Sunday, October 17, 2021
HomeBlogsEx-Garmin Physio Toby Watson's BlogAre we ready yet? Are we ready yet? Can we start yet?

Are we ready yet? Are we ready yet? Can we start yet?

-

Are we ready yet. Two days out from the start of the Tour. The whole team has arrived at the hotel, and the Show is about to begin! It’s very exciting, but not much is really going on.

It’s sort of like when the starter calls “set” in a track & field sprint: heaps of stuff about to happen, but nothing doing just yet. Yes I once sprinted. Yes, in this instance “sprinted” is a very loosely applied verb.

This is the first full day of the road show. We have a good whack of people here: 19 staff will be on the road for the full three weeks.

Two directors, our fearless leader JV, a press officer, a doc, a physio (hurrah!), a chiro, a physiologist, an aerodynamicist, four soigneurs, three mechanics, a bus driver, a chef and his assistant.

Performing cameos will be an extra director for the first few days (the course is particularly dangerous through the north and he’ll help with recon, info & tactics) and a bonus mechanic for the prologue and TT stages.

There are the VIPs as well — and we have a whole separate staff dedicated to working with them.

We also have the team truck, bus, mobile kitchen (which is super cool), 2 people movers, and 6 cars. I’m sure I’ve missed something, but can’t think what.

Oh, and there are also nine bike riders…

So that is our team at this race! 21 other teams with all of their accoutrements are also here. It’s huge.

Today the boys have done a bit of media work, are currently out practising their bicycling for a few hours, will squeeze in a quick massage, and will then head to the presentation ceremony.

Are we ready yet
An example of furious working. Photo©Laura Alber

The mechanics are all furiously doing stuff. I don’t know what they do particularly, but they do a lot of it, and it takes them ages. I reckon they’re the busiest blokes on the team.

The soigneurs are mixing drinks and stocking up on supplies for the first part of the race.

Elsewise, the scientists are ruminating, directors planning, and the med team are preparing for any last minute tweaks that need sorting (hopefully none!)

And now… When does it start? When do we start? Are we ready yet? Can we start yet? Can we start yet?

Toby Watsonhttps://www.veloveritas.co.uk
Ex-Garmin Transitions physiotherapist and soigneur Toby Watson brings you inside the squad, and shows you what it's like to be working with a top team on the biggest races in the world. Through his regular blog updates, Toby shares his sense of drama and fun that were essential parts of his job. Toby is Australian, and currently lives in Girona with his fiancee Amanda. If he has any time, he enjoys reading and running, and occasionally skiing too, when he can.

Related Articles

Le Tour de France 2009 – Second Rest Day

"Armstrong redescend sur terre," says the headline in L'Equipe - 'Armstrong brought back to earth at the Le Tour de France 2009.' Bert dominates the front page, smiling with his "smoking gun" finger held high - VeloVeritas says; "Chapeau, Bert!"

11 Years of VeloVeritas – 2017: Roadside at the Tour; Maciej Bodnar!

Sprinter stages - they almost have you feeling sorry for Carlton. When we settled down in our mini-market/café with it's big screen and fridge full of cool beer we were quite prepared to sit and wait on Kittel obliterating everyone again after the usual boring run-in. But Big Bora Pole, Maciej Bodnar, AKA 'The Bison' - in his Cannondale days he had a great Polish bison air brush job on his top tube - had other ideas; jumping his doomed breakaway companions and heading off on a solo epic which only ended in sight of the line...

Minor Details: Eneco 2010 Stage 4

Minor Details. Today was the first stage that the boys didn't have any specific job to do in the race. We had held the jersey for the first three days of the race, and will continue to fight out the general classification with Svein, but the stage today was quite flat, so it would not in any way effect the gc standings, meaning our boys finally had a low responsibility day.

Le Tour de France 2012 – Stage 14: Limoux – Foix, 192 km. Tacks Cause Kišerlovski Crash

I was speaking to Vik, the other day.I shan’t use the word which he did to describe Brad’s opponents, but it wasn’t complimentary. Limoux - After yesterday’s display, it’s hard to disagree; whilst there was drama at the end with Kišerlovski crash – more of which later – when we drove the course it seemed to us a perfect opportunity for Nibali and his descending skills.

Le Tour de France 2012 – Stage 7: Tomblaine – La Planche des Belles Filles, 199 km

What a stage! But who’s the man of the day? Froome? Wiggins?Both produced performances that had me pinching myself to see if I was dreaming; but no, the man of the day wasn't part of that infernal train making light of 20% grades. La Planche des Belles Filles...

Le Tour de France 2009 – Stage 2: Monaco > Brignoles, 187km

Mark Cavendish blasted to his first victory of the Tour today at Brignoles, a victory that also places him in the green jersey as the leader of the race's points classification, for the first time in his career.

At Random

Le Tour ’11, Stage 12 – the Tour on the Tourmalet

Looking for a nice meal in Lourdes with great service? That's too bad, you'll struggle to find it! We were lucky to come across the only half-civil waiter in the town after landing in the third restaurant of the night, after being variously ignored by staff and stared at at by local idiots in the first two places we tried. Today's plan: head up to the start at Cugnaux and get a Village Depart breakfast, then drive on race route until the famous climb of the Tourmalet, where we pitched up around 3km from the top.

From the Commentator’s Box, Tony Gibb; London Olympics Day Two

So the first day of track competition, and I am buzzing! It's all hit home, I'm here, at the London Olympics Day Two, it's weird, being so close, knowing all the people involved...

Rudi Altig

In the passing of Rudi Altig from cancer on June 11th 2016 from cancer at 79 years-of-age, Germany and the sport of cycling have lost one of it’s giants. He was a man who could win everything from his nation’s amateur national sprint championship to the Vuelta by way of the world professional pursuit and road race titles, Monuments and Six Day races.

Dave Sanders – Racing with Wiggo’s dad in the 70’s Archer RC

One of the men who has helped a lot of top Aussie riders progress is a certain Dave Sanders – but Mr. Sanders isn’t just a man who has read a lot of books and can work a laptop. He was a hard riding man in his day – back in the 70’s he raced in the UK in the Archer Road Club’s famous ‘Aussie Squad’ with Bradley’s dad, Gary Wiggins and recent VeloVeritas interview subject Murray Hall. Here’s his tale...

Le Tour de France 2009 – Stage 11: Vatan > Saint-Fargeau, 192km

'Cav sez; "Gotcha!" to Baz', as the Sun might say if it were to cover Le Tour de France, and today's stage into Saint-Fargeau. It took Barry Hoban a whole career - two decades - to notch up eight Tour stage wins - but they didn't all come from bunch gallops.

Milan – Sanremo 2008 – Day 2

A hard race ? When the World and Olympic road race champion is blown out the back, his eyes wide, shoulders rocking, sweat dripping from him, stuggling up a climb on the inside ring, when only minutes ago he was blasting it on the 53 - that's a hard race. Milan - San Remo has to be seen to be believed: seven hours, with all the major obstacles in the second half. The new climb at La Manie is brutal and might just have contributed to the "pure" sprinters failure in San Remo.