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TDU 2016: Behind the scenes at the Tour Down Under

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The Tour Down Under has been run and won for 2016, with Simon Gerrans of Orica GreenEDGE taking the overall win and victories on the third and fourth stages. As the first UCI World Tour race of the season, it serves as an important event not only for teams and riders to collect points, but as a proving ground for new equipment. Over the past month or so, I’ve been sharing photos and details of the machines as ridden by those World Tour teams, including an insider’s look into a typical day inside the Lampre Merida team car during a stage of the race.

But there is more than just the racing itself. There are team training rides before the race kicks off, busy mechanics preparing bikes, soigneurs loading team vans for the stage ahead and the logistics that go into running an event like the Tour Down Under. There are far too many photos to share in just one article, but I’ve chosen a few which I hope the Bikerumor audience will enjoy. Click on through to take a gander…

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I was fortunate to accompany AG2R on a training ride (mostly wheelsucking) unaccompanied by a team car. Early into the ride, one of the guys punctured a front wheel. Domenico Pozzovivo took up domestique duties to return to the Tour Down Under village for a wheel exchange.

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Shimano Neutral Service cars lined up inside the Tour Down Under village.

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Trek Factory Racing bikes await unloading after returning from a day of racing.

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Lampre Merida team mechanic Ronny Baron runs through the gears on a Scultura team bike.

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Craig Northam of Buckit! Belts collected a bunch of Continental Competition PRO LTD tires after the Tour Down Under that will be made into watch bands and wallets. Here he shows what makes the PRO LTD limited – the green latex tube – the PRO LTD tire is only available to racing teams sponsored by Continental. Team mechanics cut the tires rendering them unusable, should one be able obtain a set.

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Race bikes get dirty. Part-time local mechanic John Sezenias helps Lotto-Soudal with bike cleaning and other duties after each stage of the Tour Down Under.

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A pile of Mavic Cosmic Carbone 40T wheels in the mechanic’s area of Cannondale Pro Cycling.

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A Dimension Data team mechanic tightens stem bolts to appropriate torque specifications on a Cervelo S5 team bike.

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FDJ mechanic applies tubular glue to a Shimano C50 tubular wheel.

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Team Sky Pinarello Dogma F8’s await unloading after returning from a day of racing. The white Dogma F8 is the British champion’s bike of Peter Kennaugh.

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Team Tinkoff soigneurs load coolers with drinks and bidons before the day’s stage kicks off.

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Lampre Merida Reacto’s and Sculturas await unloading after returning from a day of racing.

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SRAM’s eTap wireless electronic drivetrain on a Team Katusha Canyon race bike.

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Time to clean the race bikes. Part-time local mechanic Chris Brown helps Team Katusha with bike cleaning and other duties after each stage of the Tour Down Under.

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Inside this metal box belonging to Team Giant Alpecin are spare parts such as Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 derailleurs, cranks and cassettes.

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Ducks forage among some of the team cars inside the Tour Down Under village.

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Michele Primaro, co-owner of Corsa Cycle Centre in Adelaide, South Australia, lends a hand to Team Astana after a day of racing. Michele is no stranger to racing, having managed several teams in the past, including the overall winner’s team in 2004 – Patrick Jonker, former professional with Team Once, lead the local UniSA team to victory in that year. We interviewed Michele about his thoughts on many subjects relating to cycling technology and racing, watch this space…

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Bianchi Oltre XR2’s lined up to be cleaned after a day’s racing.

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Local mechanic focuses on cleaning an AG2R Focus Izalco Max team bike.

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This is the definition of a slammed stem – FDJ Lapierre Xelius SL team bike. Need to get low? Remove the headset cap!

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LottoNL-Jumbo mechanic in deep concentration painting tubular glue onto a Shimano Dura-Ace C75 wheel.

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Team Movistar mechanics precisely measure the position of a Canyon team bike with a specialized jig.

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That’s a lot of Katusha Canyon team bikes and Zipp wheels.

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The Trek Factory Racing Madone 9 of Jack Bobridge gets a scrub after a stage of the Tour Down Under.

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Suomy helmets of the Lampre Merida team lined up for a day’s outing.

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Graeme Brown of Drapac Cycling glances over his Swift Hypervox team bike.

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Giro Synthe MIPS helmets of IAM Cycling.

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Another day of racing, another day of cleaning. Part-time local mechanic Nick Shipp helps FDJ with bike cleaning and other duties after each stage of the Tour Down Under. We love Nick’s taste in hats – Classic Aussie!

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Steve Nash, co-owner of Corsa Cycle Centre in Adelaide, South Australia, lends a hand to Cannondale Pro Cycling. Over the years, Steve has helped many teams at the Tour Down Under. In between running the shop with co-owner Michele, Steve works with SRAM’s neutral support service at many premier cycling events in Australia.

Photos and article by Gravel Cyclist. Jayson O’Mahoney is the Gravel Cyclist: A website about the Gravel Cycling Experience.

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Alex Kio
6 years ago

Alternate title: How to clean your bike at the Tour Down Under

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