By Susan Westemeyer
Team Milram is starting its season with the "exotic" races of the early season before opening the European season. After the Tour Down Under and the Tour of Qatar, it is currently riding the Super Challenge Series in South Africa. And that is exotic enough that the young riders have to make some adjustments.
It's not just the hot temperatures that make life difficult for the Europeans, but also the traffic on the "wrong" side of the road. "You have to be extremely careful to always ride on the correct side of the road," Milram's Björn Schröder told Radsport-Aktiv.
"Especially right after a little pause, we tend to ride on the wrong side. They drive here on the left! Even changing a tire takes place on the left side of the road, not on the right side like in Europe."
But there are positive aspects, too. "The people wave and call us from the street and the full taxi-buses. I think they don't often see cyclists ride by so fast. The Imperial Hotel is one of the best here in the city, and directly across from the police station! We even have free internet here, they wash our laundry and cook anything we want."
The team's second-place finishes in each of the first three races has raised its profile among the hotel employees, he noted. "With our three podium places and a photo on the front page of the local newspaper, everyone here in the hotel has become extra proud of us."