While I was in Belgium for the Spring Classics last month I stopped into the Team SKY Service Course to say hello to my old friend Andy Verrall. Andy used to be the Rapha-Sharp team mechanic and has now moved onto the position of manager of the SKY Service Course. For any cycling enthusiast, checking this place out was absolute heaven.
A professional cycling team with 28 riders, 3 concurrent race programs, over a dozen vehicles and over 50 staff requires a lot of stuff. This is no amateur operation. This requires countless hours of planning and organising. Bikes need to be maintained, buses and mechanic vehicles need to be restocked, and truckloads of equipment needs to be stored. Team SKY does all of this in the small town of Deinze in Northern Belgium. Previously their Service Course was in the Belgian town of Mechelen, but after team Highroad disbanded SKY moved into this location. It’s not the most central place to be in Europe, but it works well for them and is close to their home country.
The building itself is a nondescript warehouse with a front office, upstairs kitchen and living room area, sleeping quarters for staff on the move, laundry, and large open space with enough room for all the equipment. Upon first glance it’s not really very special, but once you begin noticing all the details and speaking with Andy and staff, this is an incredible operation.
Below is a video made by Shimano with Andy taking you for a tour of the SKY Service Course, as well as some photos I took during my visit.