Car 1 is driven by Andreu and always includes the team head mechanic, Tennyson Hulcy. Often a VIP from one of the team sponsors rides along. (Today, it David Bourque, the marketing director from bike sponsor Devinci.) Tenny sits on the right side of the car backseat, as service calls (wheel changes, brake adjustments, and other repairs) must take place on the right side of the road. For the sake of speedy wheel changes and repairs, Tenny normally keeps four wheels (two front, two rear) and a bag of tools beside him at all times. He also makes sure to stuff each door storage compartment with energy bars and gels so that each passenger can hand some to Frankie to pass to racers if and when his stockpile runs out.
While team directors at the Amgen Tour of California and other top tier races are no longer allowed to communicate via radio with their riders, they can and do Nike Air Max Dark Pink use them extensively to communicate with their staff Gord Fraser, driver of Car 2. During a typical stage, a team will have about four team cars on course: two in the race caravan and another two that jump ahead first to the feed zone then the finish line. So Frankie Andreu, the director of the 5 hour Energy presented by Kenda Racing Team, begins each day with a roll call to make sure each staff member is present and accounted for.
Frankie drives behind his own rider, Shawn Milne, a former national champion and a seasoned veteran. Dropped near the summit of Palomar, he descends less urgently than others, knowing he can easily close the gap by the bottom. Frankie follows just in case he needs something bottle, food, or a new wheel if he flats.
Tires squealing, Frankie Andreu pilots the car down and around Mt. Palomar steep hairpin bends. He concentrates on the road ahead with the calm confidence of a rally driver. The scents of seared brake pad and burning rubber blow through the open windows. More than once, the front bumper nearly kisses the aluminum guardrail.
a mountain, making team cars the slowest vehicles on a race course. One of the two Cannondale riders dropped on the 5,200 foot ascent of Palomar makes up for lost time, whooshing past the car as it threads its way down the mountain. The rider times his pass perfectly: As Frankie brakes before the next hairpin, he slingshots out of the car draft and through the bend, feathering his brakes gently. The car clumsily bounces and rocks its way in and out of the curve.
Frankie finishes his radio check by the end of the race neutral section, and Tenny reminds him to reset his odometer to synch with the race technical manual and mileage schedule. While each director usually keeps a copy of the race manual close by, it not the team only reference once the stage gets underway. The Tour race radio interrupts the passengers banter via a shortwave station. The race radio is the main source of information once the race begins. With no rider radios, it the only way that Frankie knows when a rider needs something from the car.
Tenny keeps an updated start list complete with each rider number, placing, and his time gap to the race leader taped to the back of the front passenger seat,. The hatch behind him holds a cooler filled with about 40 bottles, one or two more sets of wheels, and a rain bag for each rider that stuffed with extra clothes, sunglasses, or whatever else the rider thinks he might need throughout the course of the race: a spare helmet, sunscreen, maybe an extra pair of shoes.
Suddenly, Milne misjudges the arc of the next bend. His body and bike upright, he grabs both brakes and unclips his right foot for balance as the aluminum guardrail the sheer dropoff beyond Air Max 90 Anniversary Black Croc
Spare bikes are attached to the car roof rack for easy access if a rider needs a spare. On bigger teams, each rider has a spare bike pre set to his measurements. On a Continental (the third rung of pro cycling) team like 5 hour Energy, only the team captains have spares set up especially for them. The rest are forced to share stock sizes in 2 centimeter increments. The mechanics make the necessary adjustments on the fly.
Howling tires aside, the car is quiet. Only the mechanic breaks the silence.
A typical racer hits at least 50 mph descending Air Max 90 White Tumblr
radio is also the most reliable way for directors to follow the race action. When a breakaway escapes early in Stage 1, Frankie can barely see the leading riders as they go around a bend a few hundred yards up the road. While the colors of their jerseys help distinguish which teams are present, the race radio fills in the identities of the riders and their advantage over the chasing peloton in English (the language of the race) then in French (the official language of the UCI).
His teammate waits and sits drafting 3 feet from Frankie rear bumper. Perhaps he needs to catch his breath; maybe he scared. Today's Stage 1 of the Tour of California has climbed the side of Palomar, but the descent brings its own set of challenges, with gravel, cattle grates, and more than 20 off camber hairpin bends.
Day in a Pro Cycling Team Car
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Teasing the limits of his tires traction, his bike skids into the dusty shoulder and resumes the turn. Everyone in the car exhales.
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