Erin Berard, our Race Trip and Hospitality Manager, walks us through a very successful Trek Factory Racing team launch event.
As Trek Factory Racing’s Official Hospitality Partner, Trek Travel was in Belgium last month to help the team kick-off its global launch with a 68 kilometer Fan Club ride along the hallowed Tour de Flanders route. Starting at the famous Tour of Flanders Visitor’s Center and Museum in Oudenaarde, the ride drew 200 participants including fans, dealers, team sponsors, and professionals including Fabian Cancellara, Jens Voigt, Stijn Devolder (Belgian National Champion), Jasper Stuyven, as well as the team’s Director Sportif Dirk Demol.
Our Trek Travel team supported the Fan Club ride by hosting a Trek Travel signature rest stop a little over half way along the course, driving follow-vans on-course for rider support, and providing team VIPs with Trek Domane bicycles complete with a Spring Classics’ set-up of extra bar tape and tubeless tires in preparation for the cobbles! The day before the ride, while pre-driving the course, the rain was pouring down and wind was gusting sideways. Splashing through the mud puddles along the famous Oude Kwaremont, Patenberg, and Koppenberg cobbled sections of road, we all looked at each other with fright, happy we were in the heated van.
Still remaining on our to do list: 1. Pick-up 300 fresh liege waffles, 2. Coordinate 80 Liters of hot water for our portable thermoses, and 3. Stop by the Trek Factory Racing service headquarters to equip our vans with the required Belgian road safety signage.
The morning of the ride, to our disbelief and great joy, it was sunny in Belgium in January. In true Trek Travel fashion, we unveiled a delicious spread of liege waffles with Nutella, bananas, hot coffee and hot chocolate. The waffles solicited a great reaction from riders and pros a like and became the center of many fan photos. Jasper Stuyven’s family showed up to see him, Stijn Devolder, a national celebrity, barely had time to get a coffee with all the fans around him. Jens Voigt and Fabian Cancellara both posed with the Nutella although Fabian later complained to us, jokingly, that the waffles were cold. And that reminded us to share an important lesson learned – never serve Nutella in cold weather!
This ride marked the start of a full day of celebrations, followed by a Press Conference and then the Team Presentation in the new Roubaix Velodrome, where Trek Factory Racing unveiled its management team, 28 riders, team kits, bike line-up, and sponsors. We wish the team great luck this season and we hope to see you soon on a Trek Travel Race Trip with Trek Factory Racing.
For more photos of the event, visit http://www.trekfactoryracing.com/multimedia/fan-club-ride-tour-flanders