My only race day

As I said before, we were alone at hotels each day. Even at Calloway gardens (where we switched hotels) we were basically supposed to be alone. This was to be our only official day that we would share hotels with any teams. Today we are in Buford, GA with HealthNet, the US U23 team (basically the TIAF-CREF/5820 team) and O-Foto/Lombardi’s. Plus Mavic Neutral Support team was there to (sort of) fill the parking lot.
It is a friendly game some of us mechanics play but also (lightly) serious. I’ll call it the shut the door game. Basically it is a race to see who gets their shit done fastest/first and is able to shut the door to their truck/trailer/cars and go to dinner. OK, our team had an advantage over the other team. Sometimes it is a whacked advantage. Since we had three mechanics we could go (theoretically) 50% faster than teams with two mechanics (HealthNet) and three times faster than teams with one mechanic (US U23s and O-Foto/Lombardi’s). So in essence if they finished at the same time we did we were slow as we should have been better manned due to the three of us working on bikes. So the only way to “WIN” was to basically finish WAY before they did. I honestly did not time each team to see of we finished 50% faster (than HealthNet) or three times faster (than US U23 or O-Foto/Lombardi’s). We just finished and got cleaned up and went to dinner. I don’t want to brag but I think we did pretty well. I also don’t want to brag because it is my friends that I am “trying to beat” and finally not wanting to brag because one day I’m going to have tons of “issues” and have to work late to do all the extra work because of those unforeseen problems.
We even beat the Mavic guys. But that is even less fair. Because we have different daily tasks. They have to wait after each stage (for a bit at least) to try to collect their wheels they gave out (advantage us). Then, when they return to the hotel they usually only have to wash a few things (wheels they gave out) and that’s basically it (advantage them). So it is a skewed race for one side (I’ll let you decide) but we finished before the boys in Yellow too. A good feeling. Again it is only for fun and not really serious race between friends.
Mark S the “FNG” (I’ll let you figure what FNG is) really stepped up his game today to make sure we got done fast.
ToG is 6 days/7 stages. But for me, today was my only race day (with the mechanics).


Owner of and long time professional race mechanic.