30 March 2006

Field Trip #1

Had a little trip to a secret location in the south of Holland today. We had to pick up a roof rack from the Rabobank Service Course today. And what a treat it was, these guys have some serious money to play with, and it was good to see they are not shy of spending it. The team have just shifted in to a larger building, at the end of last season, so it’s almost finished, a few small things to come, and it’s almost done.

Shaking with disbelief.

The Team runs a few different teams from this operation, all the bikes come through here for the UCI Pro Teams, Continental Team, Juniors and the National Dutch team uses the staff and trucks occasionally, so it’s a pretty big operation. Just walking into the room, (it was big) I was surrounded by wheels, the entire ceiling of the workshop was a sea of fruity wheels. I met the guys that run the place, a quick coffee and left my boss Jean-Paul to catch up. He raced for Rabobank for a few years, so was always hanging around the mechanics, so got to know them pretty well. I started wandering with my eyes hanging out of my head at every turn of the warehouse.

Wheelie wicked wound wheels. Wheelie!

The workshops roof, being small pays off again.

There was so many top end bikes, I have never seen anything even close to it. So many Colnago C50’s, C40’s, TT, prototypes, carbon, steel, alloy, you name it, they have it. All covered in Shimano Dura-ace, Italian bikes with Shimano, can’t beat it, so use it they reckon. And what a collection hanging, there new racking system was chock full of so many bikes, I could have got lost in there for hours and not been bored. Plus, they tell me that the two biggest trucks are on the road, packed full of bikes. The riders have bikes with them, and more at home, so add about the same again the boys reckon, then you get the idea of the size of this team. Then the wheels, everywhere, carbon hanging from every place imaginable, discs lying around the floor, tyres in every spare spot, all those tubulars. All that gluing, ye ha.

A 'Stand' of helmets, or is it a 'Whoop' of helmets? (the new Giro Advantage, if ya wondering)

A room for the clothing was jam packed with cool riding kit. Ready to stand on the Worlds podiums, and ready to slide down some of the Worlds nastiest roads ripping huge holes in it. Helmets, casual clothes, shoes, etc, piles that would put most wholesalers stocks to shame. And a great full food store, food for the stage races, hotels and vehicles, fully stocked, yummy. No gluten free bars though, damn it.

Nice shot, so pretty.

I was just wandering around thinking that we had a lot of work, but this was astounding the work involved with all this equipment, staring at me. They were a bit nervous of me taking pics, but said it was ok, as long as they don’t go in a magazine. Sweet, this is not a magazine, not even close. There are a few new things kicking around and they were not keen on their ideas getting out just yet, oh well, I’ll show you them later.

Wouldn't it be great if your garage looked like this.

Amazing what a budget of 12 million Euro’s buys you, it makes our way less than, 500 Euro’s look laughable, but hey, Women’s cycling has a long way to come yet. We get a lot more results than some of the men’s pro teams, even when our truck would easy fit into the back of any of their trucks. Our whole operation would not even touch the sides of the clothing room. Yep, what a great sight, might have to come back when the trucks are in, then I might be a bit more jealous.

Waiting for rubbish day.

12 million Euro budget, all those bikes, and the mechanics work bench looks like just like the rest of us, sweet.


Anonymous said...

Hi Benny,

Shaun here. Awesome shots mate. Any chance you will see similar MTB set-ups while your away? The Blog rocks Benny. Keep it up.


benny said...

Trying to hook up a trip to the Specialized European MTB base, as one of the girls Elsbeth, races in the team. MTB teams are not so prevalent here, and tend to be more mobile as they race in more countries. Send some shots of the Batusi Singlespeed European base in a few days, it's wicked. later.