Frenglish ? Franish

Today we transferred off the Olympic village to a hotel near the TT. Actually VERY close to the TT. Our hotel was only 150 meters from the TT start. This would later prove to be a huge asset compared to other teams.
Initially only Tyler, Bobby (our TT guys) Och (Jim Ochowicz – men’s director) and I went early to Vouliagmeni which is the city where the TT is and also where the Triathlon will take place. From my hotel room, I can see the water/bike transition area that is already set up as a pretty big stadium next to the water.
We got to Vouliagmeni at about 11:00 AM or so and Tyler and Bobby immediately did their first lap reconnaissance of the course. We then sort of motor paced Bobby to check out the course once more as Tyler did it at his own pace. Bobby finished his second lap recon and went to the hotel.ßWe then motor paced Tyler for a third time. Boy was it windy. If it is like this Wednesday then it will be a crazy TT. I could see Bobby getting thrown around and he did not even have a disc wheel on yet. Ouch!
Dede and Christine (TT riders) came in the late afternoon having trained near the village. Jim Miller (women;s director) Ken (women’s mechanic) and Larry (Soigneur) also came temporarily to help with massage and organize the new bike storage/work room. Not too stressful today.
A little last minute work that could have been done early if I had caught the issue. Tyler brought some tires that were a bit more puncture resistant (actually had kevlar in it) because the ones Phonak used in the Tour TTT were not as good as they flatted 4 times in that stage. So, he was real worried about them and brought some better tires. Unfortunately they were the wrong size. We called the team and so someone from the team Service Course (team warehouse) flew from Switzerland to Athens to hand deliver three tires to us at our hotel. Talk about pulling out all the stops. I immediately glued them on so he could test them the next day at the official TT training day. And so the had time to really cure before the TT on Wednesday. He wanted to test his bike exactly as it would be in the race if at all possible.
Not really too bad as we still had a full 48 hours before the TT. All relaxed still (for me at least).
I only got to sleep at the Village one night. The first night we were there. After that, I had to sleep at a hotel about 5 miles from the village which was no big deal as it was a nice hotel. Just the issue of getting through security each morning was something I hand to plan time for.
The reason for staying there was that Tyler had his Phonak Soigneur come to Athens to help him with massage. Unfortunately he could not get credentials as they are limited per country/sport. And we had a ton of personnel who needed credentials and could not get him one. So he stayed at the hotel and we got Tyler there and back each day for massage.
Tyler’s Soigneur is Jose Louise from Spain. Unfortunately for me he did not speak English save for about 10 or so words. And I did not speak Spanish save for about the same amount of vocabulary. On the plus side most Europeans speak French especially team personnel as French is often the language of the race. That’s the case (almost) no matter where it is. Specifically, radio tour (info on the race via the head Commissaire) is in French and the native language of the country (usually) So in the US it would be in French and English. A race in Germany would be heard in French and German.
And so, he did speak fairly good French. Over the past few years at the Tour de France with our Champions club, my high school French classes were coming back to me ever so slowly. This past Tour I felt relatively comfortable speaking French. Probably as much as 75 to 80% of the time. Wow! I impressed even myself with my vocabulary.
So, even though Jose was Spanish and I was American, we spoke almost exclusively in French. He spoke mainly French with a small spattering of English and I spoke mainly French with a very small spattering of Spanish. So it was Frenglish (French/English) to Franish (French/Spanish).


Owner of and long time professional race mechanic.