When beginning a game, your team will have 12 cyclists and will be placed in the lowest division.
The first time you log in, you might want to check the team news. There will be two messages for you: a welcome message with links to the forum and the Wiki, and a message informing you that your team has a one year contract with a sponsor (one year means one season in Peloton).
Starting teams will always have a sponsor for 1 year. When the next season starts, you will be able to choose a sponsor yourself.
When you are a new player, you might want to go through all the different pages to see the different options and possibilities you have. The number of options and links available might seem overwhelming at first, but once you know the basics it will all make sense. When playing for the first time, it's important not to spend your money too fast. Even though your team will have 300.000€ in the bank (plus the money from the sponsor) and this might seem a lot at first, there are multiple ways to spend this money on and if you are not careful, you might bankrupt your team faster than you think.
One of the first things you should do is hiring a new trainer. They cost a large sum of money, but you will need to improve your cyclists if you want to become successful in the game.
A common mistake made by new players is that they hire a trainer with different low skills, for example one with 5 flat, 5 mountain and 5 sprint. While this means that the trainer can train your cyclists in all three categories, having only a skill of '5' will improve the cyclists not very fast. A better tactic would be to focus on only 1 or 2 skills at first, but with a lot higher skill value. For example, 15 flat and 15 sprint (15 is the maximum when buying a trainer, but the skill can be trained further until 20). Such a trainer costs just as much as one with 2 different skills with only 5 points, but the cyclists will improve a lot faster.