Jacinta’s wild personality and boundless energy make for truly exceptional Thomson Spectator Trips. Her connections will get you the ultimate insider access and her antics will have you howling with laughter.
We sat down over the winter with her and asked her a few questions.
What do you do at Thomson?
I design, produce and execute al the spectator trips.
I love it from beginning to end! From a map, a blank piece of paper and the Grand Tour routes, arise great trips. I ensure each trip includes a VIP start, VIP finish, a mid view and team meet, plus experiencing the local culture.
Being so involved and having put all the elements together, it’s amazing to see it in action and guide it. I am also responsible for all the relationships we build with the teams, cyclists and celebrities whilst we are on the trips. This means the guests get the ultimate experience meeting all their idols! Thomson Spectator Trips have an excellent reputation with the pros and it pays off. We are well known on the circuit now.
What got you interested in cycling in the first place?
In 2011 I was bored and had a week off work and somehow got myself a job on the Tour de France.
I was a complete novice and had no knowledge! Experiencing the amazing atmosphere, I fell in love with the race and sport!
I had guided and managed holiday companies for years so it seemed a natural step to put this to use and design dream holidays for the avid fans. Seven years down the line and I am stood on stage with Christian Prudhomme after the unveiling of the TDF 2017 route in Paris, having had dinner with Gary Verity the night before!
I also took up cycling as I was so inspired by the guests on the trips. I am now the proud owner of a Canyon road bike and climb many cols every summer.
What’s your favourite trip and why?
They all are and that’s no lie. I love the whole atmosphere and the whole machine involved in the grand tours.
Obviously the Tour de France is the all singing and dancing experience and it’s a marvel to experience it. Each week, and every guest is so special to me. We bond very well and we laugh. A lot. Every trip is wonderful.
What’s the strangest experience you’ve ever had on a a trip?
There have been hundreds of highlights and nothing strange springs to mind.
The guests and I challenge ourselves every trip to get the best selfie, the best ‘blag’ and free gifts. Last year in Normandy I dressed up in camouflage and a guest and I were stood right there to greet all the teams as they stood and waited to go up to the presentation. I was grabbed by a photographer and asked to pose with Froome! It was brilliant, we could not stop laughing.
Who’s the coolest rider on the circuit?
It’s got to be Sagan. He is the rock star of cycling and very funny. We have met him on a couple of occasions.
The Orica boys are a well gelled and funny team, we get a backstage pass every tour! Dimension Data are very friendly too and we look forward to visiting them.
I have a “husband” in each team, they just don’t know about each other – or me :).
We all know about the Tour de France, but what’s so special about the Giro?
The giro is full of passion and it’s always really exciting as the first Grand Tour of the year.
The Italians live and breathe cycling and it’s great to mix with them on the stages. They are so friendly. Plus Italy – wow what an amazing backdrop and country to host a race!
We indulge in the best food and visit some stunning places.
What make the Vuelta a great race to watch?
The Vuelta is super under rated and is often the most exciting race on the Calendar.
There are old scores to be settled and battled out between the pros and it’s full of energy. It’s smaller scale to the TDF but that allows more access to the teams and Spain is beautiful.
As Matthew Keenan from SBS told us at Covadonga last year, “It’s like you’re being let into a little secret, on the inside of the race.”