I count myself among the fortunate. Each June for the past four years, I have been the guest of Team CSC when they come to town. I have ridden with the team the Saturday before the big race in Philadelphia. I can not thank them enough for their hospitality.
Scott Sunderland is one of the nicest people you will ever meet. Riding in the car, he is a font of information on racing, tactics, and bikes. He is the one last year who talked me into the R3 I currently own. It was not his fault I added over $1000 worth of upgrades in a brief amount of insanity.
During the race in Reading, he talked through the entire Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix. This was in between talking to the riders, listening to race radio, and jostling with Tristan Hoffman the T-Mobile Director. “What else are you to do as the last two cars in the caravan?”
For example, Fabian Cancellara was not supposed to attack when he did. Karsten Kroon was due to go. Fabian did not feel 100% so he felt he would go and help Karsten. As it turned out, after he attacked, he was very strong. This could have been the winning move had Quick Step allowed Steegmans, who went with Fabian, to work in the break. Quick Step had another strategy so the break was doomed.
An unsung person is John Axel Hansen of Riis Cycling who handles all the stuff that goes on around the race. He is the liaison between the team and sponsors. He handles everything to perfection and with one of the driest senses of humor you will find.
With John and Scott, no topic was off limits. In fact, they brought up some of the more sensitive issues surrounding the team. They are proud that the team is leading the way towards the future of the sport. They ride and win clean. They also love the sport of cycling and want to make sure it survives and ultimately thrives.
The riders are very approachable and easy to talk to. Even when CSC Corp and Cervelo brought many guests to the race and practice ride, they all were patient and engaging.
Thanks all. My whole family will continue to root for the red and black CSC train. As you will see from my son’s photo, my kids are already fans.
P.S. the team is also generous with the schwag.