Carmen Small retires from cycling and becomes sports director at Team Virtu Cycling
Carmen Small has decided to end her career as a bike rider. Instead she takes the role of sports director at Team Virtu Cycling and her many years of experience will strengthen the team.
In 2018, Carmen Small will set the tactics for Team Virtu Cycling when the Danish women’s World Tour team sets out to race in the biggest races in women’s cycling. The 37-year-old American retires as a rider and instead becomes sports director at Team Virtu Cycling.
When Carmen Small became part of Team Virtu Cycling in 2017, she planned to transition from rider to sports director, but a bad crash in March in Holland put a more sudden end than planned to her career on the bike. Even though, she looks forward to entering a new role now.
“I think it’s a lot of mixed feelings. Every time I am at a race it is hard and especially being at Worlds and watching them race. I miss bike racing – it my first love – and it’s hard not to do it, but I enjoy my new role and I’m getting a lot of joy and excitement working with the girls and give my passion to them. I am happy I am stopping while I’m still enjoying the sport,” Carmen Small says.
For the last decade, she has been part of the professional peloton and won multiple medals at the World Championships. All that experience she aims to give to the riders on Team Virtu Cycling.
“I think it is really beneficial because I’ve been racing – I came basically straight into being a DS. I know the girls, the races, the courses and I know how the girls race because I was just racing them. I think it is hugely beneficial when it comes to tactics, understanding what the girls are going through, and the pain that it takes to be the best, because I’ve done it myself,” she says.
In some of the last races this season, she has been sitting behind the wheel in the sports director’s car, and although it is quite a different job, she is already looking forward to starting next season.
“It’s not easy, I got my feet a little wet this year already, but I still have a lot to learn to be a good sports director. I’m looking forward to starting next season and working with a strong team, I’ve put together and it will be a huge benefit setting up the program and the expectations to begin with,” she adds.
Before this season Carmen Small completed UCI Sports Director Course, and now she is becoming one of few women who is sports director at one of the women’s World Tour teams.
Team Virtu Cycling will announce the remaining riders for 2018 in the coming weeks.
Photo: Dan Eugen Photography