A LOVE LETTER TO TREK SEGAFREDO
Sleeping through an alarm meant it took time trial efforts just to make the start in time, but here we were in lush North Adelaide. In the surrounds of a local college we were hanging out in the shade during a day that had already done well to roast us, little did we know that the heat would crank up in preparation for the crackling – us.
By we, we mean Adrian and Matty Boi. Spending the morning side by side with the Trek Segafredo Women’s team on a brisk morning recovery slash training slash still-rip-legs-off ride out to the beach and back.
The teams bonus week in Adelaide during the men’s tour wasn’t just being being used to recuperate. It was also the best time to fine tune then completely adjust training and appropriate heat-beating technology in the eternal fight between athlete and this god awful heat that will last through the remaining races of the Australian summer calendar.
While carrying a presence that belies the length of time their team has been present on the Women’s World Tour, Trek Segafredo are in fact just in their first season. It’s a team that has seen Trek jump behind it with full support, Segafredo coming to the party as well to give the team hella strong backing in Season #1. And as far as debut seasons go, this one has gotten off to a flying start with the squad taking a win and two podiums during the Women’s Tour Down under. While its still a little early to call, they can almost guarantee that they are a near shoe in for best kit in the womens’ world tour.
“So who exactly are they?!”
Well they’ve got their own special digital slice of the internet that answers that question a lot more succinctly and professionally than we ever could. What we can and most definitely will tell you is that despite just kicking off their maiden season, they’re not here to fuck around. Evident by their results this week, evident by the names and the depth they have on their roster, and evident by the backing from sponsors and the huge team of behinds the scenes staff.
The head mechanic for the WTDU was heading out in the car, making sure shit was tip top, while other staff and some local industry heads were there keeping things gloriously social. Despite just coming off a solid block of racing, and for the non-Australian’s on the team the shock of the weather, all were super chatty and willing to get candid with their words as we hit the coast for a few kilometres.
Up top was the sole Australian in the team – Lauretta Hanson. She was loving the buzz around this years tour. The new team and the whole vibe around it was taking things to another level. The squad was feeling amped, the sponnos were no doubt loving the start to the season, and the public response from local spectators was simply described as both “awesome” and completely “unprecedented” for the women’s TDU.
In the middle of the bunch was Finnish rider Lotta Lepistö, who despite the training and preparation had fallen ill through a potent combination of travel, the ~typically~ Finnish climate of Adelaide in mid January, and misfortune. This led her to make the tough call of sitting out the race as to not jeopardise the rest of her early season racing.
Despite all this, and despite a distinct fondness heard in her voice when talking about mountain biking in -15º weather (thoughts offering temporary respite from our own personal hell here amongst Adelaide’s climate), she was looking on the brighter side of things, eyes firmly focused on the remaining races here in Australia before the team heads back to Europe where the racing calendar hits full speed ahead.
The topics of discussion then gradually shifted away from cycling. First it was about what we in the business of trend setting and trend knowing call “shit hot” – the new Trek Segafredo kit in both race and training (fluro) spec. Then we talked about the philosophies and the finer details that Trek themselves instilled behind its design and purpose.
After that was brief chatter about cyclocross, most about that its really hard, then about the #culture in Girona, about recent moves to, or impending moves to that very same Girona, Spain. Then as we began making the required turns back towards the city we ended up on the most likely topic of all (we guess): cattle farming.
Before too long we were back winding our way through the streets of beautiful North Adelaide, iced lattes almost within reach. It couldn’t have been more evident we were pulling up to Matty Boi’s old local haunt via the special hall pass we received to rearrange the outdoor furniture. Adding to that, the clout-rich Macedonian Prince himself inadvertently ended up at the head of the table. Something about taking the boy out of North Adelaide.
Feet kicked back and ice cold drinks in hand we managed to get a whole new batch of chilled conversation between team mates and with ourselves. All of it really shone a light on how fantastically accessible the sport, and an event like the Tour Down Under is. Here we were, leg muscles twitching and ready to hit Sugar but nonetheless still allowing us to physically be amongst women at the top of their chosen sport, all the while being so very real, and so incredibly friendly at the same time. Sure we were on a ride that required some kind of secret handshake and to pass a Segafredo barista exam, but HERE WE WERE. What a truly lovely sport this is.
Only the need to split for lunch and a cool down brought things to a close. Not for us however as we’d be heading out to the far reaches of Adelaide’s north east suburbs to catch the men’s stage. But that story can wait for another time.