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Just more than a week ahead of the Tour de France, EF Education First assembled an eight-rider squad for two days of team time trial practice. The Tour’s TTT falls on stage 2 this year, and will largely set up the general classification until the race hits the mountains.
Photographer Greg Erwin went along for both days of training and captured not only the riders but the whole staff at work. The TTT truly is a team effort, from mechanics to directors to soigneurs.
Scroll through the gallery below for a closer look.
Full speed ahead: EF Education First trained for the team time trial in Girona, Spain. | Photo: Greg Erwin
Eight riders practiced the TTT for two days. | Photo: Greg Erwin
TTT practice was done as a full dress rehearsal. | Photo: Greg Erwin
TTT practice is an exercise as much for the support staff as the riders. | Photo: Greg Erwin
For normal time trials, mechanics have the luxury of time in getting bikes ready in intervals. Not so for the TTT. | Photo: Greg Erwin
EF Education First used the PGA Hotel as a home base. | Photo: Greg Erwin
Temperatures were over 100 for the TTT practice days. | Photo: Greg Erwin
The team goes through dozens of bottles in a day. | Photo: Greg Erwin
Allen Lim drives the course during TTT practice. | Photo: Greg Erwin
Charly Wegelius goes over the plan with the team. “It will sound and feel like a race, but remember that we are on open roads so keep it safe.” | Photo: Greg Erwin
Van Garderen has yet to have the opportunity to attempt the Giro-Tour double. Photo: Greg Erwin
A big part of TTT practice was sorting out how long each rider should pull. | Photo: Greg Erwin
The first day, riders took 10-second pulls, trying to mimic the all-out feel of the last kilometers of a TTT. On the second day, they took longer pulls. | Photo: Greg Erwin
Photo: Greg Erwin
The Cannondale SuperSlice is a double-duty time trial/triathlon bike. | Photo: Greg Erwin
Time trial helmets are fast, but no one ever accused them of being over-ventilated. | Photo: Greg Erwin
EF Education First performance manager Tim Kennaugh adjusts a radio. | Photo: Greg Erwin
Plenty of real estate for name stickers on the SuperSlice. | Photo: Greg Erwin
Wegelius and Lim chat in an EF car. | Photo: Greg Erwin
EF had three cars on the road with back-up bikes for TTT practice, as every person on staff rehearsed their role. | Photo: Greg Erwin
Team leader Rigoberto Uran could benefit from a strong TTT performance. | Photo: Greg Erwin
Because of the heat, the team skipped the traditional trainer warm-ups. | Photo: Greg Erwin
Mitch Docker and Lawson Craddock aren’t on the Tour team, but they did attend the TTT practice. After the two-day session, the final Tour squad was announced. | Photo: Greg Erwin
No cables dragging in the wind here. | Photo: Greg Erwin
TTT practice is a great place to iron out any last-minute mechanical kinks. | Photo: Greg Erwin
Hey guys, how about we use normal helmets instead today? | Photo: Greg Erwin
Rain bags on a 100-degree day? Yep, having the riders all pack their own rain bags ensures race readiness come Tour time. | Photo: Greg Erwin
Getting eight guys in sync at speed isn’t easy, but boy is it fast when it works well. | Photo: Greg Erwin
Tejay van Garderen is one of the anchors of the TTT squad. | Photo: Greg Erwin
Rigoberto Uran was second in the 2017 Tour de France. | Photo: Greg Erwin