Vince Gee

Giro D’Italia — Stage 17

Small hotel

There are many small hotels in Europe and this is no exception. But it is big enough to host our team as well as Predictor Lotto. We tried to park next to the Predictor-Lotto team but it was tight for all the vehicles so we parked next to the hotel in the lot of an apartment complex. This would never fly in the US. Someone would come out even before we shut off the engine and complain we are in “their” spot/way and ask us to leave immediately. But this is both Europe and even more so the Giro D’Italia. So, no one says anything and we go about our business. Thank god for the Euro acceptance.

Today was the famed Mt Zocolan. So steep and narrow, the organizer prohibited all team cars from the last 8 K (until all riders had finished then they could proceed). I was hotel mechanic and for the ONLY day, Nick went in the first car (to the bottom of the Zocolan). Well, before the race got there, each team could send one mechanic to the bottom of the hill. Waiting for each team mechanic was a moto to take them and “service the riders if needed” on the last climb. Craig was the man for this job. He took only a chain, chain tool a few Allen wrenches and a screwdriver and that was all. No where to have a full tool box/roll. So the minimum was all he could take. But the big problem was the motos. Many stalled out going so slow up the hill. The big BMWs could not go slow and soon were close to over heating. Apparently only a few team mechanics made it to the top with the motos.


Owner of and long time professional race mechanic.