Earlier this year I said that «in the end we’ll get what we deserve» regarding wildcards. At that time we had none.
We NEVER race for commercial show-off. We race for the best performance possible. The calendar, the race rosters and the race strategies are the territory of our sports management with no commercial influences. Therefore we are not necessarily in the front row when the cards are handed out.
Then we did the first spring semi-classics. 10th at Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne, 2nd at Le Samyn, 8th at Nokere Koerse and 11th at Bredene Koksijde Classic. We haven’t won anything yet, but we sure have been racing as a team, and the response has been overwhelming. It is great to see the level of our troops and the performance of our new riders. They have been racing with their hearts out.
After K-B-K and Le Samyn, Natalie (our operations manager) sent me couple of messages at WhatsApp loaded with emojis. Wildcard for Brugge-De Panne, wildcard for E3 Saxo Bank Classic and a wildcard for Amstel Gold Race. Hence, we are now creating history. No male team with a Norwegian license have been racing at WorldTour level. It's a fantastic feeling.
Lars Ytting Bak is a fantastic addition to the Uno-X family. We are quite deep into the planning of 2022 and the launch of our women’s team. In near time we will order a new truck, the new bus, order off-race clothing, hire another sports director and couple of coaches, find a doctor + nutritionist + carers + mechanics. We plan to have a base of 3-6 riders from the Nordic countries. This base will then be supplied with strong names from outside of Scandinavia. It is not enough to be Nordic, we need riders with potential and capacity levels to perform at the WorldTour.
At the same time, Uno-X has expanded it’s business model. In addition to our operations of unmanned gas stations, we are now operating unmanned car wash concepts in both Norway and Denmark. In Norway we have launched an efficient, eco-branded car wash concept with an aggressive pricing model. We aim for success!
It is intense, but we are not slowing down. We are ready to start World Touring on Wednesday.
About the Author
Jens Haugland is the General Manager of the Uno-X Pro Cycling Team and CEO of Uno-X Norge AS. Amongst friends and family he is well known for his level of enthusiasm and passion for the sport of cycling. You’ll meet him along the roads in the municipality of Nittedal, his beloved home region, on his custom-built DARE GFE or MR1s bike. You may also find him on Twitter by the name @sykkelsjefen, where he share his day to day thoughts on what’s going on in the world of cycling. He’s 37 years old and has three kids together with Elisabeth.
Photo credit: Mario Stiehl and Uno-X Tour te Fjells