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13 May 2012 13:33

You guys are the bestest! Thanks again for taking the time to offer such thoughtful and illuminating responses.

Nest Question that's been bugging me as I try to figure out the subtleties: How may DS's does each team have? Is it similar to a hockey team, where you have a head coach, and then several assistant coaches who specialize in specific areas (i.e. goal coach, special teams, etc)? Or is the DS more of a managerial position, who takes care of hiring and scouting and all that jazz and isn't so involved during individual races? Does a guy like Vaughters oversee a team of other DS's/coaches who specialize in individual or types of races? Is he (and his counterparts on other teams), as the Big Boss, only in the Team Car for the Tour?

tl;dr: I'm confused by all the different DS's from the same team who get interviewed on TV. Can someone clarify how that position works and what their responsibilities are?
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User avatar ElleSquared
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13 May 2012 14:01

ElleSquared wrote:You guys are the bestest! Thanks again for taking the time to offer such thoughtful and illuminating responses.

Nest Question that's been bugging me as I try to figure out the subtleties: How may DS's does each team have? Is it similar to a hockey team, where you have a head coach, and then several assistant coaches who specialize in specific areas (i.e. goal coach, special teams, etc)? Or is the DS more of a managerial position, who takes care of hiring and scouting and all that jazz and isn't so involved during individual races? Does a guy like Vaughters oversee a team of other DS's/coaches who specialize in individual or types of races? Is he (and his counterparts on other teams), as the Big Boss, only in the Team Car for the Tour?

tl;dr: I'm confused by all the different DS's from the same team who get interviewed on TV. Can someone clarify how that position works and what their responsibilities are?


There's quite a lot of overlap in roles. The directeur sportifs are not coaches, though. That is a separate job.

Generally, the guy driving the car will be a DS, and the guy in the passenger seat is a mechanic. While you might think that's odd since a DS is more senior and needs to be thinking more about the race, the mechanic has situations where he needs to be out of the car quickly. See http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BaCpwR8G0hw for details

But, because a team has up to 30 members, they are often racing in two (and sometimes in 3) places at once, generally with one or two teamcars at each even, for the top professional teams. Each of those cars basically has to have a guy who knows what he's doing in it.

Sometimes the guy in charge of the team will be in one of the cars at races, as a DS, like Vaughters. In other cases, such as Patrick Lefereve, he no longer does that due to illness. They are basically team tacticians - they will have some responsibility devising the plan for the race, and seeing that it goes to plan. I think that a DS will usually be responsible for race day management of the team too, but I don't know.
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15 May 2012 14:28

Awesome. Thanks, Caruut.

While my other questions have been (mostly) serious, this is something that has always driven me nuts about Grand Tours: how the hell do they have a shiny new pink/yellow/green etc jersey ready at the end of every stage that is already emblazoned with the appropriate team sponsorships? Do the race organizers print one jersey of every colour for every team for every single stage of the race? How else can they be sure to have the right jersey on hand? That seems excessive and wasteful....What happens to all the unused jerseys? Is there a secret stash of never-worn Rabobank green jerseys lying around somewhere in the Tour headquarters?

Someone help me figure out what is (probably) a very simple explanation for a phenomenon that drives me nutty..... :p
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User avatar ElleSquared
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15 May 2012 14:35

I don't think they need quite as many as you say. The jersey the riders get to wear on the podium are unisize and prefabricated, and not really the ones they wear during the race - so that would be one per team x the number of jerseys (that's still a lot though, thinking about it). As far as I know, between the podium ceremony and the start of the race the following day they produce a jersey in the appropriate size for whoever gets it for the stage and this person can then keep it as a souvenir.

I could be completely wrong though, I don't actually know. ;)
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15 May 2012 15:45

ElleSquared wrote:Awesome. Thanks, Caruut.

While my other questions have been (mostly) serious, this is something that has always driven me nuts about Grand Tours: how the hell do they have a shiny new pink/yellow/green etc jersey ready at the end of every stage that is already emblazoned with the appropriate team sponsorships? Do the race organizers print one jersey of every colour for every team for every single stage of the race? How else can they be sure to have the right jersey on hand? That seems excessive and wasteful....What happens to all the unused jerseys? Is there a secret stash of never-worn Rabobank green jerseys lying around somewhere in the Tour headquarters?

Someone help me figure out what is (probably) a very simple explanation for a phenomenon that drives me nutty..... :p


I remember seeing a section about this during the Tour a few years ago. What they do is they have those team graphic squares that are on the center of the jerseys already ready for every team. Then, after the results are confirmed, they quickly press the "team square" onto the long-sleeved podium jersey. After that, they have enough time before the next stage to get a proper fitting jersey to the rider to wear in the race.
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15 May 2012 15:51

"The second place is not good."
The great Alberto Contador :p
User avatar LaFlorecita
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15 May 2012 16:40

Brilliant. Mystery solved.
:o
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User avatar ElleSquared
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15 May 2012 17:16

ElleSquared wrote:Brilliant. Mystery solved.
:o


You understood the French or do you want a summary?

[SIZE="1"]And who's your favourite? I really want to know.[/SIZE]
"The second place is not good."
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User avatar LaFlorecita
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15 May 2012 18:54

LaFlorecita wrote:Maybe this is helpful: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eN3HaVokkrg


For once I must congratulate you on an interesting post... ;) Interesting indeed. What's also funny is that after the ceremony the rider comes down and signs about 4 or 5 other jerseys before heading to the interview. Don't know exactly what happens to those, maybe they are auctioned off for charity
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User avatar Christian
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15 May 2012 19:28

Christian wrote:For once I must congratulate you on an interesting post... ;) Interesting indeed. What's also funny is that after the ceremony the rider comes down and signs about 4 or 5 other jerseys before heading to the interview. Don't know exactly what happens to those, maybe they are auctioned off for charity


VIPs, team sponsors, personal sponsors. For example, if they're paying Alberto $1.5m a year or whatever, I reckon Specialized might like a shiny jersey to go in head office.
User avatar Caruut
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16 May 2012 03:26

LaFlorecita wrote:You understood the French or do you want a summary?

[SIZE="1"]And who's your favourite? I really want to know.[/SIZE]


My French comprehension is just enough above "abysmal" that I got the gist. :cool:
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User avatar ElleSquared
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