Category: Vince Gee
Xihaihen to Guide Country
Knee-yao-do to Hue-du-ah See-en)
Now that’s a Cima Copa!!
The race bible gives all information regarding each stage, including but not limited to the information on the climbs. But none of the climbs/mountains have names in this race. Or at least they don’t list the name of the climb/mountain. But today is the Tour of Quinhai Lake’s Cima Copa. I read about this in the days before we started this race. As I said before, the Cima Copa is a term taken from the Giro D’Italia for the highest point in the stage race. We will climb (at least the riders will) up to 3,880 meters or 12,700 feet. …
Bird Island to Xihaizhen
(Bird Island to Knee-yao-dao)
The local pool hall? Warped and weathered!
My first day in the team car. And what a treat to see the race happening. Nice to be car # 1. But who knows how long that will last with a sprinter in the leaders jersey and so much climbing in this race. But at least for now, I will enjoy the good view from the front of the caravan. I got a call from Vincent about the finish. He had information regarding the last part of the race. Information we could use to let Alan know about the last 2 or 3 K or so. How it plays out. …
Quinhai Lake to Bird Island
(Ching-hi Lake to Bird Island)
Another day as hotel mechanic. And we are now in the (sort of) city of Bird Island. Bird Island is basically an Island that is thick with bird inhabitants. But it is not really an Island but rather a peninsula that extends from the shore into the lake. Technically we are not on the peninsula part, but rather just on the outskirts of the shore.
After getting our room keys (early/easily again — Thanks Shizhe) we put luggage away. I secure a wash spot because it is again only 4 or 5 hoses for all teams. I organize the bike room to our liking. I’m happy. The bike wash is close to the hotel and actually in front of the dining room/building. The bike storage …
Xining to Quinhai Lake
(See-ning to Ching-hi Lake)
Currency nickname: Yao Ming
Jeanick and I decide to split car/hotel duties. He would start the first two stages in the car and I would do hotel duties. Then switch for two days and back and forth for the 9 days/stages. For me, hotel guy for the first two days was a cool way to start the race off. Our hotel is called Quinhai Lake hotel. A very small city. Shizhe/Sharon gets our room keys instantly. Wow!!! Most hotels at races we do globally tell us to wait until at least noon or even 1:00 before we get keys. So, in that case I just put luggage in front of the rooms, park the truck and go have lunch until keys are ready. Shizhe said they were …
Director — Eki
Soigneurs (ass rubbers) — Kurt Van Roosbroeck and Vincent Monserez
Mechanics — Jeanick Verstrate and I
Team Doctor — Peter Lagru
Translator — Sharon or by her Chinese name which is Shizhe — A Xining local (Phonetically: Shuh-jew-ahh)
I originally got my flight schedule and saw that I was to fly into Peking China and would be there for a day. Then, the following day we were to fly to Xining where the race would start. I looked on my world map to find Peking and could not. I did not look very hard. I would learn the location when I got there. I really don’t know much about China even though I have done the (Tour du Pont version of the) Tour of China back in 1995. That year we were in …
Valoire to Annecy
Today is the last stage of the Dauphine. And we finish in the beautiful city of Annecy France. How cool is that. A small city by a small lake in this small valley surrounded by big beautiful mountains. But unfortunately we will not be enjoying the view long. As soon as the race ends we are out of here. It is crazy how quickly teams are trying to get the hell out of Dodge. Our bus and truck are parked just past the finish along with all the other team busses and trucks. Quite a zoo to be honest. And we mechanics (as well as other team staff) are going like mad to pack the stuff up and into the trucks. As soon as possible, riders are on the …
Gap to Valoire
The GPS — An Etch-a-Sketch toy
Yesterday was a wonderful effort by Egoi. I’m just guessing that today in the team meeting that Egoi would get a chance to relax today. And he would not have to be in the breakaway today. I’d guess that Johan would give others the orders to try and get into a break today to:
A) Have team representation in the days breakaway
B) Let Egoi earn a rest day and not have to make the effort of being in the breakaway.
Again that is just a guess on my part. If it was up to me, I would give Egoi the day off from breakaways. But I am not the director.
Today, the roll of the dice in the game of bike racing game came up with Egoi’s number again. Almost …
Nyons to Digne-les-Bains
THANK YOU Egoi!!
Yesterday Eki drove the second car and I got my well deserved reprise. And rightfully “rested” in my “office” in the back seat. But today the Johan/Eki team were together again in the first car. So, again, I am to test my ability to be 100% aware and concentrate on the road. There is one thing I am not a fan of. And that is driving Mach 5 down a hill. With someone else driving (a team director) it is no big deal. I trust all my directors while driving downhill.
While I may occasionally drive a bit fast in my personal car, it is different when in a race. Driving fast downhill is one thing. Doing it while surrounded by the worlds Elite cyclists in yet another issue. …
Hauterives to Le Mont Ventoux
Are we still in the race?
Today was the epic finish up Le Mont Ventoux as the final climb. A hill top finish to shred the field into bits and pieces. I’ve ridden to about half way up this and used a 39×25 and suffered my ass off. I’ve never done the whole climb though. I can only imagine. The guys seem to float up this steep bitch of a hill. Even the sprinters seem to go at a pace that seems humane.
With the climb splitting up the peloton pretty much straight away, our riders were in various groups. Johan followed the front/main group that contained our leaders. So, Eki and I were responsible for the rest of the guys. So we would zip up the road, stop, get out, …
Anneryron to Anneryron TT
Don’t they know teams are coming with a big vehicle?
Johan, Eki, Chris and 4 riders went early to the TT to do some recon of the course. After they did a lap of the TT, they returned to the hotel to have lunch. Chris waited there with the TT bikes they just did the pre-ride with. Chris also saved us a good parking spot while waiting. Craig and I would go well before our first rider and meet up with Chris and park the truck and get set up.
What a crazy route we had to take to get to the TT. It was only about 25 or 30 K to get to the TT. But after only 10k we came upon a small village. There the roads were so narrow, …
Saint-Paul-en-Jarez to Saint Etienne
I made without any incidents!!
Again today Johan wanted Eki to go with him in the first car. Again I pay the (small) price and must drive the second team car alone. Like yesterday I was really hopping for some valuable rest in the back seat.
Really though, it is not that big of a deal to drive the second car. Having been in the back seat of a team car many times, I have a good idea what the directors do. I have seen daily, the many tasks a director must do. So, I know what type of driving protocol the directors must adhere to. But there is little to do in the second car. Unless of course a breakaway group goes up the road with one of our riders in …
Grenoble to Roanne
I’m a director?
Stage 1 at the Dauphine and Johan wants Eki to go in the first car with him. With two directors in the first car, one can concentrate on driving and listen to radio tour (race radio). The other can also listen to radio tour, get the numbers they say for the breakaways and decide (talk) tactics with the riders. All with little distractions. The net result is that leaves me all ALONE in the second car. So, I will drive instead of getting my beauty sleep (nap) in the back seat of the team car.
Bummer. I was a pinch tired from both the Giro AND the drive home from the Giro. I eventually got home from the Giro on Wednesday at 5:00 AM and had to start driving …