Teams – Equipos

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The best teamwork comes from men who are working independently toward one goal in unison.  James Cash Penney –

I have never been much of a sports person. That is until I discovered the Tour de France. Since 2003 I have followed every year even to the point of becoming a cyclist myself. I do not compete professionally or even at an armature level but I do ride for fun and to exercise.

The sport of road cycling is a team sport in which only one member of the team gets to stand on the winners box. Seems a bit odd I know but that’s just the way it works.

The Tour de France is a 21 day race in which the riders travel over mountains, down into the valleys of France and across open and airy planes. At the end of the 21 days they will have traveled more than 2,000 miles and climbed thousands of vertical feet.

Each team is comprised of 9 riders. Of those nine riders one is the captain. It is the job of the other eight riders to assist the captain to the winners podium. They will ride in formation with the captain at the back so that the captain uses less energy to combat the wind. It is estimated that he uses 30 percent less energy by doing so.

The other riders will bring him food and water. In the event of a malfunction or crash with the captain’s bike they will even give up their own bike for him. They will take turns blocking the wind for him or setting a pace for the whole group of racers to meet the goals the team has set forth for the captain on that day.

Ultimately the team goal is to see the captain wearing the yellow jersey. The yellow jersey signifies who the race leader is. It’s a very interesting sport that has an element of sacrificial teamwork to it.

There would be no prize for the team if each decided to go off on their own. The race is too long and the conditions too brutal. One man could never win alone. But one team, giving their all, day after day can take one man to the top of the podium and to the yellow jersey.



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