At the Service course

After a day and a half of driving, it is off to the Service course to load the two trucks for the Tour de France. Our team has two trucks, a medium size bus (seats about 12 w/driver), a small camper (seats about 8 w/driver), a VW Euro van, a VW Sharan (mini van) and 5 VW Passat wagons for team caravan vehicles. The bus had 6 captains chairs and two tables that seat 2 per table in the back area besides the two front seats. Comfort at its best. Plenty of room to change after the race too. Also included is a toilet, coffee machine, stove, microwave, and a 25 inch TV/VCR. That’s cooler than the apartment (cubicle) that I had in Milwaukee.
Our Big truck is about 22 feet for the mechanics area and about 5 or 6 feet for the Soigneurs area (called the kitchen). Our small truck is about 16 feet for the mechanic area and 4 to 5 feet for the kitchen area. We will be sending both to the tour. The small one will be primarily for Time trial equipment (and a little road equipment). and the big truck will have almost all the road equipment. Both will not be completely full, but about two-thirds full. If they were full, it would be a ton of equipment. With both trucks we have the ability to carry about 75 bikes and about 90 PAIRS of wheels. But like I said, they will not be maxed out.
I am staying here near Gent (before returning to the US) to help out with anything needed just prior to the teams departure for the tour. The staff gets to the tour about a week before the race even starts. Crazy huh? I’m also here just in case something happens and someone can’t go to the tour for what ever reason (gets sick, breaks something, etc.). Although it is unlikely that I will be needed, you never know.
For now an evening off to go to Gent (10 or so kilometers away) to goof off. A well deserved drink (OK maybe multiple beverages) and maybe a little disco action. It is Saturday so Gent may be the place to go. We’ll see.


Owner of and long time professional race mechanic.