Letters from Abroad – Tooling Around with Type 1

Photo by John Sessa

John Sessa is a professional cycling mechanic with 15 years experience in the professional peloton.  Currently with Team Type 1, he also counts seasons with Mercury, Team Fakta, Rock Racing, and Jelly Belly among his full time team gigs.  This season he will keep us posted as TT1 makes the move to the Pro Continental ranks.

Have just arrived to Oostkamp, Belgium, my home for the next two weeks.  We are staying in a hotel near to the Cycling Center, home of another “Letters From Abroad” contributor, Peter Horn.  Peter was kind enough to stop by and take the Team Type 1 boys out for a two-hour jaunt this morning.   Thanks to Peter for that—and for giving me some time at the café to tap this out.

We have three races scheduled for this trip: Nokere-Koerse, the Handzame Classic and the E3 Harelbeke.  In between we hope to get some good training for the guys.  Some of the riders on this trip have already been racing, but for a few this is their first proper team race for the season.  Hopefully the kilometers of training and the speed of the races will build some good form for them later on.  Martijn Verschoor, Alessandro Bazzana and Ben King will be the guys we expect to be on form and riding well here.  Martijn ran second in the final stage of Tour of South Africa last month and Ben just ran fourth in last week’s Singapore Criterium.

I am really jazzed about being in Belgium again after so many years.  It has been eight years now since I last worked in Europe, so it’s great to be back.   Oftentimes I have joked that the tires pump up the same way no matter where the race is, but there certainly is something extra special about being here—the history of the sport here, the opportunity to see old friends, the old buildings and cobbled streets, the frite shop across the street—it all adds up.

The team has enjoyed a great start to the season so far.  With several top ten placings, it seems that the first win is just around the corner.  The staff and riders all seem to have a great rapport and morale is high.  We are looking forward to a great trip with this squad as well as the squad contesting the upcoming Coppi é Bartali.  Will try to you posted as the season progresses.

Tot straks!

About Whit

My experiences might easily fit many cycling fans' definitions of “living the dream.” Since getting hooked on the sport watching Lance Armstrong win the 1993 U.S. Pro Championship, I've raced as an amateur on Belgian cobbles, traveled Europe to help build a European pro team, and piloted that team from Malaysia to Mont Ventoux. As a former assistant director sportif with Mercury-Viatel, I've also seen the less dreamy side of the sport – the side rife with broken contracts, infighting, and positive dope tests. These days, I live with my lovely wife in Pennsylvania and share my experiences and views on the sport at Bicycling Magazine, the Embrocation Cycling Journal, and at my own site, Pavé.
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