25 April 2012

The Sky was blue

A morning with Sky Pro Cycling

Actually the morning was cloudy and chilly, but from underneath the helmets and caps and leggings and gloves shone some bright smiles of Team SKY preparing for a morning ride 1-day before the Tour of Flanders in Belgium. Time to share more images from a morning in Kortrijk, Belgium. This was the same morning that thousands of citizens were riding their own Ronde van Vlaanderen (Tour of Flanders for Cyclotourists). I had intended to go photograph the amateur event, but when I awoke I figured if thousands of amateurs (Wielertoeristen) were peppered across the bergs of Flanders south of Kortrijk, chances were good that the teams would stay local (meaning near their hotels), and sure enough they did.

After enjoying the relaxed good mood of the BMC team earlier in the morning outside of the Hotel Broel, once the BMC riders departed on their training ride, I walked a few blocks away to Hotel Messyne and found the SKY Pro Cycling team. Immediately their impressive black SKY team bus parked on the quiet small street, told me I was in the right place. Along the side of the hotel I caught sight of their enclosed mechanics trailer - wow impressive. And then their Jaguar team cars - wow impressive. And then their bikes, and then Bernie Eisel - wow very impressive.

There I was again, a simple fan, with yet another pro team preparing for their morning training ride - me, Race Coach Bobby Julich, Sports Director Servais Knaven (and winner of the 2001 Paris-Roubaix), a few skilled mechanics, a couple soigneurs, a cameraman and photographer, and a team of very good professional cyclists. I was in heaven - in Belgium.

Thanks for the morning smiles. Images of a blue SKY:
SKY team bus   ©Photo by PedalDancer.com
Bobby Julich coming out of the mechanic's trailer  ©Photo by PedalDancer.com
Mechanic's trailer and SKY team bikes ©Photo by Karen PedalDancer.com
Sky Jaguar team car  ©Photo by PedalDancer.com
SKY Pro Cycling Team Pinarello Dogma 2  ©Photo by PedalDancer.com
Pinarello Dogma 2 team bikes   ©Photo by PedalDancer.com
 Rider label and the teams poem on the top tube  ©Photo by PedalDancer.com
Team SKY mechanics and their bikes  ©Photo by PedalDancer.com
The trailer has a washer dryer - nice
Team SKY sponsors
Bernhard Eisel arrived  ©Photo by PedalDancer.com
Bernie Eisel (AUT)   ©Photo by PedalDancer.com
Team Coach Bobby Julich and his riders  ©Photo by PedalDancer.com
Bobby Julich and Juan Antonio Flecha
Loading the cars for the day's ride
Christian Knees arriving (GER)   ©Photo by PedalDancer.com
Christian Knees finds his Pinarello bike  ©Photo by PedalDancer.com
Edvald Boasson Hagen (NOR)  ©Photo by PedalDancer.com
Edvald getting ready  ©Photo by PedalDancer.com
Christian Knees (GER)  ©Photo by PedalDancer.com
Boasson Hagen  ©Photo by PedalDancer.com
Bernie Eisel, Jeremy Hunt, and Edvald  ©Photo by PedalDancer.com
Christian  ©Photo by PedalDancer.com
Mathew Hayman (AUS)  ©Photo by PedalDancer.com
Jeremy Hunt ready to ride  ©Photo by PedalDancer.com
Christian waiting to roll out on the ride  ©Photo by PedalDancer.com
Juan Antonio Flecha Giannoni (ESP)  ©Photo by PedalDancer.com
Eisel and Servais Knaven (winner of the 2001 Paris-Roubaix)   ©Photo by PedalDancer.com
SKY Sports Director Servais Knaven (FRA)  ©Photo by PedalDancer.com
©Photo by PedalDancer.com
Team SKY rides off in Kortrijk  ©Photo by PedalDancer.com
In addition to visiting and photographing team BMC earlier in the morning, I later came across Lampre ISD at Hotel Broel, Team Katousha at Park Hotel, and Team Saxo-Bank at Park Hotel. But no riders were around by that time. Reportedly the Omega Pharma-Quickstep team were at Hotel Kennedy across the highway.
  George  ©Photo by PedalDancer.com
BMC team car  ©Photo by PedalDancer.com
Lampre ISD team car  ©Photo by PedalDancer.com
Lampre ISD mechanic's trailer, team bus and cars  ©Photo by PedalDancer.com
©Photo by PedalDancer.com
Lampre ID Wilier team bikes
Ambrosio wheels  ©Photo by PedalDancer.com
Lampre ISD mechanic's trailer   ©Photo by PedalDancer.com
Team Katousha  ©Photo by PedalDancer.com
Katousha team bus and team car  ©Photo by PedalDancer.com
Team Saxo-Bank team cars   ©Photo by PedalDancer.com
Saxo-Bank team bus and cars  ©Photo by PedalDancer.com
Saxo-Bank team mechanic  ©Photo by PedalDancer.com
Even when the riders are out riding, the work continues. Being able to so easily walk up and see these teams and riders in Kortrijk, Belgium, was very special for a fan from Colorado.

Related posts by Pedal Dancer, read more:
Read about Pinarello bike: Pinarello Dogma2
My morning with team BMC and some great photographs: BMC solid through 2016
A day at the Tour of Flanders: A day on the Kwaremont
Being a fan at the Paris-Roubaix: I was a fan at the Paris-Roubaix
Enjoying Belgian Beers in Brugge: Beers in Belgium
A visit to Ypres and Tyn Cot: Day 5 in Flanders
My ride up the Kwaremont and visit to the Roubaix Velodrome: A day of pave in France and Belgium

I have many more stories to tell and photographs to share, including traveling tips on how to make your trip to the Spring Classics happen for you.

SKY Pro Cycling team's motivational poem:
This is the line
The line between winning and losing
Between failure and success
Between good and great
Between dreaming and believing
Between convention and innovation
Between head and heart
It's a fine line
It challenges everything we do
And we ride it every day

Poetry in motion - Team Sky's top tube  Photo from chasingwheels.com