UCI Sport Director Training Program

November 22, 2016

UCI Sport Director Training Program

If you think that a Sport Director (DS) has an easy job and is just driving the team car in the race caravan, then you are wrong.

By: ALP Coach Patricia Schwager

This blog is about my experience at the UCI DS training program. I spent the last 3 weeks in Switzerland. The main reason for the trip to my home country was because I attended the 8 days DS training program. The class took place in Aigle, at the World Cycling Center (HQ of the UCI). Every autumn, the UCI is offering a class and exam to receive the UCI DS certification. Right now, the UCI DS certification is mandatory for all Sport Directors working for WorldTour teams and Pro Continental teams. As we got told, this rule will soon also apply for Sport Directors that are working for UCI women's teams. I was lucky enough to receive one of the few scholarships for this 8 day class. Thank you to the UCI for offering such scholarships and thank you to Team TIBCO-Silicon Valley Bank for the help to get me a scholarship. Fun fact about the DS training program: it was almost like a reunion! I knew lots of the people in my class, people that I have met somewhere during my long pro racing career.

If you think that a Sport Director (DS) has an easy job and is just driving the team car in the race caravan, then you are wrong. As a DS, you have to have the knowledge of many different aspects of cycling. You have to organize, plan, communicate and of course you need to know the rules and regulations. What is allowed and what is not allowed for your riders, for yourself while driving in the race convoy and then there are many other rules for team administrative stuff, equipment, anti-doping, etc

The following topics were covered during the 8 days of school:

-Team registration- financial criteria: we learned about the many financial criteria that a team has to fulfill in order to receive a WT license or register as a Pro Continental team. We learned which documents each team has to provide and we got to know the rules/ regulations for a paying agent, bank guarantee, rider contracts, etc.

-Sporting control of road races: this was the biggest/ main topic as it covered all the rules that appear before, during and after a road race. Penalties are you better make sure to know the rules! :)

-Organization of the UCI: this presentation was about the global organization of the UCI, about the rules of the different World rankings, about rider/ staff licenses and about new regulations/ key regulations for 2017

-Professional Road cycling: this topic was all about; team roster registrations, transfers, Joint Agreements 2013, Rider's Agents and the required insurance policies for teams.

UCI ALP Cycles Coaching

-Equipment: this was very interesting as we talked and learned about: technical regulations of equipment, approval procedure for frames/forks/wheels and general rules about equipment and clothing.

-Anti-doping: it is very, very important to know these rules! World anti-doping code, anti-doping rules violations, WADA and ADAMS (whereabouts), TUE (Therapeutic Use Exemption). We also had a presentation from the CADF (Cycling Anti-Doping Foundation). The CADF is independent from the UCI but is mandated by the UCI to run its anti-doping program/ testing.

-Role of a DS/ rules of driving in a race caravan: as a DS you need to know in which time frame you have to plan everything for a race or a whole race season. Then we also had a lesson to get the knowledge of driving in a race caravan. Things can become very stressful/ hectic in certain race situations.

-Leadership: for 2 days we learned tips, tricks and skills for leadership. As a DS, you are a leader. You have to have good communication, people skills and work with clear rules. You have to make decisions and that's not always easy. Which values do you need as a DS/ leader? How do you explain things in an easy way and to make it understandable for everyone? How do you tell a rider that she/ he didn't make the team selection for a big race? How do you form a team out of individuals with different personalities, nationalities/cultures/languages? We also learned to understand team dynamics, how to involve everyone in teamwork and how to delegate roles within the team to make teamwork most efficient.

The exam was on the last day. The questions were across all the topics we talked about during the 8 days and about all the UCI rules. I passed the exam and will now have the UCI DS certification in my pocket!

I certainly learned a lot during the 8 days at the UCI center and I am sure all this knowledge will be helpful for my future!

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


Patricia Schwager began cycling in 1998, racing as a junior. After racing on the domestic level and completing her Diploma as Pastry Chef, she got her first pro contract in 2006. 2015 will be here 10th year of professional racing. Patricia has a lot of experience racing in the European peloton. In 2013 she started working with Shawn Heidgen (Current ALP Cycles Coach) as her personal coach. In 2014 she changed her focus to racing in the US. Patricia is a 6 time national Swiss champion and has represented her home country, Switzerland, at the World Championships 12 times.

For 2015, Patricia will race for Team Tibco. Along with racing she’s looking to share and pass on her knowledge in her new role as an ALP Cycles Coach. Visit her online at

About ALP Cycles Coaching

ALP Cycles Coaching is located in the mountains of Colorado, and is a cycling coaching company with over 25 years of professional sports experience. ALP Cycles Coaching is unique in that we have 4 coaches, Alison Powers, Jennifer Triplett, and Patricia Schwager who each brings her own coaching strengths and personal experiences. We work together to create a training plan that works for each and every person. Visit them online at

Related Stories You Might Like

  • How to Deal With The Heat

    Two words: Ice Socks. by Jennifer Sharp, ALP Cycles Coaching It’s summer in the Northern Hemisphere and temperatures are hotting up. While each person responds differently to heat (some drive, others wilt) there are a...

  • The Art of Being Prepared

    Preparing for race day is more than training and recovery. by Alison Powers, ALP Cycles Coaching The art of being prepared comes down to one simple thing – no surprises on race day. Preparing for race day is more t...

  • What Makes a Great Coach?

    “The most important take away is to find a coach that you know will be your partner, your teammate and will work with you 100% toward your personal goal.” by Alison Powers, ALP Cycles Coaching It’s that time of year w...

Also in Training & Coaching

Train Smarter, Not Harder
Train Smarter, Not Harder

November 07, 2016

"How many of you have overtrained?"  asked Dr. San Millan to a room full of 25 coaches and athletes.

Every single person raised their hand.

Everyone, at some point in their athletic lives, will overtrain. In the summer time it's easy to throw in extra mileage even though you've done 15 hours of riding that week and it's only Friday - what's the harm? And while it's ok to pile on the extra miles every once in a while, making a habit of it means you'll eventually find out why rest days are super important. And that lesson could cost you a week, a month, a season or a full year. 

Read More

High Performance Camp Recap
High Performance Camp Recap

October 31, 2016

As coaches, we continually look for ways to make our ALP athletes better, faster, stronger, and more knowledgable. We want them to be the best athletes they can possibly be. 

Personally, when I think back to my racing and training career, I wish I had known many of the things I now know as a coach. So, that lead me to think of ways we can teach our athletes this 'high performance'  knowledge so they can raise their game to the next level. With some brain storming we came up with a new training/learning/teaching camp. The ALP Cycles High Performance Camp.

Read More

Alison Powers and ALP Cycles Coaching Present New Women's Race Team- ALP Cycles Racing
Alison Powers and ALP Cycles Coaching Present New Women's Race Team- ALP Cycles Racing

October 20, 2016

We are excited to announce the addition of a Women's Race team to our ALP Cycles arsenal.  ALP Cycles Racing is a new women's race team based in Boulder, Colorado which augments individual professional coaching with race team techniques and camaraderie. By providing coached training rides and team races with team race strategy, ALP Cycles Racing hopes to change the way local race teams train and race. 

Read More

Find us on Google+