‘If FloraHolland was a cycling team, they wouldn’t get very far’

I think I enjoyed the Tour de France this year more than ever before. Although, I’ll never forget the one that Jan Jansen won, in 1968. I was going around on the bike in a yellow jersey myself at that time – those were the days! What made the Tour de France so special this year was Team Sky: their organisation, commitment, experience and discipline was really outstanding.

It makes you wonder why the other teams don’t seem to be learning from them. If you want to get the yellow jersey in Paris, you know you can’t do it by yourself, you’ve got to work together as a team. The leader needs to spare his energy at all times, he can’t waste it on aimless boasting, he has to strike at exactly the right time.

If FloraHolland was a cycling team, they wouldn’t get very far I think. They seem too confused to be able to find Paris in the first place. I’m quite sure that not a single member of the team would make the finishing line. Almost all cycling teams are led by former cyclists, who know what it’s like to cycle a race. Just like most football clubs are managed by former football players.

So perhaps we can’t really blame anyone at FloraHolland, or can we? Shouldn’t we try to attract some more experience? People who have been working in the sector for 20 or 30 years? This good practice isn’t limited to cycling and football, it’s applied in multinationals and politics, too. The experienced people provide a solid base from where things can develop. We can’t be a testing ground for ever.

We experimented with the E-auction, then the boxes auction, now it’s Today for Tomorrow, but we aren’t making any real progress. Let’s do what we have to do. Exactly the same as what we’ve been doing for 100 years, but better. And that starts with new, up-to-date logistics.

FloraHolland, please try to learn from Team Sky. Get started with a motivated, experienced team with plenty of knowledge and energy. The route is fixed, all we need to do is get to the finishing line in Paris with the entire team, without any detours or wastage.

Simon van der Burg,

Rose grower Kenya

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