More than average
Right now, there is not so much work to do for Geoff and I. We are not sitting on our asses but we are not going full gas yet. There is always work to do to get ready. Levi Leipheimer and Bobby Julich will arrive tonight to do the TT on Thursday and the remainder of the road team will arrive Friday.
Although the US team numbers 12 (elite) Geoff and I are also responsible for the other US Postal riders on other nations. Riders like Ekimov (TT and RR) for Russia, Pena (TT and RR) for Columbia, Beltran (RR) for Spain, Joachim (TT and RR) for Luxembourg, White (RR) for Australia and Barry (RR) for Canada. All told we are (sort of) responsible for 18 athletes. The other country/federation mechanics will do the bulk of the work for our respective riders for other nations. But Geoff and I are basically responsible for their equipment. We’ll provide the race bikes/wheels (most flew with their race bikes/wheels themselves) and I’ll give them spare wheels etc.
I’m constantly asked the 10 speed questions. Such as “What is it like?” Does it work? Do I like it? There are more questions that I can list. The US Postal team has had 10 speed since early June of this year. Lance has had a version as early as December of 2002. I saw a peek of it then but not much at all. While at the tour with our Champions club, I visited the team hotel one day. That day was my first real look at 10 speed. Even then I had to go quickly so it was a short intro. Today was my first real look/experience with 10 speed. Geoff had brought George’s Tour bike and Michael’s Vuelta bike for them to race here at worlds. Geoff asked if I had seen it and I said not really. He told me to try the feel of it to see how nice it was. My first impression was that it was so light in action but so positive in shifting. I remember the difference in how the 9 speed shifters felt compared to the old 8 speed levers. But the difference fro 9 to 10 was another step in the same direction. Initially I did not like the feel of the (then new in “96″) 9 speed levers. I thought it was too light of an action. But the more I used 9 speed the more I liked it. I’m excited with the new 10 speed right off the bat as I know the great feel of 9 speed and this is much lighter/smoother while still very positive.
Starbuck’s — watch and learn.
It is almost a common rumuour/story if not downright fact that there is a Starbuck’s coffee shop on every corner in Seattle, WA. And, around the nation if not the globe, Starbuck’s are popping up like weeds on every street as we speak. Well, watch out Starbuck’s because Tim Hortons has got Canada locked up. Granted, they have sort of separate clientele. One is basically a coffee shop and one started out as a donut shop. Geoff (US team mechanic — elite team) drove the course with his parents. Geoff grew up here near the worlds course in Hamilton, Canada. He told me he saw no less than 15 Tim Horton stores in and around Hamilton and the course and there were approximately 7 Tim Hortons on the road race course itself. The course is 12.4 K long so that is a Tim Hortons every 1.8 kilometers. Watch and learn Starbuck’s!