I can’t say enough about how great my first experience was with the H&R Block pro men’s team! This was my first time working with a team on my own as the head mechanic. The opportunity came to work with the H&R Block Pro Cycling Team for the Redlands Classic and Sea Otter Stage Race. So you could say, I was a little nervous driving down to Redlands.
My days started early with loading the bikes onto the van and delivering them to the riders so they could ride to the race that morning and then back to the host house to load up the van for the race. After that Luca, the Team Director, and I drove to the race to set up for the riders. This is where I had to kick into high gear and swap wheels and brake pads for the race, making sure the riders have everything they need for the race ahead!
My other role as team mechanic is being the mechanical support during the race, something which I hadn’t done yet as far as sitting in the caravan behind the race. It may have been one of the most intense drives I’ve ever been on! Just the constant maneuvering and watching for riders and listening to the radio for break aways and flats for our rider numbers! Luca was quite the driver, nothing seemed to phase him when cars would get close or race by, I was very impressed and look forward to many more!
Then once the race is over, this was when my real work started; I washed the bikes and put each bike on the stand and made sure everything was still in perfect working order for the next stage. This has all been made easier with the resources available to the team through Park Tools, Shimano, and PRO. With these, I have everything I need to get the job done for the guys. I will also say the Norco Tactic bikes held up very well to the stress these guys put them under in race conditions!
With all that said, I’m very stoked to travel the country and even across Canada with the guys for the next few months! They have made this first experience as a race mechanic a very smooth transition and super fun experience! I have already gotten to see a couple beautiful places that I wouldn’t have seen otherwise. I don’t get to leave my work area too much but when I do have some free time I’m glad it’s somewhere where I can explore a new city!
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The M1 Project will be posting regularly on what it’s like to plan, prepare, and compete as a UCI Continental Professional Cycling Team.