The Tour Down Under has been run and won for 2017, with Richie Porte of BMC Racing taking the overall win and victories on the second and fifth stages. As the first UCI World Tour race of the season, it serves as an important event for teams and riders to collect World Tour points, and a proving ground for new team equipment. The riders themselves are the stars of the World Tour, but without their teams of support staff – mechanics, soigneurs and management – the riders would be sorely pressed to do what they do, day in and day out.
Please enjoy this gallery of photos I took from behind the scenes at the 2017 Tour Down Under…
Above a gaggle of Katusha Alpecin Canyon Aeroad bikes await cleaning.
Roman of Katusha Alpecin applies tubular glue to a Zipp wheel.
Pim Heemskerk of Team Sunweb is one of the coolest mechanics in the World Tour. No shoes and socks for Pim, it’s all about comfort.
Pim gets busy gluing wheels in readiness for mounting tubular tires.
Pim’s attention to detail is impressive. I spotted him several times checking and double checking team rider’s bike measurements. Many of the World Tour pro’s like to tinker with their respective positions on the bike.
Giant TCR Advanced SL’s of Team Sunweb, ready to race.
The Sunweb lads head out for an easy spin in the week leading up to the Tour Down Under.
Sunweb was the only team I spotted sporting ice vests at the Tour Down Under. With temperatures regularly hitting 100 degrees Fahrenheit / 40 degrees Celcius during the Adelaide summer, this bit of kit is a nice-to-have.
The Sunweb lads relax wearing their ice vests before a stage of the Tour Down Under. Photo by Steve Nash of Corsa Cycle Centre.
Peter Sagan and his Bora Hansgrohe team prepare to roll for a training ride. Many of the riders, including Peter himself, chose the Specialized Venge ViAS. Peter had the choice of a rim brake Venge, or his special disc brake Venge with gold wheels.
Soigneurs from Bora Hansgrohe fill the team’s bidons with water and a hydration mix.
Steven Van Olmen, head mechanic at Lotto Soudal, prepares the Ridley of Lars Bak. Check out the Lotto Soudal rig of Adam Hansen.
Steven’s kit for measuring bike setup.
Team Sky begin the chore of unpacking and setting up team bikes. Riders such as Geraint Thomas arrive much earlier than the team, choosing to adjust to the time zone and weather differences of the Southern Hemisphere.
Team Movistar Canyon Ultimate CF SLX race bikes await their turn for cleaning.
Astana’s Argon 18 Gallium Pro bikes in the queue to be cleaned.
Michele Primaro of Astana uses the non-driveside dropout of a team Gallium Pro bike to hold and rotate a Vision carbon tubular wheel. A creative solution for applying tubular glue, in preparation for mounting a tubular tire.
The beautiful Colnago C60’s of Team UAE Abu Dhabi come in all manner of sizes.
Orica Scott mechanic Craig Geater had plenty of work to do at the Tour Down Under. In addition to building up new bikes for the season like many of the mechanics are tasked to do, Craig and the team have been experimenting with the Flaer-Revo-Via chain lubrication system.
The fruit of Craig’s labor.
Some of Quick Step Flooring’s helmet stash.
Team Bahrain Reactos and Sculturas, ready to race.
These Bianchi Oltre X4’s of Team Lotto Jumbo NL are almost race ready.
A Trek-Segafredo mechanic replaces handlebar tape on one of the team’s many bikes at the Tour Down Under. Teams typically bring 14 bikes to the race – two for each rider.
BMC Racing’s SLR01 team bikes, lined up and ready to race.
Article and photos by Gravel Cyclist. Jayson O’Mahoney is the Gravel Cyclist: A website about the Gravel Cycling Experience.