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Roy Knickman needs no introduction in the world of cycling, having a storied professional career spanning 14 years, including an Olympic medal. Roy has now turned his attention to his role as the Director Sportif of Lux Cycling, an elite under-19 development team aimed to educate and empower the top junior riders in the United States to succeed at the highest levels of competitive cycling and in life.

We had a chance to reflect upon the ambiguity of the 2020 season and discuss the team's goals heading into the 2021 season.
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What was the biggest hurdle of 2020 while maintaining momentum with development of the team?

Roy: Keeping riders motivated while waiting for racing to resume. The uncertainty was seemingly unending at times, although we’re hopeful that 2021 will paint a very different picture.
What was your biggest learning regarding team management during 2020, and did this change how you approached planning for 2021?

Roy: Planning needed to be more fluid. Yes, I built more scenarios and options that had triggers at specific time periods, and continued to adjust plans to respond to the latest conditions and situations.
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Let’s talk about the 2021 calendar, which races you’re targeting and why.

Roy: Our junior men are going to do 95% of their racing in Europe. With no European racing last year it is critical the riders have a large exposure to European UCI events to not only improve and adapt to the different style of racing, but put themselves in front of U23 directors and talent scouts to generate interest for placement on European teams in 2022.

For the Junior and U23 women we will have to rely mostly on the domestic scene as almost all UCI European racing for Junior Women is in the Spring and mostly cancelled at this point, and entry in the lower difficulty races for U23 women is very limited with the reduced race schedule Covid has created. Our U23's will have a number of high level US National and UCI events in the summer and fall which will provide great workload and experience and also offer a platform for them to be recognized to advance to professional teams. That said, we also have plans for a more limited exposure to European racing, invitations permitting.
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What do you look for in a rider when selecting athletes?

It is a combination of character, ability, skill, history and results. That said, results or power are not clear defining factors, and frequently we will bring riders to the team who lack those two things, but because of their other factors and potential to improve, they get the opportunity.
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Where do you see the future of LUX?

This year is the future. The pandemic is creating a situation where we need to adapt the current program to work around it and offer what is needed. For the men there is the schedule in Europe to support a larger amount of racing. For the women we need to lobby and fight for more international junior events as well as continue to fundraise to pay for the race schedule that is needed for all the riders to get the racing they need to advance up and through the development pipeline.
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Lastly, for any junior who wants to make it to the top during this crazy time, what is your advice to them?

Be creative in your training. This is a long game. There is a need to continue improving despite there being no racing so finding a way to keep it fresh and get the hours and allotted intensity is a must. The speeds of the racing will be high when they resume and the expectations of future U23 teams will be the same regardless of Covid.
Instagram: @luxcycling // Photos: @dmunsonphoto
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