Being in ‘the business’ I can only admire what OC Sport have accomplished with this event. That being said, I did complain more than a little two years ago when bags didn’t show up on time, not to mention Greg Lemond.
It seems they’ve worked out the kinks and, as far as I was concerned this year, the immense work that surrounds the riding was pretty seamless. Take the day before the race began, for example:
This is what I had to do:
- Check in to my hotel
- Bring my bike to the Village on the Promenade des Anglais to have it safety-checked
- Drop off my bike bag/box at the trucks below for safe keeping during the race
- Register and get my envelope, jersey and bibs, day pack and HR giant bag that had to be used to identify you so that it was taken to the correct hotel each afternoon
If I’d had any bike issues there was Mavic ready to either fix them or tell me I’m screwed and lend one of their yellow steel monsters (more on this in a later post).
The backpack (below) was an essential bit of gear. This was brought to start line each morning, dropped off at the Europcar van, and picked up again at the end of the stage. It was filled with whatever you needed at the end of each stage, like a protein drink, change of clothes, towel, meal card, and in my case, organic German beef jerky.
Each night there was a briefing, which I’m ashamed to say I only attended twice. This is half the room on the first night in Nice. The skinniest conference hall on the Côte d’Azur, I’d bet.
On top of this, negotiations had to be made with hotels to ensure a copious, very early breakfast, all support vehicles needed to navigate the same roads we did and make it to the end before the riders (a major task for at least Claud The Butler), and a hot, waiting lunch had to be waiting for us after arrival. There needed to be showers at the finish line, changing rooms and space for the endless line of massages that occurred each day.
It makes me definitely not want to apply for a job at this company. I’ve got a guided ride with one Aussie tomorrow morning which is stressing me out enough!
Anyway, bravo OC Sport. I’ve still got a few issues with you, but you done me good this time around.