Vince Gee

Don’t really need soap

This training camp is mellow in many ways. There is no press here to take photos or seek all the athletes out for time consuming interviews. The training is also low key. As I said the other day, there was testing the first day so they did not even go out side. Also since it is early in the season, the mileage is pretty tame. Sundays ride was only 2 hours easy. Strange for me to see Tour riders “Only” do 2 hours. For some of our riders (Heras, Pena and Rubierra) they have just stopped racing about 4 weeks ago or so. Those three guys had a ton of race days so they are here straight from their few week break. Fitness does not equate for these three so the rides are short.
The plus side for me when they test or go for short rides is the bikes are never dirty. So much so that we (Jean-Mark and I) have only washed bikes once, and then only some guys. There are some bikes that we have not even washed yet. Some of you are wondering how such a dirty bike can pass my hands but all is not what it seems. Four riders got new bikes here. The first day was testing. The second day was 2 hours and the third day was 3 1/2 hours. There is hardly a speck on the bikes and combined with the fact that there is no need to be pristine, our standards can dip (just) a little. We have been here 4 days and we have washed a total of 6 bikes between the two of us. That’s only 3 bikes graced by my sponge. A record low average for me. So, I don’t think I even needed to bring soap.
PS We had cake and champagne today. Today was Stephane Barthe’s Birthday.


Owner of and long time professional race mechanic.