September 9, 2019
Hans Loeffelholz. Sometimes called, the Wafflehaus. He’s integral to to SplitMango Racing. He’s fast, he’s crafty, he’s pretty good at winning bike races. But Hans is more than just a bike racer to SplitMango Racing.
If David is the anchor that keeps the SMR ship grounded, Hans is the guy pulling up the anchor, filling the sails and making sure everyone on board has a guidance system directing their racing. He’s possibly also the ship, rudder and a few other parts of the ship too. When he’s racing he’s not afraid to roll out the cannons and blast to let his competitors know what’s up. Hans just left Provincial Track Cycling Championships in Victoria with Three titles he earned in individual events, another title in the team sprint (with two other of the Mangoes) rounded out by a silver medal in another event, all while making sure the team had themselves together and ready to race.
If David’s “Secret” in our last blog post was his not-actually-secret-at-all love of cycling, Hans’ “secret” is actually how much he knows about the sport of cycling. Hans has been racing bikes for almost as long as David has even been alive. You wouldn’t know it, Hans cool, confident, calm but youthful exuberance for cycling is different than many of the sports old hand’s grizzled outlook. Hans is more than happy to share his knowledge when pressed, to those asking and willing to listen to experience, but he’s not shouting it from the rooftops. He’s also rare in that he’s consistently willing to learn, open to admitting when he’s made mistakes in his approach, or that he just didn’t have the legs. Hans accumulated his knowledge and humility over many years of racing, it’s likely he’s done more racing in his life than the whole squad combined.
He’s a natural leader on the road as well. Early in Vancouver’s weekly crit season, he found himself in a leader’s jersey for the seasons overall placings. Garnered through his own efforts during the early races, while the other mangoes were still ramping up to their personal crit seasons. But when the squad showed up in full force to help defend his lead Hans was waiting to teach them about leadouts, who to counter attack, when to follow and why they should keep riding at the end of a leadout a leadout (so that they will still finish on the podium with their teammates).
The thing about natural leaders, is they recognize when they need to lift up those around them. Hans, in the lead of his crit series could have just ordered his teammates around to make sure he secured his overall win. Instead, he took the opportunity to make sure his teammates understood what they’re trying to accomplish, as well as give his teammates their own opportunities for personal successes.
This is why Hans is central to the ethos of SplitMango Racing, understanding that the collective is stronger than the individual athlete, but smart, confident individuals help to make a stronger collective, that’s an idea that we get behind at SplitMango, in building our team at the office, collaborating with clients and developing web solutions that empower those who we work with.
When you compete in any sport, you put yourself out there to be vulnerable. And while your competition is constantly looking for your weaknesses so that they can move ahead, self-doubt is most likely the biggest obstacle to your personal story of success. This has been an amazing summer of meeting, working with, and racing amazing people who have steadily worked at honing their craft.
For me, cycling is really an amazing sport. No matter what your ability, body type, or age, there is an event for you to try. I encourage everyone to get out there and let yourself be vulnerable because you will be rewarded with something much more than medals. — Hans Loeffelholz