Olympic Games, 10 anniversary celebrations, training camps for athletes representing all disciplines and all continents, but also formation for coaches and sports directors....the World Cycling Centreâs (WCC) Director FrÃ©dÃ©ric MagnÃ© looks back over a very full season.
The World Cycling Centre celebrated its 10th anniversary in 2012. Was it a good anniversary year?
Yes. We were able to look back at the performances of many athletes and coaches who we have trained. We organised an anniversary celebration, which activated our partners and friends. 2012 marked the end of a first cycle and the beginning of a new one. Not only because of our first decade of existence but also because of the London Games.
Were the Games a culminating point of the season?
An Olympic year is always very intense in the lives of athletes and their entourage. The participation in competitions used up a lot of our energy and, in the end, we think it would have been possible to obtain better results. But, in the preparation for the Games, during the long months of work and training, we fulfilled our mission to train, educate and develop. For a training centre like ours, the objective of London 2012 has been met.
Does the end of an Olympiad mean the end of your collaboration with the athletes?
Some will not return to the WCC. Others will. This is the case of Guo Shuang, who has years of experience with us. After winning two silver medals on the track in London, she has returned to us at the end of 2012 to prepare new challenges.
Some new coaches joined you in 2012....
Yes. Jean-Jacques Henry took over from Michel ThÃ¨ze as coach of the road group and Tim Carswell replaced Jacky Mourioux for the track. They work alongside BMX coach Thomas Allier and Keith Flory, who supervises the formation programmes. We also welcomed a new assistant coach, Alejandro Gonzalez. The success of the WCC also depends on our staff, and I thank all these men and women.
Did you introduce changes to the way your technical team functioned in 2012?
I asked our coaches to exchange ideas and information more often so that they can learn from each other and know what contributes to the success for each discipline. This generation has grown with new tools such as power measures and this know-how is now essential. The WCC is in the process of improving the biomechanical and physiological approach to training.
Are you satisfied with the sporting results of your trainees?
Their results are very encouraging. Some carry prestige, like the title of UCI BMX World Champion for Carlos Ramirez in the Juniors category or, in the same category, the third place for Josip Rumac in the Road World Championships. These riders, who are just 18 years old, have a great future in store and we are delighted to have helped them towards their first results of this importance.
Among the road athletes from all continents that you trained in 2012, four will turn professional in 2013. Is this a reward?
Yes. Those involved in professional cycling are showing more and more confidence in the work carried out at the WCC. Four neo-professionals is a record for us. It is proof that we master all stages of formation, from the detection of athletes through to their participation in international competitions. I hope that these four cyclists (Natnael Berhane - Team Europcar, Eduardo Sepulveda - Bretagne-SÃ©chÃ© Environnement, Youcef Reguigui - MTN-Qhubeka, and Josip Rumac - Etixx-Ihned CT, reserve with Omega Pharma-Quick Step, NDLR) will follow the footsteps of one of our former trainees Ramunas Navardauskas (Garmin-Sharp), who wore the pink jersey in the Giro dâItalia this year!
Another record at the WCC in 2012: 94 sports directors took part in training courses this winter. What does this sort of formation mean to you?
The CMC is diversifying its activity, sharing its expertise with an ever-growing public. After the athletes, coaches and sports directors we are going to organise training courses for mechanics and physiotherapists (âsoigneursâ).
In all truth, 2013 has already begun at the WCC!
Thatâs right. The WCC is a very lively place. The athletes came to us at the end of 2012 to spend winter with us because they have goals at the beginning of 2013. This is the case of the track group. 2012 was a wonderful anniversary but we donât look back. The WCC is looking towards the future and we have some great challenges lined up for 2013!