Being relatively “new kids on the block” in terms of presence in the professional ranks of cycling, Team EuropcarSA have announced their presence through the medium that talks the loudest, results.
The first “big” road race of the new season saw Ryan Gibbons (feature image) take the win at the Value Logistics “Fast One”, outsprinting prolific race winner Nolan Hoffman. While many will say that it was still early season for the contenders, coming off their training camps and early preparation, it still was a win for the team, and a win that sent a clear message to their competitors that EuropcarSA are to be taken seriously in 2015.
This success is in part due to the commitment and input from former professional cyclist Nic White, who has been instrumental in developing youngsters into the world of professional sport. White has been nurturing his aspiring charges, feeding off his years of experience and more importantly, his great work ethic and standards. They have created a cohesive team unit that is made up of hard workers and potential race winners. White commented of his work done, “We have been privileged to work with young riders and try to mould them in a way that will help them become future champions. In some ways there is science involved, and in many ways it is an art that we have learned and developed over time in the sport.” This clearly alludes to White’s skills and tactics used to guide his athletes.
He adds, “There are certain ways we can help create an environment that will allow them to develop, but with certain training techniques and equipment, we can give them the tools to monitor their efforts and gauge their improvements. This is definitely the science part of the equation. It is possible to progress rapidly through certain techniques and measurements of power output. This, along with the know-how of racing and tactics, and the camaraderie that we can develop amongst them, will help them to become race winners.” White is open about sharing team EuropcarSA’s formula for success.
George Corbett, Director of Team Europcar SA, gave his insight on the rapid progression of Team EuropcarSA, “We started the team on a very small scale in 2012 and then stepped up the profile and Europcar involvement over the past 3 years. The potential to leverage better marketing exposure and enhance the brand fit for Europcar and our partners was realised during the latter 2014 and this has allowed us the opportunity to increase the team profile. The team performance in the early season of 2015 has been impressive with podium results in all the events so far. The progress made by the team and the extension of this into the academy has been remarkable and we believe that Team EuropcarSA will become one of the leading teams in South Africa.”
Part of the success of the team has been their strategic partnership with brands and products. Their successful foundation attracted the attention of the new online retailer to the outdoor fraternity, Pure Motion Sports, who are the license holders of POC, Muc-Off and Skratch Labs in South Africa.
Corbett commented on the helmets supplied to the team by the Swedish company POC, who also supply safety equipment to UCI Pro Tour Team Cannondale-Garmin. “POC is certainly a well-respected and top class product. The interest it has drawn at events, and in the media has been positive so far.” He went on to qualify the success of the products, “The team’s acceptance of the products has been great and very impressed with the helmets. Our Track academy kit and POC products have blended exceptionally well and the TT equipment has certainly raised further interest with the cycling fraternity.”
While sponsorships, partnerships and media are important to the Directors of the team the final word has to go to the man in charge of performance. Nic White gave his insight into the team’s strategy regarding products, “Our equipment choices are important, and I have tried to be conservative and within our means when it comes to what we use. We will utilise the best that we can in certain areas, and make sure that we have good reliable components. I do not compromise in areas that do not make sense, but we have a rounded approach to what is needed and used. We have partnered strategically with companies that fit within this profile, and offer good equipment that will benefit our process of developing riders for their futures.”
Given this solid grounding and foundation combined with the inspirational leaders, strong mentors and partners, Team EuropcarSA look set for a great year ahead. The hard work on the roads is now over to the riders themselves. With the backing and support of all involved we wish the team great success and many victories in the future. Look out for Team EuropcarSA on the podium in a race near you soon.
For more information on the team:
For more information on EuropCar and their sponsorship strategy for cycling: