EVOC x BORA
The 2022 Tour de France is already underway and it marks one of the biggest season highlights for the BORA-hansgrohe professional cycling team!
Inspired by the team's recent successes this year, BORA-hansgrohe is motivated and racing the 2022 Tour de France with the clear goal of achieving success in the race general classification. Aleksandr Vlasov, Lennard Kämna, Maximilian Schachmann, Nils Politt, Felix Großschartner, Patrick Konrad, Marco Haller and Danny van Poppel are the eight riders who are racing the Tour for BORA - hansgrohe.
The Tour de France is certainly one of grandest spectacles in all sport. One hundred seventy-six riders from twenty-two teams started the race this year, and the additional number of support staff for each team swells the ranks of people traveling with the race enormously. It's like a bedouin caravan of epic proportions winding its way through every part of France, putting on a show for the throngs of spectators along the way. For those who bear witness, it is truly a traveling circus.
For BORA-hansgrohe, just getting all the riders, team bikes, and all the riders' gear to the start line involves an impressive amount of logistics. Team members travel from all points to converge at the Grand Depart, and face transportation issues of their own. And that's before the race even starts! Once underway, the Tour travels across France, covering thousands of kilometers with transfers between towns for three weeks. That's a lot of traveling! So how do they do it?
Riders leave their hotel heading for the team bus every morning with their gear bags containing items they will need for the day.
The team cars that will be following the riders on course get loaded with spare bikes, wheels, a cooler full of drinks and food, as well as rider bags with gear they may require during the day's stage
Gear bags are labelled with the riders' names, a necessary detail when everyone's team gear looks the same. It also makes it easier for team staff should they need to hand up or stow away rider gear while on course.
Days are long for the riders, but even longer for mechanics and soigneurs. In their mobile encampments, these team staff prepare bikes, food, and do laundry to keep the riders going throughout the race.
For anyone who's thought that the nomadic life of professional team staff is glamorous, think again. Traveling with a race like the Tour de France means spending lots of time in makeshift work spaces, day and night, rain or shine.
When at last the Grand Boucle reaches the finish line on the Champs-Élysées in Paris, most will breathe a sigh of relief. The newly crowned victors will celebrate. The disappointed may rue the events that stole their success. And virtually all the riders will justifiably look forward to a well deserved rest after three weeks of racing around France.
But just because the race is over, that doesn't mean that everyone can relax. Unraveling the tightly knit fabric that kept the team on the road since before the start of the race takes a lot of work. And again, much of that is up to the mechanics. As the sun sets on another Tour, all the equipment needs to be disassembled, organized, and packed up. Some goes back to the main service course, some home with the riders, and before you know it, they will do it all again at another race. Because c'est la vie.