Phase one of Le Tour De France is now done and dusted, and with that the riders have completed around half the overall mileage of this year’s edition already.
While the long flat early stages have allowed the sprinters to rack up some valuable points, Stage 6 (which ended on the steepest climb yet) was very revealing in showing some of the riders’ true form and potential for the overall win.
Geraint Thomas, who is defending his 2018 title, was one of them. His heroic comeback in La Planche Des Belles Filles (scraping a 4min gap with 6km to go) to 4th could be a sign of things to come as Le Tour heads to the mountains.
On the overall rankings, Team INEOS’ Thomas and Bernal are sitting comfortably in 2nd and 3rd respectively, and his Stage 10 performance even earned Bernal the white jersey as he takes the lead in the Youth rankings.
Now it’s time for some well-deserved rest though, and the team mechanics will be using this valuable time to bring the bikes back to their best self.
Photo: © Kathrin Schafbauer
Today we follow Team Katusha Alpecin’s mechanic Alejandro Torralbo as he takes us through the maintenance process for the team's Canyon bikes. This year marks Alejandro’s 26th year as a mechanic on Le Tour De France, so we trust he knows a thing or two about making sure those bikes are running prime.
STEP 1 – CLEAN
First and foremost, the bikes will need a thorough clean. For this, Alejandro will use our Bio Drivetrain Cleaner to bring the riders’ drivetrains back to their grime-free selves.
Pro Tip: the pro mechanics tend to tip the Drivetrain Cleaning solution into a Muc-Off Tool Bottle (which is mounted onto the seat tube), then use our Drivetrain Detailing Brush to apply the formula locally and without waste.
Once the entire drivetrain (including cassette and derailleur) is spotless, it’s time to clean the rest of the bike using our Nano Tech Bike Cleaner. The disc brakes are also taken apart and given some attention with our Disc Brake Cleaner.
STEP 2 – PROTECT
Step 2 is not only about bringing the shine back into the bike, but also about protecting it from long exposure to road grime and other contaminants.
Pro Tip: if the disc brakes are on, then make sure to protect them from protectant sprays. For this, our team mechanics use our Disc Brake Covers to keep rotors and pads safe from overspray.
Bio MO-94 is used on the drivetrain and the frames are treated to our Miracle Shine cream, bringing the sheen right out and covering the treated areas with a long-lasting protective layer against atmospheric pollutants. To apply, pour onto one of our Microfibre Cloths and smear onto the frame. Wait approximately 30 seconds until the polish begins to haze then gently buff it off.
STEP 3 – LUBE
Lastly, but most importantly, it’s time to re-lube the bike. Depending on the weather conditions, the teams will pick between our C3 Dry, C3 Wet or Hydrodynamic Lube if the forecast is set to alter during the length of the Stage.
Pro Tip: the best way to apply lube is to apply to the upper side of the bottom chain whilst rotating backwards. Remember to wipe off excess if you’ve overdone it, as this could attract unwanted particles.
And that's it! Just like that, the team's bikes are ready for battle again. Luckily, Team Katusha Alpecin have three mechanics on board for Le Tour De France, which means that while one is cleaning bikes, the others are putting them back together, and taking care of applying protection and lube. Here's to the next 11 stages!