At the end of 2017, we were given behind-the-scenes access to Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka’s first off-season training camp in Cape Town, South Africa. Now we’re sharing this rare access with you through a series of four features, providing an insight into the team’s preparations for the season. Read about our rides with Africa’s Team on the roads of Cape Town, head this way for part two, when we saw how the team ensures its riders stay fit and healthy through the year, learn more about social media training with Mark Cavendish and Scott Davies or join us for our final instalment – taking a closer look at how the team’s sponsors try to give their riders the edge.
It’s easy to imagine one of the best aspects of being a professional cyclist – an upside with no downside, if you like, as opposed to getting to travel the world but without your family – is all the free gear. On some of the most lavishly-equipped teams, a complete set of kit – riding and casual clothing, equipment and accessories – approaches one thousand individual items.
It sounds crazy but when you think about all the different items they’re given, in order to have the right gear for every eventuality, and then consider multiples of each, it really mounts up.
At Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka’s November training camp in Cape Town, South Africa, we spoke to the riders and suppliers to find out what was being handed out, how it was going down, and what technical challenges arise.
So do the riders enjoy it? Of course they do. But at the same time the gear is a uniform and the bike barely more than an office desk to the more detached among them. The most important thing is that it all performs.