Inventory control

The other reason I arrived earlier than the rest of the mechanics is to do inventory control. We have had heaps of stuff shipped here in advance of our arrivial. But today I was to make sure we got everything we need to build bikes. We will build the riders first race bike for the year. And also two spare bikes to fill the void in the US spare bike inventory. Add to that a bike for Lance, a bike for Bill Staplelton and Bart Knaggs (General Manager/CEO and President of the team respectivly). That’s 33 frames 36 shimano groups (3 compete spare groups for the US program), 36 pairs of clincher wheels, About 400 clincher tires/tubes, 40 cycle computers, 100 bottle cages, 100 headsets, about 50 handle bars and stems. 50 rolls of bar tape, and other things too numberous to mention. So, I spent the better part of the day just opening boxes and counting the contents. The balance of some of these items will go to Belgium for the rest of the years program.

Today the rest of the mechanics arrived along with one Soigneur. Early evening Geoff and Craig arrived via LA. They both flew into LA yesterday and stayed there for the night and eventually drove up early evening. And late this evening Julien, Alan, Chris and Juan arrived along with Gert (Soigneurs warehouse/supplies manager).

We also had a hotel room organized today to temporarily store just the bike parts, frames etc. The storage container is partially full of Bars and Gels from Powerbar, waterbottles from Trek and a few other soigneur supplies. This storage container will be more utilized later on in camp. So, in the hotel room, we basically make piles of parts. We will then get a bikes worth of parts and build bikes outside. Last year it rained and we got a few hotel rooms to build bikes inside/sheltered. But the forcast shows good weather ahead so we will not be building bikes inside this year. Since the rest of the staff did not arrive til early evening through late evening, I was on my own for dinner again. So, it was nice to relax before all hell breaks loose and we are building bikes like crazy. Well not to crazy as we are of 7 mechanics. But not a walk in the park either.


Owner of and long time professional race mechanic.