SRAM has been a good friend of Pinkbike for years, and this week, they are saying goodbye to another close friend. The SRAM truck has seen hundreds of thousands of man hours of work go on under its awning. The SRAM techs have kept the bikes of superstars like Sam Hill, Steve Peat, Greg Minnaar, Anneke Beerten and more running straight and true for years.
The truck has seen plenty of tears; some from the agony of defeat and even more from the absolute elation of winning a set of rainbows. BBQs, parties and even a few fist fights have taken place around it. There's over 300 000km on the odometer, a couple of hundred press passes in the cab and one very excited German named Fluffy waiting on next week.
Fluffy will roll into Champery for World Championships in a fancy new 300 000 Euro big rig. This week, we take a tour of a work horse that is about to be sent out to pasture.
This old Mercedes has served the World Cup well. Many championships would not have been possible without her.
Over 300 000km on the odometer. That's a lot of trips across Europe and back.
She's starting to show her age, but still going strong for one last week.
SRAM's Euro pit boss, Philipp "Fluffy" Martin hangs out with just a few of his pit passes.
More than a few wild nights have taken place in this lounge and under the awnings. There's a reason that La Chouffe beer features prominently in here.
Jon Cancellier goes over last minute fork details. The workshop in here may not be luxurious, it may not be spacious, but the job gets done. Next week, bigger digs for the Blackbox program.
Championship momentos are everywhere at SRAM.
It wasn't a wake that took place last night, but a celebration of how well the Mercedes has treated everyone over the years. A celebration around here means plenty of good food, plenty of adult beverages and a whole lot of fun with friends.
Fluffy gets some Euro sausage on the grill for the going away party.
Fluffy and the Mercedes get the now traditional "SRAM Salute", orchestrated by Cancellier. A dozen cans of beer. Shaken, not stirred.
At the end of the day, the World Cup is a gigantic family. Yesterday there were 4 birthdays and the going away party morphed into a huge birthday extravaganza. Any reason to party is a good one! Happy Birthday to Sabrina, Ali, Steffi and Gerhard.
To SRAM. Just a few of the dozens of SRAM sponsored teams mechanics' offer a toast. Jack knows how to party, Italian style. Flaming Sambuco shots in paper cups. Safety third.
Evan really tried to show Fluffy how to shotgun a beer. Here he is paying the price. Gigantic screwdriver fail. Evan cleaned up afterwards by taking a scuba dive in a 40 gallon drum. Bobbing for beverages!
...followed by gigantic pour failure.