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Story and photos by: James Huang
This article was originally published on BikeRadar
A look at the WorldTour support network.
Inside the team buses at pro race Paris-Roubaix in 2012. Paris-Roubaix is fought over by the riders on the road but there’s also a tremendous support network in place to keep the massive machine that is WorldTour-level bicycle racing rolling along. From team buses and trucks to mechanics, soigneurs and fans, check out our image gallery for a look at what goes on behind the scenes at the world’s greatest one-day road race.
It’s hard to travel incognito when your team truck is wrapped like this. Lotto-Belisol stores all of its bikes on the truck in one lower row, leaving the upper level for wheels.
Lotto-Belisol’s team truck is a fully capable, mobile workshop for the team. The inside of the Rabobank team truck. Lights mounted underneath the rear door allow Lotto-Belisol trucks to continue working after dark. More wheels are stored in the forward end of the Katusha team mechanics’ bus. Katusha soigneurs get these two lower compartments for food, coolers, and drinks. A small table pulls out from the side of the Katusha team bus for mechanics. This washer and dryer on the Katusha team bus both see heavy use during the season. There is room for lots of bikes and wheels inside the Rabobank team truck. Power and water are critical elements for team mechanics. This portable surge protector allows several team vehicles to operate out of a single outlet. The workbench inside the Rabobank team truck was crowded with wheels the day before Paris-Roubaix. The inside of the GreenEdge team truck. Note the lights mounted to the flip-up rear door. Mechanics work long hours. Astana’s team truck is capable of storing an incredible amount of gear. Astana’s mechanics travel around in a big Iveco box truck.
A washer and dryer are tucked into the lower bay of the Astana team truck. Sorry, we don’t know what the black box is.
The driver’s view of the Astana team bus. Astana’s bus driver has to navigate this beast through tight European roads.
Big, puffy seats for the Astana riders provide a cozy place on the bus as they travel to and from races.
Katusha mechanics don’t use a truck. Instead, they use a converted touring bus as there are fewer restrictions on European roads. Compressed air and water hoses are kept on a reel in one of the Katusha team truck compartments. The inside of the Katusha team mechanics’ bus is a little more cramped than the usual box truck but there’s still plenty of room for bikes, wheels, and other gear. Two custom painted frames are ready to be built.
GreenEdge’s awning is a critical piece of equipment when mechanics have to work outside in the rain. The inside of the Cofidis truck is stocked with wheels on one side and bikes on the other. Bikes are stored in the Cofidis truck with the wheels removed.
Tags: Coaching staff