A Spanish-speaking and now Colombian project, Team INCA had its heyday at the Alpine Classic 2019. Colombian Jhon Jairo Alonso was invited to the third step on the podium. Since then, Jean-Marc Goullieux, manager, and his now sports director and coach, Louis Faure, have tried to keep the project going. But the other city admits it, they encounter some difficulties in their task. Present at Valromey at the moment, the team’s juniors have so far experienced two difficult days while waiting for the road to rise further. To DirectVelogave Louis Faure an update on the project, the difficulties, the changes to be made, and his personal role in the team.
DirectVelo: How’s the start of Valromey?
Louis Faure: Wednesday was a bit of a complicated day for us. We quickly lose someone who is feeling worse at the moment. It was a bit predictable. Saw a J1 in the fall next. We had four left in the race. Two finishes in the field, but failed to go into the shots. We have two in the group of 4 minutes and two in the group net as a starting point (these four runners passed the second stage without any problems, editor’s note).
The team seems a little hard …
It’s a little more complicated than last year. It was the first year of the project last year (to read the story, editor’s note), we were quite happy. We did not start from scratch. Today, our mode of operation clearly means that we only work with Colombians and only with the Esteban Chaves Foundation. Which means that when you have two or three talents over a year, you do well, and when there are fewer, you have years that are a little out. So on our side we will review our behavior, learn from our mistakes. The aim is to bring in Europeans, French and others. It is our desire to internationalize things. Because it only seems complicated to work with Colombians. And also in relation to our recruitment.
“IT’S NOT EASY FOR MORALS”
What is the future regarding the fund?
We are not going to break away from the fund, we are working well with them, but they are in a quarter or a fifth of Colombia. So in fact, we are developing with a single team, which itself operates in a small part of the country, so it is a bit complicated. We can also help them. They want riders from all over Colombia, but it’s hard to develop. They have teams opposite like Tierra de Atletas, who also come a bit to Europe. They have the state that supports them, holds their hand, so it’s complicated. So it’s a difficult start. Even though we had good results with the Juniors in the Pyrenees Classic. Then there was a downturn due to a wave of covid. But we will try to get back on track.
How do runners manage to get hit on these races?
A day like yesterday (Wednesday) is not easy for morale. The goal was to remobilize them. We can play our cards right on other stages. There is a possibility that the breakaways will end up with the holes in general. Then we have our climber, Marco Montana, who we will keep for the next few days.
How to promote their adaptation to France?
This year we are on apartments near Aurillac. They are housed, six juniors and seven espoirs, with a cadet who came for two or three months to shop. It’s going pretty well. We are also considering only keeping juniors to watch. Cadets, we think it’s important that they come early. We see that some J1s arrive a little lost. We see it on the location, on lots of bugs. But 10,000 km from home it is not easy in Cadet. Why not make them come and discover a little so as not to end up in the unknown afterwards.
“THIS REMAINS CHILDREN 10,000 TERMINALS FROM HOME”
On a personal level, did you think you would end up with this cap?
I had not imagined that. I was still a bit in Limoges with Espoirs, in my lifelong club. While I was in STAPS, I knew right away that I wanted to stay in the cycling world, that’s my passion. I was also passionate about training when I was a runner. So I took my education, I was an intern at Pôle Espoirs in Guéret with Maxime Mederel, who taught me a lot of things. I kept in touch with David Giraud, who was in the AG2R sector. He heard about this project, I was put in touch with Jean-Jacques (Goullieux), the manager, and it fit well. It was my first experience as a coach and DS, I could not ask for more.
Finally, you have even more work to do than any other DS!
I had the adaptation of the language, it allowed me to be bilingual as we only work in Spanish, despite their French teaching. Then there was the recruitment management. On site also everyday. I’m with them all the time. It’s more than just a coaching and DS job. It’s still kids, teens who are 10,000 miles from home. We also work with Clinique du souffle, which enabled us to work with doctors, dietitians and psychologists. We are well structured in this. Therefore, today we have a feeling that we are missing something on the athlete because we are well structured on the medical level, the whole staff gives everything. But those are things that need to change, the base is there.
“IT TEACHES ME TO STAND BACK”
We imagine that it is difficult to give a strong speech after the races … How do you do with them?
You have to find the middle ground. With the French, we could get a little more into them. But there it is complicated, the kids come back to the apartments after the races, they are 10,000 km from home for five months, I have to have time to have the right speech. It’s true that for me it’s a great first experience because it teaches me to take a step back, to think about how I should be able to get things through to them. I work pretty well on cold debriefing, especially when things are going pretty badly. We wait a few days and explain things. I’m lucky to have them on hand all the time. It’s a great first experience.
And we imagine that the project is long-term …
The idea is that it holds. We work with AG2R, which helps us a lot, also the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region. We will continue to grow, I was a runner in U19, we see that today it is expertise in this age category, it is an example. It must have been almost 15 years, we are in the second year of knowing that there was covid before. So I say to myself that we still have time to grow, we need to take our time but not keep up with our performance.