Tag Archives: pro cycling

2012 London Olympics

As a business based just outside of London we currently can’t move for information about the London Olympics next year. Although many of those who don’t understand sport particularly have spent the last year or so grumbling about costs and travel disruption they are luckily in the minority. Aside from the obvious draw of the best athletes competing for the biggest prize in their sport is it not exciting to have the city filled, more than ever, with people from all around the globe?

What is more to be the nation which has bucked the trend of ever more extravagant venues and ceremonies for a more long term vision is something to be proud of. This proviso has been damaged a bit by the government’s decision to double the budget for the award ceremony but generally a legacy is an idea the nation should be excited about.

The south east has now got a top class under cover velodrome, meaning young track cyclists won’t have to go to cardiff for every training session. Furthermore they have refurbished the Herne Hill Velodrome, the only lasting venue from when London previously held the Olympics. Although we sadly missed out on tickets here at Softek, as did many, I see this as a positive thing; so many people wanted them! Far better than the empty seats which plagued previous Olympics. Luckily the first gold up for grabs, the Cycling Road Race, is free to watch along the route and the Manx Missle Mark Cavendish is a big favourite if it comes down to a bunch sprint.

Therefore although as a software business we don’t stand to gain from the Olympics through trade we here at Softek cannot wait for it. So wherever in the world you watch the Olympics remember the legacy!

What are your expectations of the London Olympics?


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Diversification: Pro Cyclist sets up a Blueberry Farm?

No one should need reminding in this day and age that continual expansion is not also the best thing, just look at RBS’ huge losses after continually trying to expand rather than consolidate a solid business. However one headline which caught my attention this week was that two time winner of the Giro d’Italia  Ivan Basso had started his own blueberry farm in his home town. Although still only 34 years of age and with no plans of retirement it is clear he has his eye on the long term.

Even more surprisingly I learnt that this was not uncommon among European cyclists who will often invest in the likes of olive groves to secure there long term future. The only business lesson I will even attempt to squash out of this is the genius is going for something tried, tested and with solid returns. These wealthy people are not attempting a ‘dragon’s den‘ style investment with ridiculous returns but something which will always be needed, recession or not; food. Therefore when looking to expand a stable business is it not best to look for how to create the strongest base rather than the gambling on short term growth.

However Basso’s judgement has not always been so hot in the world of cycling; banned for two years for involvement in doping. Although he has seen a resurgence in his career following the work of the late anti-doping coach Aldo Sassi (same trainer as Tour de France 2011 winner Cadel Evans) last year he missed the Giro to concentrate on the Tour de France and finished a disappointing 8th. Next year it appears with Contador either unwilling or unable to ride the Giro Ivan Basso will be back and fighting for the pink jersey.

Since the blueberry harvest will apparently take 8,000 man hours I can only say I hope it doesn’t clash with a grand tour… that would be one busy month!

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