A new edition of “Le Tour de France”, cycling most prestigiuos championship, has just started. Between 198 cyclists that took the start on Utrecht (Netherlands), the favourite is Nairo Quintana, the man-to-go in Movistar Team.
This small cyclist, silent and discreet, has been shaking up the international cycling pack since 2013, in his French debut, when he decided to attack the leader, Chris Froome in two alpine stages, with a style that has been described as insolent. In the end, Nairo achieved the second place on that edition, the Mountain’s Champion “Maillot” and the white “Maillot”, given to the best young cyclist of the race.
The story of this 25-year old young man is full of legend and sensationalism, that would have normally spoiled what has been one of the most successful cyclist trainings in the last decades.
Colombia has been, historically, place of birth of the great cyclists. A generous genetic combined with an exigent landscape and huge competitors has supplied lots of Colombian “climbers”.
Preparing the ideal cyclist
Cyclism, different to many other sports, has not got a professional based structure to train and detect future talents in early years. Most of them have to give up competition when costs become too heavy for them and technical figures such as sport managers, trainers, etc, start to be needed.
To all of this, riders must add the costs of material, starting from bicycles (low cost amateur bikes cost between 1,500 to 2,000€), and ending in helmets, shoes and tyres.
As a consequence, it is very difficult to calculate the number of good bikers that cycling has lost due to this.
The question to ask is, why is not the case of Nairo Quintana applied in the selection and preparation of other cyclists at young age?
Not all is lost, as there are some professional cyclists that, in an altruist way, have started initiatives, such as Contador Foundation, a foundation that include other professional riders such as Carlos Sastre.
However, there are other examples that have decided to go a little bit further, as Epica-New Global Cycling, a project that involve in the same way professional ex-cyclists, cyclist brands and entrepreneurs with a new approach:
Achieving cycling’s base sustenaibility, ensuring the access to the best materials and professionals, to both, those who start practising the sport and those who start competing in cycling.
The blueprint used in other sports such as football, repeats, being conscious that the key of the sport’s survival starts in taking care of the base. There are many examples in football, such as FC Barcelona’s Masía, Real Madrid’s Valdebebas, and Villarreal’s youth base.
In Always Group we know, from our experience, that big projects such as this one, may cause vertigo, but this is a bet for a global change… because, who has not got a bike at home?
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