A tour of the Orica-GreenEDGE service course

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In northern Italy there is a small pocket of Australia that dozens of Aussies call home. The quiet region of Varese houses the AIS European Training Center, the U23 and women’s team base, and the Orica-GreenEDGE service course. En route to the Tour de France we spent a couple days in Varese and in this post, we take you on a tour of the the Orica-GreenEDGE service course.

Australia’s first and only WorldTour cycling team has 28 riders, 3 concurrent race programs, a dozen Subaru team cars, two vans, three trucks, two buses and more than 30 staff, including mechanics, warehouse managers, soigneurs, finance officers, logistics officers, directors, and so on. This requires a lot of equipment, office facilities, and a warehouse to keep it all running smoothly.

The logistics of coordinating everyone on the team (which includes the non-riders too) is extremely challenging. Riders come and go from different places around the world, equipment needs to be maintained, schedules need to be kept.

The manager of the service course, Jacopo Scampin, told us that Varese isn’t the nicest place in Italy (but we thought it was pretty beautiful), but from a logisitcs point of view it works very well with the Milan Airport (Malpensa) being only 20 mintues away and the Swiss and French borders being close by.

There’s nothing flashy about any service course I’ve ever been to and GreenEDGE’s is no exception. It’s a nondescript warehouse with parking for a fleet of vehicles, stores of food and drink, administration offices, kitchen and laundry facilities, a mechanics area, and a huge storage area full of bikes, wheels and components.

It was both a good time and a bad time for us to be visiting the service course and showing it to you. There is very little racing on at the moment and everything is gathered here getting prepared for the Tour de France. Vehicles are getting serviced, new bikes are being built (sorry, we can’t show them to you yet), new kit is arriving, gear is getting sorted out. We’re told that it’s a disaster area compared to normal, but it didn’t seem terribly messy to us. Have a look at the photos we took as we toured the facility.

We would like to thank Orica-GreenEDGE for having us as their guests in Varese and for showing us what goes on behind the scenes to make a professional cycling team work. Full disclosure: Orica-GreenEDGE did not ask us to write this story and we were not paid to do so.

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