Book out the window. There was a quote one of our boys gave on a day he crashed twice in 200m: “I thought I was pretty good at riding my bike.” Upon watching the final sprints and the way our boys have set up the lead-out train in the past two days, I think I could be forgiven for thinking something similar about what I do for a job.
How many times can I be surprised at how tough and courageous our boys are? This is something I’m happy being wrong about!
We’ve been on the road for a week now, and so the team is into the rhythm of up early to eat, bringing down our suitcases and massage tables with us; coffee; then prepare the cars, bikes, drinks, food (both staff and riders) and bus for the day; coffee; then do any quick treatments necessary for the boys around their morning routines of ablutions and two meals, and get the boys’ luggage down to the truck to be transported to the next hotel. And maybe have another coffee.
Then there’s the race itself: get to the start, help out the boys with anything they need from their rain bags, strap those who need strapping, release the joints and muscles of those who feel suddenly tight, get out of the way while the meeting takes place, send the boys on their way and grab the final coffee for the day.
Then get to the finish as quickly as is possible, perhaps stopping for an iced coffee on the way (the French and Swiss have this awesome iced coffee drink in their petrol stations. I am addicted to it.): Prepare post-race recovery drinks and food, celebrate and congratulate the boys on their day, find out who felt what on the bike, and get back to the next hotel to start the evening routine.
In the hotel it’s massages at once, with the boys eating, decrompressing, chatting and laughing about their days and whatever little things went on in their little bubble of the peloton.
Then it’s go about to all of the boys (knowing who are priorities from the previous days of injury) and see who needs physio, how they responded to the previous treatments, and go through the treatments themselves.
This is punctuated by dinner for the boys, and then the staff, and then I continue with this physio routine (making sure the night owls in the team are treated last).
Then bed, hopefully with the suitcase packed so you can wake up that five minutes later the next morning to do it all again!