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Robert Hunter-“What we do before the Tour”

June 28, 2012

Team Helivac is excited to bring you daily Diary posts, behind the scenes pictures, video and interviews from this years tour ,compliments of Garmin Barracuda Sharp Pro-Cyclist and the current South African Champion Robert Hunter  

“So TDF is already here. Not quite started yet but the riders and teams are into it full swing.

We from Garmin Barracuda Sharp (new sponsor of team) arrived yesterday evening. It might seem a little early almost 4 days before a 3 week stage race and you might wonder what we do. So here is a bit of Info for you.

Almost every year the TDF is used as a show case for new materials, bikes, gadgets and any thing else that could possibly be of help or look cool.. Might as well call us well paid guinea pigs or so to speak. But really the riders don’t mind at all, actually most really love the idea of getting a bit more TV time or having reporters running around em asking questions.
I on the other hand like all the new gadgets and toys but prefer not to have to explain it all to the press or any one else for that matter to much. I like to leave it up to the others who seem to enjoy it.

So yea today was a wake up and then training which Is pretty normal but directly after then we got to bug the already busy and stressed mechanics with the small stupid stuff that bothers us on our new bikes. Like moving our saddles a millimetre up or down or back and forward. And I gotta say that in the end most of the time it ends up in the same position as before. You can just imagine the poor mechanics having to just do what we ask and with a smile.
Feel sorry for them cause some riders can be a real pain in the ass about some stuff.

After we done pestering the mechanics and we finally leave them to build new road bikes and TT bikes it was lunch time.

We lucky enough to have our own team chef with us by the name of Shaun.
Shaun has his own mobile kitchen that he drives around and cooks the best meals known to man! I love the way my wife cooks but she has nothing on Shaun.(Sorry babe)
Shaun prepares all our meals breakfast, lunch and dinner even gives us Dessert every day.
He never let’s us eat any hotel food at all. And honestly I don’t wanna eat it cause his is just so good. One of the best things about having a great chef is that over a 3 weeks race like the tour you can get pretty sick of the same pasta and rice every day and night.
Shaun has the ability to create a different meal for 3 weeks flat and literally not having to eat the same things twice.

During the Giro D’Italia this year we were in the Hotel with Liquigas one night and dinner time rolled around. They were unlucky enough to have to walk past our great spread on the way to their crappy pasta and red sauce. So having a really good friend on the team I was nice enough to dish up one plate and walk over and dump it in front of 9 hungry riders who had not eaten anything else but pasta for ages. With their team doc nearby who believes in the whole pasta for breakfast and dinner and no variety of any kind not one person dared touch the plate. Later I was told that every single one of the riders at the table just wanted to reach over and get stuck in..

We are really lucky compared to a lot of teams who have to have hotel food for almost 4 weeks on the road..

Any ways after lunch we all had massages and we even managed to sneak in a 30 min sauna.

Once this was all done I went back out to the mechanics and fixed up an extra 2 new pairs of spare shoes with out getting in their way of course.

DZ (Dave Zabriskie) my room mate was inside playing video games believe it or not. (Pics to follow)
He has his Mac computer hooked up to his Playstation wireless remote and plays games on his computer.
I was pretty impressed that even worked.

Having Sharp as a new sponsor on board is great and they are really keen to show us the riders all the great products they got.
This afternoon they delivered to every room a Plasmacluster which basically purifies all the air in the rooms and kills germs and stuff so we can stay healthy.

They also kitted out our Team bus with a few new Sharp TV’s. 1 huge new TV that faces out wards so people out side the bus can watch stages and see what’s going on.
2 other smaller ones inside we can use to watch TV or DVD’s while travelling.

The Quote of the day came from DZ while he was packing up the incredible amounts of shit he has got with him. It finally dawned on him that maybe it was just a little to much for one guy. And came up with these words.” Um I think I might need my own bus with all this stuff”

His dry sense of humour is great and it might seem pretty stupid reading it now but at the time I was in pieces.

We eventually had a Shaun dinner of roast Chicken with huge tomatoes filled with cooked rice inside.
Dessert was self made ice cream and apple pie,all of his food is low fat and mega healthy.

Last thing on our list today was to meet out new Sponsor Sharp and we had a quick meet and greet.

That was day 1. Tomorrow a lot more of the same but longer training. Ill keep you posted.

Ps its now 9pm and our mechanics have just shut it down for the night,long days and lots to do for them to get it all ready. Happy I’m a rider.” -Robert Hunter

Ryder trying out the new Giro Fast Helmets for the Sprinters at this years tour. Apparently me and Tyler need to use them in the sprint cause it saves us watts. Just call me skater boy!

Basically the lighter, stiffer and more expensive version of the normal S5

14 Comments leave one →
  1. Lizanne Evans permalink
    June 28, 2012 7:25 am

    Hey Robbie,

    Such an awesome blog, am counting down to the Tour, that time of year when the kids run away as all I do is scream theough the sprint stages, although with us now in Sydney I gotta tone it down as I’ll be up at crazy hours watching !!!

    Always supporting you and hope you have the best Tour, love to C and Girls.


    • June 28, 2012 11:06 am

      Of course he will have an AWESOME tour! With even greater supporters. Right!!

      Hoping to hear you scream from SA.

  2. Meylina8 permalink
    June 28, 2012 7:26 am

    Thanks Robbie. I heart bike mechanics. My heroes.

  3. Vicky Hyland permalink
    June 28, 2012 9:12 am

    Great reading behind the scenes of the tour. How exciting for you all. All the very very best. Cannot wait for Saturday. Sending best wishes from SA.

  4. armand permalink
    June 28, 2012 9:31 am

    Hi Robbie

    As an South-African,I think your blog is quite cool and brings a all new exitement to the sport as we all not have dtsv to watch you live!

    So these who do not have that luxury of seeing you live,gets the change to read it from a cyclist part of the TDF!

    Enjoy the tour,and pleace post a pic of your jursey!!! Proudly your fan! Armand Swanepoel ; )

    • June 28, 2012 11:07 am

      That’s what HELIVAC was hoping for! Now do spread the news.

  5. Dawie permalink
    June 28, 2012 11:54 am

    Can’t wait to see the SA flag in the TdF peleton! It looked so cool in the Giro! Fly the flag Robbie! Here’s wishing you a great Tour!

    • June 28, 2012 1:23 pm

      Robbie is just going to love all of the stunning comments coming through.

      (Do subscribe to the blog, and you will be able to receive the posts as they are uploaded via email.)

  6. marko permalink
    June 28, 2012 1:57 pm

    good luck out there, robbie! love seeing the SA jersey in the pelaton.
    would give me left nut for an SA-flagged helmet like you wore at the Giro! please encourage Giro to develop and market commercially
    cheers champ

    • June 29, 2012 6:16 am

      We agree- the SA jersey is going to look absolutely gorgeous!

      (Remember to subscribe to the blog in order to get updates to your email directly.)

  7. joanna hamilton permalink
    June 28, 2012 2:46 pm

    Fantastic Robbie, this is. going to be SO exciting to follow. Best of luck for this years tdf – please know that we are very proud to watch our favourite saffa

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