Last year the Tour of Britain came to town. Literally. It had a stage finish in little old Exeter on the high street and the team buses parked up all along Queen Street. Quite a spectacle if you haven't seen the pro-cycling circus before with all their fancy buses, team cars, mechanics, soigneurs and of course all the happy snappers trying to get a photo of their favourite riders.
My good friend Ollie from the Exploding Bakery called me and told me to get my arse over there since the Madison Genesis bus was parked up right outside and they were big coffee fans. Opportunity knocks ;-)
So, I grabbed a few bags and headed over. The team soigneur was hustling around the bus getting recovery drinks, rollers and turbos ready for the riders cool-down routines so I introduced myself, told him my story and offered him some coffee for the bus. He suggested I hang around for the finish and he'd introduce me to the riders. Of course I wasn't expecting any special treatment knowing the riders would be stuffed and just wanting to get to their next hotel for their massage, food and bed. BUT (got to love those buts), I got to meet a true British cycling legend Roger Hammond, the director sportive of the team. This guy's palmares is incredible (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roger_Hammond_%28cyclist%29)
Here's a nice shot of me and Roger outside the team bus last year.
One rider in particular Liam Holohan (@liam_holohan) was known by the rest of the team as the 'coffee geek' so we had a little chat whilst he was cooling down (no hands on the rollers..) and he's become my number 1 taste tester for anything new I've got on the books. Since last years ToB Liam has been a customer and an advocate of Crankhouse and he takes his coffee seriously with a La Spaiziale Vivaldi and Mahlkonig K30 on his kitchen top ! He's even worked with Steve Leighton at HasBean for a blend selection with his good friend and fellow pro Ian Bibby (@IanBibby86), current British crit champ.
The 2015 Aviva Tour of Britain didn't come down to the South West but I checked with Liam about the chances of getting Crankhouse on the team bus and he put me in touch with the Madison Genesis PR agent Kelly ! Of course she jumped at the idea and I sent off a little 10Kg gift pack of various coffees from my current list including the appropriate Grand Tour Blend.
Unfortunately Liam didn't get a ride this year but it looks like someone has taken on the coffee responsibility here it is all setup and brewing on the team bus prior to the days racing. If you've followed the race you would have seen that the Madison Genesis boys have had a good tour, with Mark McNally (@mmcnallycycling) taking the red dossard for the most combative rider and Tom Stewart (@mtb_tom) taking the KoM points jersey along the way.
I can't claim that my coffee helped .. or can I ;-)