Two times world team time trial champion, Carmen Small joins the CERATIZIT-WNT Pro Cycling staff as assistant sports director for 2020.
Carmen, who hails from Durango, Colorado, will bring a wealth of knowledge having been a professional rider since 2007, winning stages of the Thüringen Rundfahrt and Lotto Belisol Ladies Tour as well as podiums in the world time trial championships and Emakumeen Bira, Small is no stranger to the current peloton as she retired in 2017.
Small’s cycling career success has followed through into her sports directing career, leading her previous riders to race wins at the Ronde van Vlaanderen, Ronde van Drenthe, Healthy Ageing Tour and Vargarda, Sweden to name but a few in 2019.
Speaking on her appointment in the team Carmen says “I had a lot of options moving into the 2020 season to go to various teams. But I wanted to make sure I picked a team that was a good fit for me. I met Dirk as a sports director in 2015 when I was still racing and I very much liked working with him as an athlete. We always stayed in contact and he asked me several times if I would like to work alongside him at some point.”
“Another big factor for me joining was that I like the structure of the team, it’s unique and I think there isn’t another cycling team like this one. Then meeting Claude Sun, the team manager, it sealed the deal for me. He believes in creating a family feeling, looking out for his employees at the company, really showed true as I saw CERATIZT Group and how it was ran. I want to be a part of something bigger and a company to lead the way to improve and change women’s cycling. So, in the end it was an easy decision for me.”
Carmen who started sports directing immediately after her racing career ended said “Over the past two and a half years I was thrown into the deep to directing. I was on the fast track for learning. At times it was very overwhelming but at the same time it forced me to ask questions and reach out for help. I had lots of different perspectives so therefore I discovered a lot of tools to run a team. In a lot of ways, I was very fortunate to have that experience.”
“I’m very excited to work with Dirk, he can teach me more and I hope I can bring things to the team that can help him improve as well. I really like to push the girls beyond what they think they can do, to enforce that they can always offer the team, their teammates, and themselves more and more. Give them the confidence they lack and unify the team to always work together to reach the main goal. That being said I know the team already does that so it’s easier to incorporate that for the next season.”
Speaking of her biggest victory she’s directed Carmen says it was Ronde van Vlaanderen earlier this year, but her best success was that she helped the team to win races with 7 different riders, and most of all, the riders raced as a team and sacrificed themselves for one another.
Carmen will join our team on their first training camp in December along with Dirk Baldinger as we look ahead to preparation for 2020.