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Jul. 14, 2008
Garmin-Chipotle in the Feed Zone
Those guys in argyle eat a lot. Significant amounts of Clif Bars, Shot Gels, Bloks & Shot Drinks are needed to keep Garmin-Chipotle rolling during an entire race season. In Garmin-Chipotle’s case the team ended up being invited to all sorts of races this year—probably more than anyone ever expected!

Definitely good stuff for the team—but let’s just say I’ve been in a couple meetings here at the office speaking to folks about how I’m single-handedly sinking the ’08 product budget. Sorta an infamous claim to fame, but what fun is life without a little infamy. Keeps things fun and just a tad odious, with a subtle sprinkling of sinister. And around here, without at least a hint of sinister the office dogs just don’t completely respect you.

Turns out I’m off the hook in terms of the product budget, because in a recent post-race report David Millar fessed up to being the true culprit behind the disappearing Shot Bloks:

"So anyway, back to the race. I had Allen Lim in the car behind me with our Kiwi mechanic Kris. I basically had them…handing me up Clif Bloks nonstop. I found out later…I went through a packet every 25 minutes. I was determined not to blow. This meant I was still feeling good in the final."

And Sandra, Team Garmin-Chipotle Soigneur recently posted some info on what’s in the riders’ mussette bags that are passed out in the feed zones during a Tour stage:

The feed zone is a designated point at about midway through the race. Normally two soigneurs wear a team long-sleeve jersey or a vest so the riders recognize us. We hand off a mussette to each one with the following inside:

  • 2 bottles of Clif electrolyte mix or one water and one mix on hot days
  • 1 Clif bar
  • 1 Mojo/Luna/Z bar
  • 1 Clif Bloks
  • 1 Clif gel with and one without caffeine,
  • 1 little sandwich made with ham and Philadelphia cream cheese
  • 1 special rice cake made with egg and rice
  • 1 tiny can of Coke.

We also prepare extra bottles for the directors’ cars on hot days and have extra ice on the ready to keep bottles cool.

During the Tour we leave before the riders to get to the feed station called the ‘ravitaillement.’ It’s nice as all the roads are closed…no stress! After the riders have all taken their feed bags, then it gets stressful. We are behind the race and the roads are no longer closed for us so we have to find an alternative route to the finish. But we still have to follow all the traffic rules and enter in the same route as the riders but at a designated point. With so many roads blocked with barriers and so many fans it’s nice to know that once we arrive near the finish, we can reach the bus before the riders. Again, it’s well organized.

Yesterday we had 9 riders so I took 5 mussettes and walked 100m behind Josep who carried 4 mussettes. The director announces over the radio 5 km from the feed where we are located—e.g start or finish of feed zone—so the riders have time to move over to the right hand side and grab their bag! We stand apart so riders who miss the first one of us have have an opportunity to do so. Or if all 9 riders are in a long line, it’s not easy for us to hand them all off that quickly if it’s at a high speed!

Good to know that Sandra’s out there literally putting the CB&C product in the riders’ hands. You can follow Sandra’s ‘The Feed Zone’ reports from the Tour by visiting the Team Garmin-Chipotle site.
Posted by:
Le Sensation American
Team Clif Bar

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We like getting our heart rates up, taking a big breath of fresh air, savoring delicious food. But we also love telling stories and here's where we type 'em up. (BTW, it works both ways; leave a comment—please and thank you.)

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