As a professional mechanic I've been honored and lucky enough to work with a lot of great athletes. The video below is a great friend of mine Carmen Small winning her 2nd Professional Women's USA Cycling National Championship. I've worked with Carmen a lot over the last few years, this year she crushed it! She didn't just win, she won in style.
As you can see in this video she is all over the road and has left nothing behind at the finish. To put things into perspective her last KM was only 3 seconds slower than Taylor Phinney.
We spent a week in Winston-Salem (for me this was after a week at the Tour of California) preparing. Prep included 90 minutes in the car each day driving to and from the time trial course, riding the course, motor pacing on the course and generally examining every element imaginable.
As a mechanic with a race team often times we become everything. A coach, a mentor, the expert and of course the chauffeur. This in addition to being simply the mechanic. Being a professional bicycle mechanic isn't just a lifestyle for me it is a career. We don't learn how to do all these things in books, we learn it by watching and observing and from our interactions within a race team environment.
The reward for me is not just her victory but the trust she puts in me to get her to the finish line, the confidence that her bike is dialed and the effort she gave to grab the victory. Jerseys and medals go on the wall. Friendships forged in the process last forever. The skills learned over the years will never be forgotten.
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