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From rider to helper... ToB!

esafosfinaesafosfina Posts: 131
edited September 2012 in Pro race
Was fortunate enough to be asked to help out on the ToB with Team Raleigh last week... having raced the Kellogg's Tour years ago (and other Tours of note) it was always going to be an eye opener to be on 'the other side'. I can now, categorically state that I would rather be a rider than a helper!!! :D Jesus! I never realised how hard the background staff have/had it! To my soigneurs, mechanics, DSs an open apology! Never will I criticise so quickly!

Typical staff day: up 6am, sort rider breakfasts, clean team-cars, prep pre-race and race food, prep bidons and drinks, prep post-race food and drink, check riders are happy and content (fat chance!), load vans with luggage, depart for start, set up camp, sort race bidons and food, rub legs & backs etc, decamp, jump in van, speed like mad to either feed or hotel, feed riders, speed to finish, look after riders, transfer miles to hotels (sorry ToB organisation: too long transfers make for grumpy riders and staff alike!), set up for mechanics (water/power etc), make sure riders are ok, send them for massage, do laundry, prep bidons... ad infinitum... team meeting, snappy pint, bed approx. 11pm. Repeat next day!

Typical rider day: wake, breakfast, transfer to start, drink copious amounts of coffee, race, transfer, shower, massage, eat, team meeting, sleep. (I make it sound easy... it isn't!)

Great to catch up with old friends and rivals... long natter with Hendrik Redant (UHC DS) whom I raced against in 89-91 (fancied his sister... she's still hot!)... caught up with Wiggins, Jez Hunt. Haven't seen either since my last season in 2000. Servais Knaven; last time I saw him was when he was riding for Domo Farm Frites. Brian Smith, Matty Stephens, Chris Lilliwhite... so many old faces now involved behind the scenes.

Would I do it again? Yep! Hard yakka, but really great fun! If you ever get the chance to help out, or get involved, do so... it's so rewarding!

Right... back to my Tyrrell's Vat 9 Shiraz... 2003, of course! :wink:

Posts

  • dsoutardsoutar Posts: 1,746
    Great post !
  • rick_chaseyrick_chasey Posts: 61,009 Lives Here
    *thumbs up*
  • Great quote from Bernie Sulzberger when he was away with Basso on the Stoke stage: They hit the top of the KOM after 'dropping' the Netapp rider... Bernie's in a world of pain, it's 45kph plus into a cross-headwind... Basso turns to him and says "Ok my friend, now we must start riding hard!" Bernie looks at him, and in his Aussie drawl says: " censored man, I am riding hard!" Basso pats him on the back and apologises!
  • rick_chaseyrick_chasey Posts: 61,009 Lives Here
    Ha!
  • rick_chaseyrick_chasey Posts: 61,009 Lives Here
    As an aside, is Knaven as good a bloke as he seems on TV?

    He spends a fair bit of time doing stuff for Dutch TV and seems a good bloke.

    He's about the only rider I see who behaves the way I would if I won Roubaix. Go on about it ALL the time.

    "so, when I won Roubaix..."
  • As an aside, is Knaven as good a bloke as he seems on TV?

    He spends a fair bit of time doing stuff for Dutch TV and seems a good bloke.

    He's about the only rider I see who behaves the way I would if I won Roubaix. Go on about it ALL the time.

    "so, when I won Roubaix..."

    Yeah Servais is cool... came out of his way to find me and chatted for ages. He and Leon Van Bon were on the Dutch track squad circa 90/91 and both really nice guys. I agree, I think if I'd won Roubaix I reckon I'd be dropping it left, right and centre!
  • andypandyp Posts: 8,851
    I can't believe Henrik Redant's sister is a looker.
  • andyp wrote:
    I can't believe Henrik Redant's sister is a looker.

    Yep... was and still is! :D
  • esafosfina wrote:
    As an aside, is Knaven as good a bloke as he seems on TV?

    He spends a fair bit of time doing stuff for Dutch TV and seems a good bloke.

    He's about the only rider I see who behaves the way I would if I won Roubaix. Go on about it ALL the time.

    "so, when I won Roubaix..."

    Yeah Servais is cool... came out of his way to find me and chatted for ages. He and Leon Van Bon were on the Dutch track squad circa 90/91 and both really nice guys. I agree, I think if I'd won Roubaix I reckon I'd be dropping it left, right and centre!


    At the Tour this year I was by the Sky bus before the start of Stage 2 and got talking with a big group either side of me. Turned out they were good friends with Servais Knaven and his parents, had known him since he was knee-high to a grasshopper and so on. Told me some great stories about him!
  • graeme_s-2graeme_s-2 Posts: 3,382
    esafosfina wrote:
    Great quote from Bernie Sulzberger when he was away with Basso on the Stoke stage: They hit the top of the KOM after 'dropping' the Netapp rider... Bernie's in a world of pain, it's 45kph plus into a cross-headwind... Basso turns to him and says "Ok my friend, now we must start riding hard!" Bernie looks at him, and in his Aussie drawl says: " fark man, I am riding hard!" Basso pats him on the back and apologises!
    Thanks for that little snippet. I was stood on the road on that climb (having ridden up it and then back tracked from the top slightly as it was cold in the wind). Basso went up it at easily twice the speed I had done and looked like he was riding to the shops.
  • Graeme_S wrote:
    esafosfina wrote:
    Great quote from Bernie Sulzberger when he was away with Basso on the Stoke stage: They hit the top of the KOM after 'dropping' the Netapp rider... Bernie's in a world of pain, it's 45kph plus into a cross-headwind... Basso turns to him and says "Ok my friend, now we must start riding hard!" Bernie looks at him, and in his Aussie drawl says: " fark man, I am riding hard!" Basso pats him on the back and apologises!
    Thanks for that little snippet. I was stood on the road on that climb
    (having ridden up it and then back tracked from the top slightly as it was cold in the wind)
    . Basso went up it at easily twice the speed I had done and looked like he was riding to the shops.

    Yeah! It was bloody freezing at the feed! I had to squeeze my girth into a-too-small Raleigh jersey and believe me, I was stuffing newspaper up it to keep warm! :D:lol::D
  • Graham Briggs was terrific on Stage 6...did he enjoy his Rouleur cheese??
  • Mikey23Mikey23 Posts: 5,306
    Great post thanks for sharing
  • Graham Briggs was terrific on Stage 6...did he enjoy his Rouleur cheese??

    Little censored didn't share it! :D
  • esafosfina wrote:
    andyp wrote:
    I can't believe Henrik Redant's sister is a looker.

    Yep... was and still is! :D

    Pictures please!
    @JaunePeril

    Winner of the Bike Radar Pro Race Wiggins Hour Prediction Competition
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