#BehindTheStripes: Looking forward to a great year

Looking out of my window leaves me with the feeling, that the weather couldn’t be any worse: zero degrees and the rain is washing away the snow. Luckily, I don’t need to spend my working hours in the saddle anymore. Instead I’m planning the coming months for the riders. I’m really fired up to do so, as we’re going to have a great schedule.

We will have our second training camp on Mallorca in just a couple of days, before we split the team into 3 groups. One group is going to Australia to show off our stripes at the Herald Sun Tour and the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race. The second group is heading back to South Africa, where the team will try to defend the National Road title. Our third group will head to the Arabian Peninsula and open its season at the Tour of Qatar and the Tour of Oman.

From then on the train is rolling and there won’t be much time to rest. It’d be a big deal for us, if the ASO would grant us a wildcard for the Tour de France, as this would be another step in history for African cycling. But not just that. It would also be a historic moment for the Grand Boucle itself, as the organizers would add a new continent to their exposure.

My daily work at the moment is to correspond with race organisers and with all of our team members. There’s plenty of things to do to get the riders ready to race. Cycling has changed a lot in the past few years and there is a huge amount of technology involved – from the analysis of the riders training data, to the assembling of our new Cerv√©lo team bikes which will sport electronic groupsets etc. We also have a new administration system to coordinate our individual schedules and the team’s planning.

As you can see, there’s a lot of things to do. The picture of smiling kids on Qhubeka bikes and a few World Champion jersies on my walls keep me motivated, especially on bad weather days like today.

I wish all of you a great 2015 season. Keep your fingers crossed for us and hopefully, together we can reach our goal of mobilising lots of people with bikes in Africa!

Jens Zemke Blog 1

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