Vince Gee

Show him the way

Our Director Lorenzo Lapage and Jurgen Van De Broeck (rider) arrived last night. So today Lorenzo wanted to do a bit of reconnaissance of the Oak Glen stage. Lorenzo joked that I should show Jurgen the climb and ride with him there (on bike — not by car), up it and home so I could show him the way.
It is rare that I have my bike with me. But, I actually did have my bike this time by chance because I had done a small local crit Saturday afternoon. I than had planned on continuing on to Redlands after my little race.
So Jurgen and I were off to ride it while Lorenzo and Dave (Bolch — Soigneur) followed in a team car so they could also see it. Climbing hills by bike is really fun. But definitely not my specialty. A few kilos too heavy and more important, I just don’t have the mental focus to go up hill fast. So I suffered on this great climb to say the least. But lucky Jurgen wanted to do it twice so no one had to wait at the top for me.
Returning back to Redlands was also a treat because I sort of knew the way. But in reality did not specifically know of a true way besides the freeway which we could not ride on obviously. So we wandered a bit and finally took a road that I sort of knew but was also a bit hard (for a mortal like me at least). The road basically went up towards the Sunset loop which we would race the last day. A race that I knew was sort of hard but did not know the specifics. I was suffering up this small climb. It was also hard for me given the fact that I had climbed up Oak Glen just prior.
But in the end, I got to ride a piece of the course that I would later do for the ninth time in my career as a pro mechanic. So that in itself was a real treat and really fun. But I think I’ll leave the real reconnaissance for the boss(es) and the rider(s).


Owner of and long time professional race mechanic.