After a fulfilling season that saw her young team develop, improve and build confidence on the international racing scene, their Sport Director leaves to take up the position of Sport Director with UCI Women’s WorldTeam UAE Team ADQ. She will also take on a role of Coach of the Coaches, helping develop the profession in the United Arab Emirates by training coaches of women athletes.
“It was a hard decision,” explains Cristina San Emeterio Garcia, who will leave Aigle with only good memories. “It has been such a great year, and I had meant to stay longer but this is also an opportunity,” she explains.
She believes the season she has spent with the WCC Team will have armed her with the necessary skills for her new role. The 2022 roster for the WCC Team comprised eight young women from as many countries and four continents: Africa, America, Asia and Europe.
“Working with the WCC Team is a unique experience,” says the Spanish Sport Director. “You live 24/24 with the girls, which is totally different from other teams. That is a unique experience that you only get here and it’s amazing. We support them in all aspects of their life, not only their performance. I’m still learning.
“My first goal with the WCC Team was to understand their different cultures and customs, make sure all the women understood and respected each other too, and create a good atmosphere within the team. As the season went on their relationship got stronger and they worked better together as a team.”
After their first uncertain races on the European scene, the WCC Team grew in confidence, skills and knowledge to compete heads high in top tier events against UCI Women’s WorldTeams.
“They improved so much this year,” their DS says proudly. “We had a progressive racing calendar, because at the beginning of the season, racing against UCI Women’s WorldTeams would have been a bad experience for them. They realise this and are very happy that they can now compete at a high level. I’m so proud of them.”
The highlights have been so numerous, it is difficult to pinpoint a highlight: “Working in cycling has always been a dream for me. So this last year working, living and travelling with the team has been a dream. I come away with only good memories.
“As far as the team itself goes, it is so rewarding when you realise they are happy with their performances and their improvement, and they share that with you. I am going to miss them because we are like a family.
“I would like to thank the UCI WCC for this opportunity and their confidence in my work. When the people around you support you and trust in what you do, it makes everything easier.”
UCI WCC Director Jacques Landry said: “Cristina has been a huge asset to our WCC Team, taking the raw talent of her athletes and creating a solid, competitive and unified team. While her departure will be felt, she will continue her fantastic work to develop women’s cycling with UAE Team ADQ.”