It's a frenzy of activity in Adelaide

The start of the Tour Down Under is not only a busy time for riders, who have a first chance to see if all their hard work over the winter has paid off with good early season form, but also sees the team mechanics thrown into a frenzy of activity.

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The few days ahead of the first WorldTour race of the season sees the team mechanics in a race against time to prepare hundreds of bikes for the upcoming week of racing. Each of the 140 riders in the race will have either two or three bikes each, and with the majority travelling from Europe for the Tour Down Under, many of these bikes will need to be built when they arrive in Adelaide.

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Depending on how the bikes have been transported, they will generally need a decent amount of assembly. At best the mechanics will only need to attach the wheels and pedals, and turn the handlebars in the right direction, but if the bikes have had the misfortune to encounter a less-than-caring baggage handler along the way, then some repairs may also be needed.

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As well as getting the bikes into a working state, the mechanics will also need to get spare equipment ready, meaning long afternoons in the sun spent gluing tubular tyres to wheels and adjusting the cleats on riders’ shoes.