Vince Gee

A room with a view

Today our sponsors got a reasonable start time for their ride. We would be doing the last climb of today’s stage. Les Deux Alps. We started our ride at 9:30 in the very same parking lot we started last years ride up Alpe D’huez. Both climbs are very close to each other.
Before that though, Kenny had a tough day for sure but he did not let on to that fact. Last night at about 11 PM we had a staff meeting and ultimately decided two people had a tough job to do. They had to first go to Grenoble to drop off some dead luggage and bike cases, bags, boxes. After that, those same two people had to drive up to the top of Lex Deux Alps and leave a car there (with some other bike bags necessary at the top after the ride). Then they had to return to our hotel so we all could depart the next morning. Duffy was to help Kenny. A big thanks to Kenny for volunteering so I could get some rest last night. He did that because he knew I had to pack some bikes after the ride to the top and drive some sponsors to Grenoble after dinner. Our staff meeting ended about 1:00 AM. After helping Kenny and Duffy pack cars I went to sleep at about 2:00 AM. I knew Kenny and Duffy were going to roll in late. I had an alarm set for a wake up call but Kenny rolled into the room at about 5:40 which was just before my wake up call. Ouch!
We had to eat at about 6:30 and then pack the vehicles and drive to the start of our ride at about 8:00 AM. So, basically Kenny and Duffy had been up since 7 or so the day before (24 hours wide awake so far — approximately). To add to that normal fatigue, Kenny was to do the group ride. Some wanted to do a longer ride and some only wanted to climb Les Deux Alps.
The long ride (Including Kenny) did two climbs (but actually was three). They started their ride and instantly went up a hill not profiled on their map. The short ride was just to the base of the mountain and up it. No easy task for either ride.
After arriving at the top we had some lunch and the group had planed on watching on TV in a bar near the finish. Kenny and I after only a short effort decided it was too hard to get there. The bar was only 200 meters from where we were but due to barricades at the finish area it was probably over a kilometer and a half walk to get there. Neither of us had the energy. So we did the next best thing (if not better by my standards). Our group was to stay the night at the top of the mountain. So Kenny and I went to his room to watch the stage finish. Kenny had the bad ass room. Overlooking the 100 meter to go sign. The finish line was to our left and the added bonus was the big screen TV was to our right. We would watch it on the big screen and then look down to see them sprinting/finishing. That alone was worth the trip and all the work we had to do for our group. A room with a view of the finish of one of the epic stages of the Tour De France.
A last note. Kenny went to bed about midnight and all total he was up about 41 hours straight.


Owner of and long time professional race mechanic.