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Red Hook Crit – Team Specialized/Rocket Espresso

As die-hard cycling fans, it should come as no surprise to read that we have long-pined over attending the Red Hook Crit. The lights, the city, the fans, the spectacular crash footage, etc. But rather than make the l-o-o-o-n-g drive from Colorado to Brooklyn, (CA to NY if you count that we just got back from Sea Otter) we’ve opted to partner with Team Specialized/Rocket Espresso to represent our products instead.

This is great for the following list of reasons:

  • As previously mentioned, NY is far, far, far away from CO.  Our van is a go-getter, but that’s asking a lot.
  • This team is fast.
  • Think “fast” and then multiply it by 1,000 (as in “Eamon-Lucas-just-won-the-Pro-Men’s-Crit-at-Sea-Otter” type of fast).
  • The team will have coffee and beer for you to drink in their palatial tent while they intentionally pummel their bodies at the Red Hook Crit.
  • Having this fast team warm-up and cool-down on our Omnium portable trainers/rollers will be a touch more impressive than say…us warming-up under our tent and likely crashing during the first lap.


This isn’t insinuating that we’re slow with poor bike-handling skills or that our tent isn’t pretty, but you get the idea.

  • Most of us are Cyclo-cross and MTB racers. Crits are scary to us. We don’t know what to do with our hands.
  • Okay, now I feel badly for our tent. I didn’t mean it.  Our tent looks very nice and we offer plenty of fine Colorado craft beer options.
  • Seriously, our beer is the best.


But, I digress. 
If you happen to be going to the race, find the Specialized-Rocket Espresso tent and fuel up on espresso and/or beer.  And take in the beauty of the bikes, the racers, the venue and the crowd that’s made the Red Hook Crit what it is today. And if you can’t make it, Specialized will be hosting a livestream of the finals on Specialized.com.?

Roster: 

  • Aldo Ino Ilisec (Slovenia) – Team Captain, 2nd in the overall last year.
  • Eamon Lucas (USA) – Under 25 USA Crit champ in 2017, winner of stage 5 of 2016 Tour of Fuzhou.
  • Stefan Schafer (Germany) – 6day racer, winner of RHC Milano 2016
  • Alec Briggs (UK) – 6day racer and long time favorite in the RHC series.
  • Akinori Yamamura (Japan) – Pro cyclist.

Race Series: 

  • Brooklyn No.10 – Apr 29th
  • London No.3 – July 22nd
  • Barcelona No.5 – Sept 2
  • Milano No.8 – Oct 14th
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Feedback Sports Maintenance App Compatible w/Strava

bicycle repair & maintenance app from feedback sports

Feedback Sports Maintenance App
Now Compatible w/ Strava

Feedback Sports celebrates the 3rd birthday for it’s bicycle maintenance app at this year’s              Sea Otter Classic and they’ve invited Strava to the party.

This free maintenance app was initially designed to log and track all the service/upgrades performed on your bike(s). If you have sticky notes and random receipts stuffed in drawers to help you keep track of when you last did what to which bike, you would appreciate this app. Keeping track of tires, chains, sealant, lube, components, etc. can feel like a full time job. Factor in multiple bikes and it only gets more complicated. The Feedback maintenance app takes care of that. And now, it’s compatible with Strava.

Jeff Nitta (Vice President of Feedback Sports) explains, “Up until this point, push notifications for maintenance reminders were based on time and dates but the number one request from users was to have mileage based reminders.  The most logical solution to this request was to make our app compatible with Strava.”

Now you can link your Strava account for mileage based tracking and maintenance reminders.

  • Want to lube your chain every 100 miles?
  • How many miles ago did you have your suspension fork serviced?
  • How long do your components/tires last?

Your Strava mileage data will trigger push notifications to your phone for all of these common bike maintenance activities.  Annnnnnd it’s free.  Has anyone mentioned this? Get your bikes dialed.  Your bike shop will thank you when you actually have an answer for “When was the last time you maintained your bike?” and/or “what did you do?”

*Available on Android and IOS.

 

Build, maintain, repair and ride with confidence. #feedbacksports 

 

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Bike Maintenance: 10 Essential Tips

House of spin

Spring is HERE!!  We love this article/video from Skratch Labs and House of Spin that bring you 10 bike maintenance ‘must do’s’!  Whether you’ve been slaving away on the trainer all winter, or you’re pulling that bike out of the shed for the first time, these tips and tricks will get you back out there in no time.

 1. Degrease your drivetrain.

Start by degreasing your drivetrain.  There are many commercial products available.  Pro tip: cut an old water bottle in half to hold degreaser and keep it in the bottle cage for easy access.  Use a small brush to apply to all sides of the chain, chainrings, cassette and derailleurs.  Rinse off degreaser.

Products used: Morgan Blue (degreaser solution), Shimano (crankset, cassette and derailleurs), Zipp (wheels), KMC (chain), Feedback Sports (Sprint work stand), Elite Cycling (bottle cages), Ritte Cycles (bike frameset)

2. Wash your frame & wheels.

Wash your frame and wheels.  Put together a cleaning kit of a bucket, soap, and brushes. Nylon brushes work fine, but horsehair versions prevent grease and dirt from accumulating on the brush.  Pro tip: use a nylon chainguide so you can wash the frame and wheels separately.

Products used: Morgan Blue (chain keeper), Park Tools (brush), Tampico (brushes), Ritte Cycles (bike frameset), Elite Cycling (bottle cages), Victory Circle Graphic (top tube sticker)

3. Inspect the frame for damage.

Inspect the frame for any cracks, dents or damage that may have occurred last season and gone unnoticed over the winter.  Be sure to check often overlooked areas like underneath the downtube, bottom bracket and seatstays.  Check cable rub at the headtube, and apply frame protector stickers as necessary.

Products used: Wheels Manufacturing (bottom bracket), Ritte Cycles (bike frameset), Elite Cycling (bottle cages)

Click here for the rest of the article and happy cleaning!

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Proven at Paris-Nice / Stage 5

The Omnium is also being used right now at Paris-Nice by team Lotto Soudal…and it appears to be working.


Official Press Release from Lotto Soudal:
André Greipel sprinted to victory on the fifth stage of Paris-Nice! A big triumph for Lotto Fix ALL! The German champion beat Arnaud Démare and Dylan Groenwegen in the sprint.

With a distance of 199.5 kilometres the fifth stage, from Quincié-en-Beaujolais to Bourg-de-Péage, was the longest one of this edition. It was the last chance for the sprinters this week and they didn’t want to let that slip. Not long after the start, six riders got away from the bunch. They had a maximal lead of more than five minutes. Thomas De Gendt was riding at the head of the bunch for many kilometres to control the gap. Twenty kilometres from the end, the peloton split in two because of a crash. André Greipel and Tony Gallopin were riding in the second and biggest part, together with GC leader Julian Alaphilippe. Soon, the peloton got back together. With 12.5 kilometres to go, the last four escapees were reeled in. In the last kilometres the roundabouts on the course created chaos during the sprint preparation. André Greipel got through these passages without any problems and was riding in an excellent position to start the sprint. His victory was very impressive, beating Démare and Groenewegen with more than a bike length.”

André Greipel: “It was the big goal to win a stage here at Paris-Nice against some of the best sprinters in the world. Arnaud Démare is riding very impressive at the moment. I’m glad I could beat him. Of course I was very disappointed on Tuesday when I only got seventh. I made a mistake and I was really angry at myself. We wanted to do better today and so we did. The last seven kilometres we had to fight against a strong headwind, so it was not easy to stay in front. Luckily, with the support from the team, I managed to get in a really good position for the sprint. The finish was slightly uphill and suited me well. I am very happy with this victory. The next days I’ll do my best to support Tony Gallopin where I can. Saturday will be a fight man against man and he is really good, I think he can win this Paris-Nice.”

 

 

 

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The Omnium at the Spring Classics

Feedback Sports is thrilled to be supporting several Pro World Tour Road teams for 2017; Lotto Soudal and Trek-Segafredo.  Picture bike geeks like us, at the Spring Classics, watching the mechanics prep the racers with our products.  It’s quite a nerdy sight to behold.  Right this minute, in fact, Feedback Sports is excitedly shadowing Team Lotto Soudal at the 52nd edition of Tirreno-Adriatico.  This is the first season that the Omnium portable trainers are officially in use with our Pro World Tour Road teams. It’s as if our child graduated as valedictorian and is off to the Ivy Leagues (only with bikes…or holding up bikes and racers and…you get the picture).

Below is the press release from our friends at Lotto Soudal showcasing the race along with some pictures from day one.  Enjoy!

_________________________________________________________________________________________________

The 52nd edition of Tirreno-Adriatico takes place from 8 March 2017 till 14 March 2017. In seven stages, the riders will cruise through the Italian landscape. This year, the punchers and the climbers will get a few opportunities to win a stage, but also the time trialists are getting a chance of a stage win.

Just like last year, the Tirreno starts with a team time trial of 23 kilometres in Lido di Camaiore. The second stage is the longest of this edition with 228 kilometres. The largest part is flat but there is a steep climb at the end. Day three is an opportunity for the sprinters. Because of the slight uphill road it’s not guaranteed there’s going to be a bunch sprint, a puncher can win too.

The fourth stage will be very important for the GC. There’s a monstrous climb at the end of the stage on an altitude of 1.675 metres. The fifth stage seems ideal for the punchers but you can’t write the climbers off for the win. The sprinters will get their chance the day after. This Italian race ends with an individual time trial of ten kilometres on a flat course.

Lotto Soudal will participate with Tim Wellens, Maxime Monfort and Tiesj Benoot among others. The competition for the overall victory will come from riders such as Michal Kwiatkowski, Nairo Quintana, Tejay van Garderen, Thibaut Pinot and Bauke Mollema. The atypical winner of last year, Greg Van Avermaet also participates.

Bart Leysen, sports director Lotto Soudal: “We have a team to ride a great Tirreno-Adriatico. We got for example Tiesj Benoot and Tim Wellens who are in great shape. There are some possibilities to achieve a nice result. We have two opportunities with Tiesj and Tim and two  with Jens Debusschere and Jürgen Roelandts. The big goal of this Tirreno is to conquer a stage win. We are going into the Tirreno to give everything we’ve got. We are not going to hide somewhere in the peloton. The Lotto Soudal team cannot do that every stage but we are picking up where we left off in the Strade Bianche.”

“The stages are similar to previous editions, so we know as a team what to expect. Just like last year we start with a team time trial. I belief we have a team to aim for the top five, that would be amazing. Day two is a course where Tim Wellens and Tiesj Benoot can exploit their abilities. There are hills and climbs on the route and the finish is uphill. It’s not very steep so we can definitely battle for the victory this day.”

“Day three is a sprint stage so we are going to take our chances with Jens and Jürgen. Day four is the toughest stage with a long steep climb. There is no plan yet for this stage. We are going to wait and see how, for example Tim Wellens, stands in the GC to defend his chances. During the fifth stage there is another chance for Tim and Tiesj. There is another steep uphill climb at the finish where they can exploit their abilities. Day six is also a sprint stage, thus a chance for Jens and Jürgen. We end the Tirreno-Adriatico with an individual time trial on a flat course.”

“Except for the big mountain stage we have more than enough chances to go for a stage win. The team is so strong that we can divide the pressure without one person getting all the pressure on his shoulders. That puts the riders at ease.”

Line-up Lotto Soudal: Tiesj Benoot, Bart De Clercq, Jens Debusschere, Nikolas Maes, Tomasz Marczynski, Maxime Monfort, Jürgen Roelandts and Tim Wellens.

Sports directors: Mario Aerts and Bart Leysen.

Stages

Stage 1 Wednesday 8 March : Lido Di Camaiore – Lido Di Camaiore (TTT) (22.7 km)
Stage 2 Thursday 9 March: Camaiore – Pomarance (228 km)
Stage 3 Friday 10 March: Monterotondo Marittimo – Montalto Di Castro (204 km)
Stage 4 Saturday 11 March: Montalto Di Castro – Terminillo (187 km)
Stage 5 Sunday 12 March: Rieti – Fermo (209 km)
Stage 6 Monday 13 March: Ascoli Piceno – Civitanova Marche (168 km)
Stage 7 Tuesday 14 March San Benedetto Del Trono (ITT) (10.5 km)

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The Feedback Cup (a.k.a. Our Version of the World Series)

It’s just about here.  Do you hear it? Listen!  In the dusty Colorado distance you can hear the ringing of cowbells and sizzling of bacon–all in preparation for the 4th Annual Feedback CUP!!! That’s right.  THIS Saturday (November 5th) is the big day! And while the history of this race might not go back to…oh, say that of the World Series (go Cubs!)  we still think it’s pretty special.  It is our World Series, so to speak. It’s therefore fitting to continue with that comparison for this blog.

History:

The inception of the World Series goes back to 1903 (although it began as early as 1884).  The first Feedback Sports Cup was in 2013 but our cyclocross racing spirit goes back years before that. Race director, Lee Waldman elaborates on the course and its race history, “When I was with Red Rock Velo we were looking for a new venue.  At that time, my wife (Caren) was the director at Lookout Mtn. Youth Services Center and she offered the venue to us.  We took it and ran with it.  At first it was just a stand alone weekend event and then about 5 or 6 years ago Chris McGee, who was Executive Director of BRAC at the time, came to me with the idea of a mid-week series.  That’s how B2B began.”

In 2013 Feedback Sports decided to piggy-back on this stellar course.  But faced the challenge of keeping the course fresh.  With Lee’s direction and the input from our team and community, we were able to pull it off and have been doing so ever since.

Home Field Advantage: 

Any sports aficionado knows the home field advantage is not a myth. Did we build our office specifically to be within a mile of this course?  Of cour-hor-hor-ourse not. (…awkward silence…) That would be silly (voice rises several octaves).  But Feedback Sports owner/founder, Doug Hudson admits, “The Feedback Cup is great because it’s in our hometown of Golden–about 1 mile from the office.  Our Feedback Sports racing team (and race director/team-mate Lee Waldman) puts a lot of time into making sure the race runs smoothly. The Feedback Cup course is staple on the local CX scene as it also hosts a Wednesday night series (late August through mid-October) in addition to our race so we are very familiar with all the sections. My favorite part of the day is seeing some of my neighbors come out to see what cyclocross racing is all about.”

This year’s course: 

Want to know what to expect this year?  The course is open to pre-ride, but for those of you who can’t make it, Lee’s added a few new features this year to keep things interesting. “The differences may be minor, but people who ride the B2B series will notice. The climbs are a bit different, some of the turns have different turning radiuses and slightly changed entries and exits,” says Waldman.  He adds,  “There’s a balance between technically challenging sections, more flowing pedaling sections and sections that require riders to be strategic in line choice, tire pressure, etc.  It’s turny, and technical, physically challenging, but a lot of fun at the same time.  I ride it at least 2 to 3 times a week and never get bored.” (Home fiellllllllllld advannnnnnnnnntage.)

The Die-Hards:  

Like the World Series, the Feedback Cup brings the heat when it comes to enthusiasm. Whether it’s the racers, the fans, co-sponsors, our announcer (Larry Grossman) or the food vendors, you can be sure everyone brings their A-game.

 

A prime example of this would be Feedback Sports racer (and in-house engineer) Will Allen. You can find him leading sunrise laps Wednesday mornings, riding the course at lunch and working on the course over the weekend.  Will loves racing cross, but it ties into his day-job more than one might think. “Racing gives me the opportunity to observe how consumers are truly using our products.  This helps push improvements to current products and can also drive developing new products, offering a solution to a problem we didn’t know existed.”

When asked what Will’s favorite part of the course he replied in true engineer fashion, “The section a little before, then through, and after the stairs.  Not sure how else to describe it.  I could answer this question better with a picture or GPS coordinates.”  We’ll settle for the course-preview video, Will (coming soon).

**SEVENTH INNING STRETCH.  Get up from your monitor, (or put your phone down) and sing along with the legendary Bill Murray.

The Sponsors: 

Fun World Series fact to wind things down: before the era of championship rings, triumphant players took home…timepieces. That’s right–as in pocket watches. We won’t be giving either of these items out to race winners, but we will have equal pay-outs, and a TON of other cool things. For the second year, all pre-registered racers will be entered to win an Omnium portable trainer.  Winner will be chosen Friday morning and presented their Omnium at the race on Saturday.

John Shearer from Finish Line / White Lightening has been instrumental in making this year’s race-day prize list better than ever! Spot Bicycles has graciously provided a Rallye frame set to raffle off on race day.  Crank Brothers has given us almost $5000 worth of product.  Jinji Cycles and Golden Bike shop are going to be on site providing technical support. We’d also like to give a special shout-out to The Amy D. Foundation.  As Lee Waldman noted, “They’ll be there on race day and simply thinking about who they are and why they exist reminds us of Amy’s dedication to the sport. And that’s a gift.”

In closing, we hope to see you there.  It would really mean…THE WORLD to us (sorry, couldn’t resist).

 

 

 

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Interbike: A Delight and Terror Since 1982.

interbike_2015

air supply album

Interbike. Upon doing a little research I found that it’s been alternately delighting and terrifying the bike industry since 1982.  Kind of like the band Air Supply (who coincidentally won “Album of the Year” in 1982). If you’ve never been to Interbike, allow me to break it down for you. And just for fun, let’s stick with the “1982 Air Supply” theme.
For the bike aficionado:
Pure delight. It’s as if you’ve been listening to the Air Supply cassette tape over and over again and after waiting all year, you’re flying to Vegas to see them in a huge group concert LIVE with front row tickets!!  You might even get to touch that one guy’s HAND (or hair)!  There are bright lights, loud noises and smoke (only at Interbike, it’s cigarette smoke instead of a fog machine).

concert
For the exhibitor:
Excitement/Terror. You are a mix between the band members and the roadie. You love singing “Sweet Dreams”.  You know it inside and out (you even sing it in your sleep). And suddenly it’s only a few days before your biggest group concert of the year.  You just need to get yourself, your fellow band members, and instruments onto the bus so that you MAKE it to said concert.

Annnnnnnnnnd then…someone has laryngitis (the van lights won’t work with the rented U-HAUL trailer).  Maybe one band member realizes they forgot their guitar (confession: I am out of business cards). Or quite often, another band decides against going to play this group concert but they still want to send their guitars, soooo could you please take theirs?  SURE THING. PLENTY OF ROOM! Juuuuuusst a little bit of pressure.

guitars_10

*Now add Cx Vegas into the mix (picture the lead singer of Air Supply going to race his bike after the big concert).

That’s Interbike.

But now prep-time is over. The van is on it’s way, with extra A-frames, stands, parts, bikes, snacks, signs, and Omnium trainers and our newly released TOOLS!! All band members are accounted for (at least as of today) and we’re more than ready for this concert to begin! We hope to see you all either at our booth (#11165) OR at Cx Vegas (look for our tent–it will be the fun one).


 

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Unsung Heroes of the Tour Part 3: Trek-Segafredo

A professional World Tour team brings around 50 bikes to the Tour de France.  Reliable equipment and mechanics is a must for any successful team. We provide the equipment, but the mechanics provide their top-notch skills. Our 3rd and final segment of “Unsung Heroes of the Tour” focuses on Trek-Segafredo’s head TdF mechanic: Kenneth Van de Wiele.

You may have caught Kenneth in this recent Wall Street Journal video: “How to Fix a Bicycle From a Moving Car“. He explains what it’s like maintaining a bike at 40+mph.  You know.  Just an average “day in the life” of a professional World Tour mechanic. See more about Kenneth in the Q/A below!

Unsung Heroes of the Tour Part 3: 

Kenneth Van de Wiele / Trek-Segafredo
Belgium (Ghent)

How did you get your start as a bike mechanic? I started as an intern in the bike shop from Walter Godefroot in Ghent while I was still racing myself.

Favorite stage of the TdF: Mountain stage to Mont Ventoux.

Best story from working at a race: The car leaving me behind on top of the Paterberg during the Tour of Flanders 2013, with 1 lap to go.

What is your bike of choice?  Trek Madone 9  (Have you SEEN this bike?  Go on.  Click the link.)

What do you in your past-time?  Ride my bike, run and enjoy life.

Favorite Feedback Sports Product: The Sprint work stand.

*Follow Kenneth on Instagram and Twitter for more!

As with all our partnerships, Feedback Sports is pleased to support team Trek-Segafredo.
As the Tour comes to a close, we wish the mechanics, the team directors and riders all the best!

 

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Unsung Heroes of the Tour Part 2: Lotto Soudal

Welcome to our Unsung Heroes of the Tour / Part Deux.  This week we’re focusing on Team Lotto Soudal.  We’d like to wish the team a HUGE congrats on De Gendt’s Mont Ventoux win. What a FINISH! But as we’ve said before, no rider wins alone.  It takes the entire team and staff to get them there.  So let’s take a peek inside this background of success as we showcase Lotto Soudal mechanic, Steven Van Olmen.

*Make sure you read through the whole thing…because we have a fun little treat at the end…

Unsung Heroes of the Tour Part 2: 

Steven Van Olmen / Lotto Soudal
Belgian mechanic – born in 1976

How did you get your start as a bike mechanic? I was a rider in the development team of sports director Herman Frison until 2001. I started immediately after as a mechanic in that team.

Favorite stage of the TdF: I’m always happy to be in Paris, but the atmosphere of on the local circuit, and the sprint of Champs Elysées can’t be beat.

Best story from working at a race: A few years ago I was in the car with sports director Roberto Damiani. The car had to stop to fix a problem but the sports director left, forgetting I was still at the side of the road. Fortunately another car from another team picked me up. A few kms further Damiani was aware he forgot me and stopped at the side of the road, so I could jump in the car again.

What is your bike of choice?  The Ridley Noah SL: very stylish frame from our sponsor Ridley.

What do you in your past-time?  Not so much spare time but I ride my bike sometimes. And Australia is my second home country. I went there for the first time in 2005 for Tour Down Under and go there every year from Christmas till Tour Down Under to see Australian friends.

Favorite Feedback Sports Product: Of course the Sprint stand. It’s very stable which is very important for a mechanic, made from nice materials and it looks good.

Steven Van Olmen

Pretty sweet, right? But you don’t have to be a pro mechanic for a World Tour team to get your hands on a Sprint stand.  You can win one with Team Lotto Soudal and Feedback Sports!! You might be screaming at your computer or favorite hand-held device right now, “HOW CAN I WIN?!?!”  Shhhhh. We’ll tell you. 

 

HOW TO WIN!
First, like the Facebook page of Lotto Soudal Cycling Team Fanpage and Feedback Sports. Then send Lotto Soudal, a private message (all hush-hush, and secret-like) on Facebook with your answers to the following questions:

  1. Where is Feedback Sports located?
  2. What is the name of the founder of Feedback Sports?
  3. The Le Tour de France stage to Mont Ventoux, won by Thomas De Gendt, didn’t finish at the summit. To which location was the finish line moved?

*Contest ends Sunday, July 17th at 16:00 CEST (Sunday AM here in the States, folks). The winner will be determined by draw (1 entry per person).

 

 

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Unsung Heroes of the Tour: Part 1

During the Tour de France, it can be easy to focus on the racers.  Admittedly we’re guilty of it too! They’re fast, flashy and dedicated! They exhibit skills mere mortals only dream of.  But there’s a group that often gets overlooked, that one could argue have the same qualities as the racers–the mechanics.  Without this support crew working tirelessly behind the scenes, the show (as they say) could not go on.  Over the next few weeks we’ll be focusing on these mighty, (yet often silent) Tour de France giants.  So hop in the team car and join us for the ride!

Unsung Heroes of the Tour Part 1:  

oil wheel TDF

Pascal Ridel / Tinkoff Sport

Bio: Pascal has enriched team Tinkoff with his presence for some years. He came to Tinkoff after a period with Credit Agricole. Pascal has a reputation for doing things properly and he always makes sure that the team truck is fully stocked for every situation – a crucial consideration that has come in handy many times.

DSC_4190_1

*We’re betting that last part is probably simplifying things.  If you’ve watched a single stage…wait… even about a ten minute span of a single stage, you know that anything can happen. An experienced mechanic anticipates every possible scenario within a race.  Pascal and his crew are clearly dialed and they pass this gift off to the riders each and every day.

Like all the World Tour teams we partner with, we feel quite fortunate to work with Tinkoff Sport. We’re cheering loudly from Colorado–and wish the mechanics, the team directors and of course the riders the best of luck at this year’s Tour de France!!

clappy hands

*Remember: check the #winwithtinkoff contest DAILY for your chance to win Feedback Sports products and more!  And you could be prepared for anything–just like Pascal.