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Wrenchin' in the USA: The Chris Davidson diary 2005
Chris Davidson is a mechanic for Shimano Multi-Service doing neutral tech support at road and mountain bike races..
Chris' diary entries show us what life is like inside the pits and give an insight into the mind of a mechanic.
World Championships - Spain, September 20, 2005
Getting set up for the ITT
Today was 'official training' on the TT course for all categories. We got up early and headed through some insane traffic to get to the park on the southwest side of Madrid and set up for the riders' arrival. Today we had the entire TT squad out on the course [elite men, U-23 men and elite women]. The course is a winding loop on rough pavement with a couple of good climbs, kind of technical all the way around. All went smoothly on the course for our riders. The women I am working with all choose 54/42 rings up front and 11-23 cassettes in the back.
Due to the fact that we got there early, I grabbed the first tent in the team area for the USA and unloaded our stuff. Quickly the larger countries start to show up and fill out the tents around us. France is across the way and Australia is next door.
After the rides, we go to work back at our temporary 'service course' at the hotel. It took me most of the afternoon to check through the bikes and get everything 100%. Geoff Brown [Discovery Channel] lent me a front trispoke with a narrow tyre for Kristin Armstrong. That helps out a great deal, meaning that I didn't have to glue a tyre today, and it also gives us a complete extra set of wheels for each of our female riders [one disc and one trispoke extra each], which makes me feel better about tomorrow.
The women start before the U-23 men - each are doing a different version of the course. I'll follow Amber Neben in the car first, then Christine Thorburn. My mate Ken Whelpdale will follow Kristin Armstrong in a neutral car, as her start time does not allow me to be back in time to cover her. Tonight we had a big team dinner, individual team meetings, and then they gave out the race and causal clothing for Worlds. USA will be sporting some new colours tomorrow. The stuff looks good.
After all the meetings, I headed down to the service course one more time to arrange bikes for the riders not doing the TT tomorrow, check my spare wheels, and out some more tyre shine on the race car. It was relaxing; everything got done today without rushing, makes me confident for tomorrow. The girls have the horsepower; I hope that they all ride well.
The wake up call is at 5:45am, I have to get going.
For a thumbnail gallery of these images, click here
Images by Chris Davidson