Back at chez Mimi for some laundry and email time. Tomorrow night I should take the train back to Belgium to reunite with my team truck. The following day I will start the drive back to Denmark. Still am not sure if this is just the end of the season, or if it is a definite end to my time with the team. There is talk that the team may merge with another, but even it goes through, I don’t know that it assures me of a place for next year.
Sunday was the Paris-Tours World Cup, a race I had been to the last two years to search for a job. Instead, this year I was on the way back from a weeklong radonnee around Lake Geneva. Inside Track Tours (ITT), the same tour company I worked for back at the Tour de France, had helped organize this ‘MS Global’ event for the New England chapter of the National MS Society. The intent was to raise awareness for Multiple Sclerosis and to reward some folks who had successfully raised a certain level of contributions for the society. Though rain did put a slight damper on some of the days, we all had a blast.
Everyone on the trip was wicked cool and only too glad to have a ‘pro’ support staff. Once again, I got to work with my soigneur pal Sandra (from the Mercury daze) who was joined by two Italian soigneurs, Stephan and Francesco. With 25 cyclists/clients plus 4 ride leaders and some Suisse-folk from Serono (leading pharmaceutical company for MS meds) it was a lot of bikes to care for each day. Lucky for me, Frances (boss-hoss from ITT) helped me wash the bikes and do a quick once over on the longest and wettest day. The hotel transfer and check-in was my deal as well and in this I was greatly benefited by the soigneurs loading the luggage van while I pumped tires and tended to bikes.
All said, it was wicked fun and I got to meet a great group of people. It was inspiring that these people had done so much for MS awareness, but when I realized that some of them were actually dealing with it personally, I was truly impressed. Riding in the Alps ain’t easy yo!
As a bonus, when we finished the trip I drove a van back to Chamonix, France, location of chez Frances and the service course for ITT. The task could have fallen to someone else if I had elected to take a train from Geneva, but I had never been to Chamonix before and wanted to see it even if for a few minutes. The area is truly amazing, and a fresh snow had just fallen on the lower slopes. The train ride to my first transfer was a beauty. The cars on this line have glass tops, so you can really appreciate all that you are passing. Why don’t I carry a camera?
Have been steady handing out business cards and talking to a couple different teams. The phone remains on and the fingers crossed. Will keep you posted on the ‘what’s up’.
ps-arrgh! meant to tell you that i hate the term ‘wrench.’ a wrench is a tool, a ‘tool’ i also a twit, a wanker, a fred… also, to wrench something is to apply excessive force and not always necessarily in a positive way.
After a few years of turning wrenches in a shop and working part time for Euro teams at Tour DuPont, and Philly’s USPRO week, John spent three years in the U.S. and Europe with the Mercury team. In 2002, it was on to Team fakta where he has been since. Now it is the “silly season” when riders and staff alike are scrambling for jobs.