The Pits: Team Setups at the Vallnord XC World Cup

Jul 1, 2017
by Irmo Keizer  
Keeping a team running throughout the year is a lot of work. Being on the road, the team's setup on the venues provides the riders with a home away from home. It is a place where work is done on the bikes, riders eat and socialize and where spectators have a chance to glance upon the latest and greatest in mountain bike gear. We had a look in Andorra to see what these setups look like.

Specialized Factory Racing s setup is based upon the same principal as the other two teams. A tent around the truck provides plenty of space for riders crew and guests.
Specialized Factory Racing's setup. A tent around the truck provides plenty of space for riders, crew and guests.

Rider bikes are facing towards the spectators.
Riders' bikes are faced towards the spectators.

Two fully equipped workstations in the left part of the team setup.
Two fully equipped workstations in the left part of the team setup.

The team s seating for lunch and social gatherings.
The team's seating for lunch and social gatherings.

The back of the truck is stocked with spares. Depending on the schedule the team will load up on specific parts and spares.
The back of the truck is stocked with spares. Depending on the schedule, the team will load up on specific parts and spares.

Organization is key.
Organization is key.

Pits XC World Cup Vallnord
Abundant spares.

Communication is key during races.
Communication is also crucial during races.

Loads and loads of tyres.
Loads and loads of tires.

The Specialized kitchen.
The Specialized kitchen.

bigquotesOur mountain bike team is part of our sports marketing program at Specialized. It is a racing program, but is is also a way to showcase our brand to fans and media. This week is a big one for us as we have a new bike out. It is getting a lot of attention, with spectators wanting to get a glimpse of it and take a photo. There was a period we had to say 'no' as we waited till the official release, which was a little awkward as you try to be nice and still say no.

We welcome fans and spectators to come and have a look. The athletes themselves are very well known and good personalities. For us it is important that they are available and do things such as signings. We have full service capabilities in the truck. We have a three week racing schedule so we're stocked up pretty well now as we have to anticipate to whatever might happen or comes our way - a lot of planning goes into it.
Brad Copeland

The Cannondale Factory Racing setup is one of the smartest looking setups in the paddock.
The Cannondale Factory Racing setup is one of the smartest looking setups in the paddock.

The team bikes can be found right before the spectator s eyes. When the weather is good the tent will be opened allowing spectators to see and photograph the bikes mechanics and riders.
The team bikes can be found right before the spectator's eyes. When the weather is good, the tent will be opened allowing spectators to see and photograph the bikes, mechanics and riders.

Good food and good coffee.
Good food and good coffee.

Pits XC World Cup Vallnord

The back of the truck is used as additional storage. Bikes are not brought in the truck as these are transported with the team s sprinters.
The back of the truck is used as additional storage. Bikes are not brought in the truck, as these are transported with the team's sprinters.

The workplace is neat and organized. Every component and tool has its place.
The workplace is neat and organized. Every component and tool has its place.

And then there s this very special compartment.
And then there's this very special compartment.

The roof provides the team and its guests with an overview of its surroundings.
The roof provides the team and its guests with an overview of its surroundings.

Pits XC World Cup Vallnord
To each his own.

Adjacent to the kitchen is where riders keep their kits. Every rider has their own storage. The room can also be used for video gaming watching movies or having dinner. Plus it is rumoured to have housed more then one party.
Adjacent to the kitchen is where riders keep their kits. Every rider has their own storage. The room can also be used for video gaming, watching movies, or having dinner. Plus, it is rumoured to have housed more then one party...

Pits XC World Cup Vallnord

Pits XC World Cup Vallnord
Time to play

Pits XC World Cup Vallnord
Washing facilities.

A fully equipped kitchen. This is where the magic happens. A hot air oven grill cooking plate and steamer provide the chef s backbone. Fridges can be found throughout the truck.
A fully equipped kitchen. This is where the magic happens. A hot air oven, grill, cooking plate and steamer provide the chef's backbone. Fridges can be found throughout the truck.

The team also owns a camper which is parked next to the teamtruck. It allows the riders to have some more privacy if needed relax and have a shower.
The team also owns a camper which is parked next to the teamtruck. It allows the riders to have some more privacy if needed, relax and have a shower.

Inside this area is used by the team s catering staff. All food is brought in from the team s homebase in Germany and cooked in the team truck. This is one of the places to be for excellent food. The area is also used for guest events.
Inside, this area is used by the team's catering staff. All food is brought in from the team's home base in Germany and cooked in the team truck. This is one of the places to be for excellent food. The area is also used for guest events.

bigquotesWe are fully self sufficient. We have a crew of twelve core people plus on Saturday and Sundays we welcome guests as well. They might be sponsors, dealers or partners who we invite to let them experience what we do. This weekend we have 25 guests coming over. The expo aspect of the team is super important. First of all, it shows what a team stands for. We work on high-end bikes, so you need a high-end setup. Mechanics should be able to work in the best possible way. That being said, as soon as a custom built setup such as this is delivered you find things which can be better straight away.

When we built the truck, we planned to transport everything in the truck. But we quickly found out it is quite impractical to have all the bikes in the slowest vehicle. So now the truck is pretty much empty. Consider it a house which is built up at each venue by a dedicated crew of two. We then bring in the rest of the equipment, for example the bikes are brought in by the mechanics so they can work on them and bring them in. Through the years we modified the truck to fit our wishes and now we are looking at getting a new setup.
Daniel Hespeler

The CST-Sandd American Eagle setup is built around a big trailer. The Dutch team is run by Bart Brentjens mountainbiking s first Olympic Champion.
The CST-Sandd American Eagle setup is built around a big trailer. The Dutch team is run by Bart Brentjens, mountain biking's first Olympic champion.

The inside of the truck houses a second seating area often used for breakfast for the team staff as well as for meetings.
The inside of the truck houses a second seating area, often used for breakfast for the team staff as well as for meetings.

The middle is used as a social area for the team. This is where they eat and drink during the day. On the far right tables for guests can be found as well as a fully equipped coffee corner run by Lola Bikes Coffee.
The middle is used as a social area for the team. This is where they eat and drink during the day. On the far right tables for guests can be found as well as a fully equipped coffee corner run by Lola Bikes Coffee.

Inside the space is divided into three distinct areas. The left part is setup for the team s two mechanics. Riders bikes which are ready to ride are hung in the rack and there s space for riders to warm up on the rollers. The mechanics have direct access to spare parts and bikes via the truck s back door.
Inside, the space is divided into three distinct areas. The left part is setup for the team's two mechanics. Riders' bikes that are ready to ride are hung in the rack and there's space for riders to warm up on the rollers. The mechanics have direct access to spare parts and bikes via the truck's back door.

The coffee corner.
The coffee corner.

Spare parts provisions water bottles tyres and a washer dryer setup.
Spare parts, provisions, water bottles, tyres and a washer/dryer setup.

A shower and washing facility for riders.
A shower and washing facility for riders.

Staff beds can be found in the mid compartment.
Staff beds can be found in the mid compartment.

bigquotesIn Offenburg, Kulhavy pulled his bike from the back of his car and with only one guy helping him, he won the race. This shows you do not need a full setup to win. But your fans won't see you, you won't have any exposure and your fans will hardly be able to interact with you. A team setup should look professional and it should radiate what you want to show. Exposure for your sponsors is important. Plus, a setup should be self sufficient - we can hook up electricity and water and we can provide for ourselves.

The truck also provides a safe storage for all our equipment. We as staff sleep in the truck. The team setup is also very important in the social aspect. We share our meals here which is a really good thing to have. We always have lunch here, and try to have our dinner here as well depending on the venue. If riders only rode and then went back to the hotel, the mountain bike expo would be very boring for World Cup visitors. We have a big team, so having a setup like this is very convenient. It is a lot of work, but it is a lot of fun as well.
Bart Brentjens



18 Comments

  • + 73
 you guys have been doing a great job showing insight the last few articles. this ones right up there with the rest. Keep it up PB
  • + 1
 Agreed, really enjoyed this. Just made me think. Wrench on Monk! We miss you! Ultimate dude forever!!!! :-)
  • + 21
 Pit setups are always cool to see. Thanks PB! 3
  • + 17
 Awesome behind the scenes coverage!!! Thanks PB!!! Appreciate ALL of the coverage you guys provide Smile
  • + 13
 So. the guys from Cannondale are looking for a new, longer, lower and slacker setup? With less fork offset?
  • + 7
 This is great material - exactly the kind of insight that PB members like to see.
  • + 6
 In case you wondered why that new Specialized costs such a pretty penny,,,
  • + 4
 Well, is-ent dat special (in church lady voice) .
  • + 4
 A little nicer than the truck bed on my Tacoma.
  • + 3
 I seem to see ibrahimovic
  • + 3
 thank you pinkbike for covering xc as you do, loving it
  • + 2
 Who needs a house with trucks like that #goals
  • + 2
 Thanks Pinkbike. relax job. Cannondale bar its awsm!!!
  • + 2
 Show us the new EPIC FSR already please Smile
  • + 1
 I have to make due with a 1989 GMC Sierra.
  • + 1
 I think my Scion hatch back setup is lacking.
  • + 1
 Fantastic! More, please Smile
  • + 1
 Ahh now I know why the big companies charge $3K for a $300 plastic frame

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