Professional road racing is gaining in popularity. Traditionally the most dedicated and competitive countries were in central and western Europe where the sport consisted of France, Belgium, Germany, Denmark, Italy, The Netherlands, Switzerland, Spain and Luxemburg. However, with the last decade bringing huge popularity to the sport, it is now gaining ground in the United States, Australia, New Zealand, Poland, Russia, Norway, Ireland, South Africa, Venezuela and Colombia.
Road racing teams work together to help the best rider cross the finish line first. Each member of a team has their place, and before each race the entire team discusses which member will have the best chance of winning a particular race. The choice is made by considering a number of factors. Each racer has particular specialties that they excel in; some racers are better climbers while some make faster sprinters. According to the terrain of the race, an educated decision will be made regarding which rider to elect to cross the finish line first. The other teammate’s primary goal is to help the chosen rider to cross the finish line first. The size of a team can number up to a dozen in professional racing.
Training as a team is an important part of professional road racing, because without training together each riders place in the team wouldn’t be based on proven trials. Training puts thousands of miles on the racing team’s bikes every month. With this amount of wear it is inevitable that parts will break. So the question is on average how parts and complete bikes do a professional European bicycling team go through each year? Well the answer isn’t exactly so clear. Since all teams range in size, the best estimate would be to discover how much equipment the average European racer goes through each year and then apply that number to each member of a team.
Team Sky Procycling’s building has personal pit stations for all the racers. Each pit station has capacity to hold up to five complete bicycles and all the members clothing and gear. By concluding that the racer only uses five bikes a year that number can now be multiplied to by each racer on the team. The Sky Procycling team currently consists of twenty-six racers, by using multiplying five bikes per rider a very rough estimate could be made saying that the Sky Procycling team potentially uses one hundred and thirty bikes each year.
Determining the amount of equipment a professional European team goes through each year is nearly impossible to determine, however, Sky Procycling has stated that they carry eighty sets of extra wheels on hand. That’s not to say that they do not require more throughout the year, that is only the amount they hold in their building. Various smaller parts like tires, chains and seats depend on mechanical issues that occur throughout the season. A team with fewer issues will undoubtedly require less maintenance during the racing season and use fewer parts, while a team plagued with mechanical trouble will replace far more parts.
Author: Brian P