Juan Manuel Garate, or Juanma as everyone calls him, is from the Basque Country in Spain and is a Sports’ Directeur of mine on EF Education First.
He was also pro back in the day, having won a stage of each of the Grand Tours, topped off by his epic Mont Ventoux win in the 2009 Tour de France.
Juanma is someone that I admire in the way he undertakes his role of directing. As you’ll hear he brings great perspective and thoughtfulness to his job and the way he goes about motivating riders. A great example we speak about is Mike Woods on that unforgettable day at La Vuelta (you have to go back and listen to that episode if you haven’t!).
We sat down during the classics in Italy to talk about his story as a pro and how he came to be a director after retiring. Funnily enough, he initially took the DS course with no interest in becoming a director.
We re-live that epic TDF win back in 2009, we chat directing and managing people plus how the dynamic of professional cycling has changed from then to now.
I really enjoyed this chat and the candid insight.
Watch that epic 2009 Tour de France stage win on Mont Ventoux: