Working as one is key to the success of the 12-member Santé Barley cycling team

By Eric Nicole Salta

Controlling their destiny seems to be second nature to the Santé Barley Cycling Team. The 12-member cycling squad officially formed this year despite riding together for several years after realizing, says team captain Glenn Lee, “we were best to do our own team.”

Their decision paid off. Sante Barley has been racking up wins—most recently at the Tour of Clark where they swept the top three spots in the rider General Classification (GC) as well as the team GC. But destiny appears to have plotted other pursuits for Santé Barley, too. “We are also enjoying a very competitive team time trial and fun rivalry with Fitness First, another great team,” confesses Lee. “We won our first encounter by eight seconds and they won the second encounter by eight seconds. That’s what’s great about racing—close finishes and then having a good friendship with your competitors.”

Maximizing Rides

“When out training, you must always ensure all riders get the most out of the sessions. This could mean domestiques starting the session then the stronger riders taking over to finish it off hard and fast. We could just get a paceline working a quick swap for the whole ride with a focus on keeping the pace above a certain speed or average. This teaches and refines the paceline skills needed by all teams and then each rider must be 100 percent focused for the whole ride to ensure he does his job.”

Role Playing

“We do team-specific training for time trials and for practicing the execution of race plans. Different team members have different goals or roles to do based on their individual skills. Some of us are climbers, time trialists, or sprinters based on the race type. Course and distance will determine what role each team member plays. The most important thing to remember is that it takes all the team working as one to be successful on a consistent basis.”

Take a Backseat

“The first thing that has to be clearly defined is that all team members must put their personal ambitions aside. Everything each rider does has to be solely for the team. Each team member has to be willing to sacrifice himself or herself for the designated team member that has the best chance of winning the event. It’s actually the hardest thing to achieve, finding 12 riders willing to sacrifice personal glory for the team’s success.”