US Postal Professional (Mountain Bike?) team

This camp has been pretty low key. Not to much in the way of media here. Although Wednesday there was a French magazine here to take notes and tons of pictures. It was freezing outside. I think it was below 40F. This photographer rolled the car window down, sat on the door frame of the car, leaned out and took pictures for several hours. He had to be cold as hell!
Today though it was a fun part of training camp. We participated in the Dirty Duathalon. It was a 5k trail run, 20k MTB loop and the same 5k run again at the end. Lance, Victor Hugo Pena and Dave Zabriski did the full run, MTB, run action. Supposedly this was Dave’s second time ever on a mountain bike. I’m not sure if I believe that though. He was not great but hung in there on the dirt ride. Lance is somehow associated with a local running shop. They have a running team. Since George, Michael, Damon, Floyd, and Max did not feel a trail run was in them, Lance got the running team to team up with our riders to form a relay team. Our relay teams had great runners. Christian somehow got out of the whole deal and stayed at the hotel.
Scott Daubert from Trek brought bikes for the guys and built them. That took the pressure off myself and Chris (a new USPS mechanic here with us). Lucky for me, Scott did a great job as I had only a few small turns of the wrenches on race day. Nothing too serious.
Lance has never won this event in the past but this day he was on fire. He won the individual event and Victor did really well coming in 9th in the same category. In the ream relay, our riders had the top positions going in to the MTB section. Floyds runner was awesome and so was Floyd on the dirt. He cruised to a relay win, George’s team was second, Max’s team was third and Michael’s team was fourth. Later he told me he had not run in two months. That is amazing!
There was a fair turn out in the spectator department. Many knew we were coming to race this fun event. Our riders posed for pictures and signed a few autographs for the crowd. They loved it.
Although it was a duathalon this was my first MTB race that I worked at. I felt a little out of place. Lucky for me, Scott did a great job preparing the bikes. I had little to do at the race. Whew!! I might have had to call my friend Dave A (Former Volvo/Canondale MTB head mechanic) and have him talk me through a few things. What’s this fox shox thing Dave? That was one of the questions going through my mind. Glad I did not have to make that call though.
I feel like I now work for the US Postal professional MOUNTAIN BIKE team. Can’t wait till my next dirt event.


Owner of and long time professional race mechanic.