Headcam footage from a Mavic neutral service mechanic from Sunday’s action-packed Tour de France stage nine gives a rare insight into this side of the race.
The motorbike-mounted mechanics are never far from the peloton and the break, on hand to help assist riders with punctures and mechanical problems when their own team cars are nowhere near them.
>> Subscribe to Cycling Weekly this Autumn and save 35%. Enjoy the luxury of home delivery and never miss an issue <<
This proved to be the case for Quick-Step Floors leader Dan Martin after he suffered two crashes in quick succession on the descent of the Mont du Chat.
Martin was riding with the contenders group including Chris Froome (Team Sky) when he collided with Richie Porte (BMC) as he crashed on a narrow corner. Both riders hit a rocky bank very hard, with Porte abandoning the race and being taken to hospital.
Martin’s Specialized S-Works bike evidently needed some attention, with the chain requiring to be remounted on the chainset, rear wheel aligned back in the frame and a front wheel change.
At one point, the mechanic can be seen in the video, posted online by Velon, trying to bang the front wheel out of the fork having not loosened the quick release sufficiently, as Martin says ‘Hey! Wheel! Wheel!’.
All the problems appear to be sorted out swiftly and the injured Martin carries on down the descent.
Martin revealed after the stage that his front brake had lost power with the replacement wheel, which caused him to crash a second time. This time, his team car was on hand and he got a complete replacement machine.
Remarkably, Martin did an amazing job to compose himself and get on with the chase. He finished the stage in ninth spot, having lost just one minute and 15 seconds to race leader Froome and now lies in sixth place overall at 1-44.