Backed by official supplier Jaguar, the UK based cycling team is most famous for helping Olympic gold medal winning road cyclist Bradley Wiggins to his stunning Tour de France title in 2012.
With the world’s media surrounding them at all times, Marcus and Dan – two of the sport’s leading Directeur Sportifs – have the ominous task of supporting the team on the road whilst driving their specially equipped Jaguar XF Sportbrake support vehicles perilously close to some of the world’s best road cyclists at speeds of up to 100kph.
Responsible for driving their support cars laden with hundreds of thousands of pounds worth of bikes and other specialist equipment, for periods of up to 8 hours per day, these two essential team members also have to be able to relay and listen to race information from the riders, make tactical racing decisions and avoid other team cars jostling for position behind the peleton. To make matters more difficult, the Directeur Sportifs will often have to drive one handed whilst using their other hand to talk via race radios, hand out fresh bidons (water bottles), food and clothing to riders.
In order to improve team performance and highlight the importance of driver safety, Jaguar brought Marcus and Dan to MIRA – the world leading engineering consultancy – for some in-depth driver training with instructors Nigel Smith and James Scott. Accompanying both Directeur Sportifs on the day were fellow Team Sky member CJ Sutton and former Formula-1 and Le Mans racing driver Martin Brundle.
Now a commentator for Sky F1, Martin has experience of driving at the highest level, and has previously raced for a number of teams including McLaren and Jordan. This enabled Martin to provide the two Team Sky drivers with his methods for successfully combining race decisions with driving technique.