When you’re racing for the finish line every split-second counts. That goes as much for the support team as for Team Sky cycling stars that have delivered four Tour de France victories.
For the 2017 season, Team Sky asked us to train their team of elite Sport Directors who trail the riders in race cars, managing the race strategy via radio and making sure they have everything they need, from an energy drink to a whole new bike.
We invited them to Lommel Proving Ground, in Belgium, to put them through Ford’s Professional Driver programme on our test track, using Performance Fords & the All-Wheel Drive Mondeo estate cars that are now an integral part of the race team.
“We all were very astonished by the progress these guys made – and how passionate they were about this driver training.” said Johan Craeghs, who led a team of instructors to show the drivers how to deal with conditions including a full skid, braking and laps around the high speed handling track. “They really felt they could improve their driving skills and use that in the race.”
Training also included loading up the cars with a full complement of bicycles – with each vehicle able to carry nine bikes as well as wheels, tools, spare kit and a cool-box
“The benefit to us will be during a race. If we can now feel more comfortable and relaxed driving in extreme situations, it will be safer and allow us more time to concentrate on race strategy,” said, multi Tour de France-winning Sports Director Nico Portal.
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