What's Cool In Road Cycling

Lotto Belisol: The men behind the bikes

During the Tour de France it are of course our riders who have to perform, but they are only able to set good results if their bikes are perfectly okay. Our four mechanics Chris Van Roosbroeck, Frederik Moons, Georg Van Oudenhove and Steven van Olmen make sure each day of the Tour all the equipment is ready for the next race. Chris Van Roosbroeck tells us how a day of a mechanic looks like in the Tour:

Chris Van Roosbroeck: “We have breakfast together with the rest of the crew. Then we prepare the cars with all the supplies that are needed for the race such as backup bikes and extra wheels. After that we drive to the start where we make some last changes to the bikes if necessary.”

“Lotto Belisol has four mechanics in the Tour. Two of them are following the race from within the team’s cars and the two others already left early with the truck. During the race we hope in fact that we have to work as little as possible. If we have to work a lot, it means there’s trouble, and we want to avoid that as much as we can of course.”

“After the race the most important part of our job begins. We have to put all the bikes back in the truck and drive towards the hotel. When we arrive at the hotel, two mechanics immediately start to clean the bikes and the supplies whereas the two others unload the cars. All equipment is cleaned every day, so are the cars of the sports directors. We also go through some changes with the riders. André Greipel for example has two different bikes: a Ridley Noah Fast for the flat stages and a Ridley Helium SL for the mountain stages. Those bikes have to be fine-tuned very precisely every day.”

“The most stressful but at the same time also the most beautiful moment I think is the team time trial. Because of the new Ridley Dean FAST bikes, we were all very excited. The evening before the TTT we worked until 3am, which is very rare. We all were very nervous, but then if you see the good result the riders set, and if they compliment you afterwards for all the work you have done, you feel very happy. The TTT is also a moment where everyone is together. During regular stages we are all doing our own job, but during the TTT we work together as a team, not only the riders, but also the crew, which really is a wonderful experience.”

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