by Mark Chillingworth

Bradley Wiggins’ Tour de France win shows us all team spirit

Jul 23, 20123 mins

Great Britain has a Tour de France winner. Bradley Wiggins will be the first to admit that his win on Sunday was a team effort. 
As with all victories, whether in sport, business or technology team spirit is what delivers the result. 
Cycling is a massive central pillar to my life, it almost defines me. My big return to pedal power post childhood was mountain biking. At the time, as a student, the no rules scruffy amateur appeal of mountain biking really struck a chord. But as my career has progressed and the amateur has been dropped on the climb by the need to be a leader. As a result the dynamics of a team have increasingly fascinated me. The mountain bike still gets thrown down the Downs every week, but perhaps with a little more structured thought. 
In tandem to my career, and sadly in no way related, has been the rise of the UK as a cycling nation, especially our sporting prowess on the bike. Olympic success and now the Tour de France have been masterminded by Dave Brailsford, performance director of British Cycling
Despite talking about cycling every hour of the day, I’m no expert. I can just ride a lot. And its early days in my leadership career, I’m just lucky to have access to a lot of CIOs who share their experiences with me. But one observation of Brailsford’s recent results comes through to me very clearly: British cycling is built on a team ethos of everyone wanting to achieve results for the team. Nowhere was that more clearly demonstrated than in is Tour de France. I was awe struck to see Bradley Wiggins put maximum effort into taking a turn to lead out team mates Mark Cavendish and Edvald Boasson Hagen to get stage wins. I know Wiggins has been criticised for team spirit failures in the past, if he did make mistakes before, he made up for them in the last three weeks. 
Today the spirit continues, there was no time to relax, the team headed straight back to the UK and into training to win Cavendish an Olympic medal in London. No post Tour party, straight back into focusing on the next objective. 
From what I have read and observed of the way the Team Sky and Team GB cyclists talk it is Brailsford’s ability to select self motivated, challenging thinkers who take bold decisions and admit mistakes that has created these two incredible teams. 
I’ll keep looking to Brailsford and British cycling for inspiration, this Cycle Sport magazine article here has some good insights into Brailsford and I’m sure we all want to be on a winning team.