The first year together with Team Sunweb – secrets of success and personal highlights
It is as if it were yesterday. In January 2018, we announced our partnership with Team Sunweb. At the Giro d’Italia, the team rode for the first time a UCI World Tour race with the ROX 12.0 SPORT on the handlebars. Now, just over a year later and with this year’s Giro around the corner, we can look back on the first joint and extremely successful season. Starting with big successes like Tom Dumoulin’s 2nd place at the Tour de France and Coryn Rivera’s victory at The Women’s Tour. All the way to smaller but no less valuable victories like Liane Lippert’s winning German championship or Michael Matthew’s second place finish at the Belgian BinckBank Tour and many more.
For us, the 2018 season was a special highlight in general as it was also the first racing season for our new GPS bike computer ROX 12.0 SPORT on the handlebars of a UCI World Team. In general, Team Sunweb was one of the first professional cycling teams to ride with the ROX 12.0 on its big tours, providing us with valuable parameters for the development and improvement of cycling products in recent months. At the same time, the team continually benefits from the recorded data and values provided by the ROX 12.0. The valuable findings contribute to the improvement of training and thus the performance of the riders.
Winning and celebrating together is beautiful. However, a team as a whole is and remains essential for success. It was therefore important for us to take a look behind the scenes and get to know the people behind the professional cyclists. What is your training routine? What were the personal highlights of 2018 and what are your goals for this year? Therefore we took every opportunity to learn more about the German UCI World Team.
For example, we were particularly interested in what constitutes the success of Team Sunweb from an insider’s point of view. Trainer and coach Hendrik Werner has the following theory:
“What I think contributes quite a bit to the success of Team Sunweb is that we respond to the individual riders from different perspectives. One coach talks to them about nutrition, the next about performance data, the other about material, and so on. Thus, with us, a rider has 11 to 12 interfaces to various topics, so that each coach will receive a personal impression of the rider, even as a person. These topics and interfaces converge, giving the driver great potential to personally develop in many areas. I would say this is a great secret of success.”– Hendrik Werner
Australian cyclist Michael Matthews attributes Team Sunweb’s success to the unique team spirit:
“We just have a great atmosphere in the team. I feel I can be as I am and need not bend. Everyone respects everyone the way he is. I think that’s something special in the team. Anyone can be himself without being judged. And I think that’s why we’re so successful.”– Michael Matthews
In addition to good support and a good team spirit, the training of the rider is of course a crucial point. For most, the routine of daily exercise is the same. Get up in the morning, have breakfast, fix the ROX 12.0 on the handlebars and off you go. The live feedback from the bike computer is very important for the riders, explains Hendrik Werner. Because it makes what they do objectively measurable and is at the same time in alignment with how they feel right now. Nevertheless, every rider has his own individual training methods and preferences. The Dutchman Edward Theuns, for example, tries as often as possible to combine his training with meeting friends and arranges for a joint bike ride. In contrast, German champion Liane Lippert usually trains alone at Lake Constance and, after the break of the season, additionally performs targeted stabilisation and strength training for the arms, back and torso.
“That’s pretty important for us cyclists. Otherwise, my bike training is always different and long, from two to five hours.”– Liane Lippert
Tom Dumoulin appreciates the variety and balance between individual rides and group rides.
“I like to train in the group, but not every day. Sometimes I have individual training sessions that I have to do and that work better alone. And a ride on one’s own is beautiful. Just being alone with yourself and your own thoughts. That can be very cool.”– Tom Dumoulin
And what does a Team Sunweb rider do typically after his training, we wondered. Nikias Arndt reveals:
“After training it is important to give the body the opportunity to regenerate. For example, I like to have a “recovery shake” or something to eat. In the afternoon I often go to the physiotherapist for a massage. This keeps the body in balance.”– Nikias Arndt
Understandable, because massages accelerate the regeneration by increasing the circulation in the skin and muscles and relieve tension and hardening. Liane Lippert usually loads her training data from the ROX 12.0 into the DATA CENTER immediately after the training and take a look at her values. Together with her coach, she analyses the data in order to decide on the next steps for her training.
When Team Sunweb looks back on 2018, then the Tour de France and Tom Dumoulin’s second place finish were the big highlights to remember vividly and happily. You can tell quickly that Tom Dumoulin’s result is seen as a team effort to which everyone has contributed with individual commitment and support. Nikias Arndt enthusiastically tells:
“We just had a really cool tour! We had a good atmosphere in the team from start to finish and had fun together. Of course we took things seriously and had the goal in mind. But in the end, going home with the 2nd spot was a highlight for all of us.”– Nikias Arndt
We think that’s the way it can go on. And what about 2019? What are the riders of Team Sunweb looking forward to the most? What are their personal goals and what will be the biggest challenge? Of course, overall goals are again good placements in big tours and the classics among the cycling races. Tom Dumoulin has even set himself an even higher goal.
“Our focus in 2019 will be on the Giro d’Italia. Actually, we had the Tour de France in mind, but the Giro has such a beautiful track this year that we have decided to change course. I love Italy, I love the track and I love the race. That’s why the Giro will be my main goal for this year. And after that, it’s likely that I’ll be participating in the Tour de France too, trying to win there like last year.”– Tom Dumoulin
But personal advancement and team issues are also in focus. Liane Lippert is especially looking forward to the new riders in the women’s team.
“We have four new cyclists and a pretty young team. It is nice to share with others the experience gained over time. I’m really excited and I’m sure we will have another successful year together.”– Liane Lippert
However, there is not one big, particularly challenging race, says Hendrik Werner.
“Every race has its peculiarities somewhere in its own way. And first and foremost, control is a kind of illusion and every race comes just as it comes. Therefore it is all the more important how we respond to different events. And that is why I would say that every race counts for itself.”– Hendrik Werner
Team Sunweb has already been successful with the start of the 2019 season and we are curious to see what victories we can achieve together this year. On Saturday, May 11th, the Giro d’Italia will start and we are curious if Tom and the team can achieve their goals.