Relaxed and ready for a long day.

Giro stage # 1
Up at 7:00
Breakfast: 7:30
Suitcases ready for the truck: 9:15
Depart for race: 9:50 (50k Transfer to start)
Race: 205k starting at 12:00
Laundry is done for me as I wish. So, I put my dirty laundry in the trucks “Kitchen” and asked Dimitri to put it in when they get to the next hotel. That way it gets done before we get to the hotel (after the race finishes) and also before the soigneurs have the DAILY riders race clothing to wash. But to my surprise it was still in the dryer when I got to the hotel after the race. Because Allen saw it sitting there (and thinking it was still dirty) he put it in the wash and then into the dryer. But it had been done by Dimitri too. But Allen did not know that so it was done twice today. I guess my clothes got super clean today.
Today was the first of many stages that are more than 200k (125 miles) long. Not counting the TTs, more than half of the stages are more than 200k long. Roughly speaking it meant a 5 hour plus day in the team car.
For the three Grand tours (Giro, Tour and Vuelta) they allow two follow cars per team. The primary/first “set” of team cars and then an Ambulance, then a Commissaries car then the second “set” of team cars. Our first car is driven by Sean Yates and Geoff is the mechanic in that car. I am in the second car with our second director Lorenzo Lapage.
You can theoretically be VERY far behind the pack of racers. If there is nothing to see when you are car 22 (22 teams here) in the first set of team cars, then there is absolutely NOTHING to see if you are in the second set of team cars. If you are the second team car and you are team 22 then there are 49 cars in front of you adding in the commissar car # 1, commissar car # 2, the medical car and the ambulance. Since we are car # 3 today, I am actually the 29th car behind the pack.
Today’s start is the same place as last nights Prologue as well as where the team presentation was the night before that. So, it was an easy transfer to remember in order to get to the start of today’s stage.
Conversely getting out of the finishing city was really hard. The race ended in a small city by the sea. It was such a small city that there were only 3 arteries going into and out of this city. The road to our hotel was on the other side of the finish and that was pretty much impossible to get to. So we headed away from our hotel in order to get back to the hotel. With work going ALMOST into dark it meant dinner at 8:30. A beach front hotel and I am so depleted that writing this is enough of my remaining evening. No visiting the beach today.
Since we were at the truck at 8:00 am the math makes that a 12 hour day. So, even more reason to be happy about being in the second car with less responsability/work. More time to relax (sleep) in the car during the race. I got a solid 30 minute nap.
So in the future I will try to be even more relaxed and ready for a long day.

Eating my hotel made sandwich too early. We got to the start of today’s stage at 10:45. Sitting around just before the race started, it was uneventful and so I ate my lunch at about 11:30 or so. But hind sight being 20/20 and knowing dinner was not till 8:30, I would have waited to eat the sandwich a little later so I would not be starving at dinner time. I was totally hungry at dinner I pounded two solid plates of pasta. Which is easy to do here as the pasta is SOOOOOO good. It sure is going to be tough with this ANTI-Atkins diet. Pasta, pasta, pasta……Sure to challenge my belt.
Other teams at our hotel tonight: Liberty Siguros, Credit Agricole, Francais De Jeux


Owner of and long time professional race mechanic.