Beneath the surface
The preparation of a world cup race has several different aspects. A good result is not only made by technical skills and fitness, but it’s much more. During a race weekend, many things hide something else beneath the surface, something not immediately visible.
The guy who takes care of the bike, for example, is always much more than just a mechanic. He is the person who reassures the rider, who supports him in his technical choices, always trying not to break the delicate balance of a race weekend. The mechanic is often the person who organizes part of the daily schedule, the one who knows what to do and, above all, knows when to do it. It is the person who also takes care of the “image” of the bike pulling the bike to shine at every run.
The mechanic is the one who is always with the rider at the start-gate. When you watch the live feed, and everything seems to be excitement and noise, at that precise moment, there is a very silent place, where no one raises the voice. That place is the start-house, where the riders are very focused, and their mechanics are there to protect them, to make sure that nothing disturbs their concentration. The mechanic is the last person to look at the rider in the eyes before his run. The mechanic, however, will not be in the finish area shouting and cheering, no, he will take the rollers, and he will go back to the pit, waiting for someone to tell him the result of the race. He will be the first to welcome the rider to the tent and the first to congratulate him, whatever the outcome of the race.
A mechanic wins, or loses, as much as a rider. Because there are no sports that are not, in fact, team sports.
With these pictures, we want to tell you a story about a race weekend of a very cool team, the Unno Factory. A perfect team to tell a story of this kind because it is made by only two people, a rider and his mechanic. Greg Williamson and Jesse Wigman are doing a great job this season. This year Greg finished 12th in Fort William and 14th in Leogang. The goal for Andorra was to score a top ten. Greg had a very solid run in Andorra, a small mistake at the bottom caused him to lose a bit of time, he finished 15th, but he was definitely on a top ten run. But it doesn’t matter, it was still a very positive weekend. At the next race, there will be once again a rider focused on his run, and there will be a mechanic with him at the start-house, and he’ll make sure that nothing can distract the rider from his task. This means being a team, and when you play in a team, sooner or later, you’ll achieve what you deserve, it’s just a matter of time.
All pics by Francesco Bartoli Avveduti