Vince Gee

From 8 riders then down to 1 and back to 8

Normally I don’t like talking about the bike racing part of my job. Even though I am a mechanic for the biggest US team, I’m not usually that excited about the racing part. I don’t hate the bike racing part (I really like my job as a team mechanic) I just have seen it a lot and it does not excite me. I don’t go out of my way to see who won. It is just another race in another town. I’m excited about doing more races that I have not done before and getting more experience. That is the cool part.
Yesterday the race split and we only had one rider in the group of 40. BAD!
Since most of the real players were in the front group, the entire Peloton soft pedaled. There were 90 plus guys who finished 28 minutes down. The official time cut was 25 minutes and 50 seconds. If they did it by time cut, I would be washing one bike today. Unfortunately the commissars jury decided to extend the time cut to include everyone. They were upset that all of that group did not “RACE.” But if they used the time cut the Peloton would be only 40 guys. That is also unacceptable in the promoters eyes. The promoter had a meeting with all the managers to get them to make the riders “Race seriously.” So, what happened today? Same thing, but smaller front group. A group of 6 guys got up to 20 minutes till ONCE set tempo and kept it and a safe (relative) gap of 16 minutes were they finished with that gap. OK enough about the bike racing part.
Cool award. The ONCE team gets the cool award for their team cars. Yellow Chrysler 4 door sedans with the coolest bike rack. The rack holds 5 bikes on the roof. A second part is over the trunk and is connected and hinged at the back part of the roof rack. The back part holds 2 more bikes and 5 pair of wheels and is hinged so they can flip it up to get to the trunk. That is 7 bikes total. This is what seems to be the standard number (7) of bikes teams carry on the caravan car. The utmost coolest part is that it is only one inch away from the car. The rack is so close to the car it is hard to notice it is there when no bikes or wheels are mounted. It is also chrome plated for a (almost) bulletproof finish. All other teams have the rack painted to match the car and eventually the paint gets faded or chipped and does not look perfectly cool anymore. Still, the painted rack looks cool but eventually it gets chipped and faded so it is not perfect looking anymore.
UGLY award goes to Vini Caldirola. Their team cars have an ugly decal job. It is a good quality decal job but the colors are terrible. They use gold, light blue, dark blue and purple and I think a little bit of yellow. OUCH my eyes are hurting just looking at that thing. Our team used to be Montgomery/Bell (before US Postal stepped up to the plate) and it also had a not so cool color/graphics scheme. Most of you have seen that so I wont go into that.
Remember that Truck? The Vini Caldirola car is by far uglier than the Montgomery/Bell vehicles. I know someone is going to pass this on to one of my bosses and they are gonna fire me for this one. “Hey Vincent, Word is you were bashing our previous look” That is what I can hear now. Followed by,
“Your Fired”


Owner of and long time professional race mechanic.