As he has been nearly every summer since the late 1990s, Jonathan Vaughters is in Europe this week for the Tour de France. This year, however, the former pro cyclist and current team manager will have to return to Denver halfway through the race — to deliver a class project as part of his studies in the Executive MBA program at the University of Denver Daniels College of Business. The specialized program is for established professionals looking to enhance their business education.

“I felt that inside my own organization, I was elevated into my role because I founded it and because of my proficiency in the industry-specific knowledge,” says Vaughters, founder and general manager of the Garmin-Sharp cycling team. “But as far as overall managerial skills and running a company the most efficient way possible, I don’t know that any better than the guy down the street. I have no training whatsoever other than seat of the pants: ‘well, that didn’t work.’ I figured refining those skills and getting some new perspectives from the business world could be very useful.”