“Moving to the WorldTour is primarily a financial hurdle,” Soladay tells me. “We have the infrastructure in place to support a WorldTour team—now we’re seeking that partner that can make our goal a reality.” Just what does that infrastructure consist of? Hang on, because you’re probably about to be impressed. The riders account for only about half of the team personnel, in the first place (28 riders across the men’s and women’s squads). After the athletes, more than 30 employees make Rally Cycling tick, with Soladay an integral cog in the media company that promotes its efforts to the world. Two service courses, in Golden, Colorado and Girona, Spain, keep the wheels literally turning, manned by mechanics, soigneurs, sports directors (similar to a manager or coach in United States sports terminology), accountants, and all the other roles to keep a robust small business afloat.
“When you think about what has to happen to support the athletes at a race,” Soladay explains, “it’s fairly mind-boggling. Making sure that, at the beginning of the stage each rider has a bike, a jacket, someone to give that jacket to, bottles, food and fluid on course, then a recovery drink at the end, then to make sure their bag makes it from hotel to hotel, and finally for all of that equipment, all of the cars, to make it back to the service course on that particular continent—the logistical challenges are significant and require all of us not racing to function with the same cohesion as the riders on the road.”
The fact that Rally Cycling has persevered for almost fifteen years, and through a global pandemic to boot, speaks to the health of the organization. Betting against their WorldTour aspirations seems like a bad bet.