Think mobile warehouse, bike shop, kitchen, and Laundromat all rolled into one and you get an idea of what’s inside the team truck of WorldTour squads such as RadioShack-Leopard-Trek.
During the recently completed Giro d’Italia, this truck was driven from stage hotel to stage hotel during the day, and then served as team prep headquarters in the evenings and mornings.
In the back of the truck is the mechanics section, which includes space to store upwards of 30 bikes (standard road and time trial), about 50 pairs of wheels (full disc, deep section, and numerous other rim depths), and at least 60 spare tubular tires.
The truck also holds just about every tool imaginable and has a work area in case it’s too cold, rainy, or otherwise inhospitable outside.
At the front end of the truck is the soigneurs section. (Soigneur is a French word that roughly translated means, to care.) These team caregivers do everything from post-ride recovery massage to prep of all the on-bike food and drink for all the riders. Their section of the truck includes a food prep area, refrigerator, and lots of storage space. (Can you imagine how many bars and gels nine riders go through during a three-week grand tour?) On an average day, a team’s riders will go through about 150 bottles alone, and every one of those bottles must be prepared and ready to go before the stage starts.
This area also houses a washer and dryer. Riders simply drop their dirty kit in a bag, leave it outside their hotel room door, and the soigneurs pick it up, wash it, and return it. No dirty-kit riding here.
Here’s a tip-to-tail video tour of the RadioShack-Leopard-Trek team truck.
Video courtesy Global Cycling Network