be. With everyone being on the same UCI team, it’s likely we’ll also be in the French national team. Getting everyone together also allows everyone to express themselves, to familiarise ourselves with the workings of the team, who does what, etc. etc. but also to sign the team’s charter, an indispensable element which respects each and everyone, including the work done by the team management.
Outside of riding your bike, do you do any other activities with the team? Trips to the cinema, etc… in order to strengthen team bonding?
During this camp we took part in a cyclosportive, Les Ballons Vosgiens. It gave us the opportunity to do a super training session, in wonderful countryside, with a relaxed mind. Shared meals gave us the possibility to get to know our partners, our technical sponsors, who very kindly made the trip to meet with us.
Can you introduce the team for this new season as well as your equipment suppliers?
The equipment used by the team will all be of a very high-level. Few international teams can boast their clothing is as good as that from G4, our kit supplier. But we also have Canyon frames, Shimano group sets, Max wheels and Challengetire. We are fortunate to have such quality equipment with which we can concentrate on racing, attacking, and winning.
Thanks to Steve and his team, good luck for this new season!