Skip to main content

Inside the Garmin-Transitions Service Course

Image 1 of 65

Will Frischkorn has seen this team grow from humble beginnings from both sides of the fence.

Will Frischkorn has seen this team grow from humble beginnings from both sides of the fence.
(Image credit: Barry Ryan)
Image 2 of 65

Open Sesame! The Garmin-Transitions service course in Girona.

Open Sesame! The Garmin-Transitions service course in Girona.
(Image credit: Barry Ryan)
Image 3 of 65

The mechanics are working flat out to get everything ready in time for the season's final grand tour.

The mechanics are working flat out to get everything ready in time for the season's final grand tour.
(Image credit: Barry Ryan)
Image 4 of 65

The sight of Christian Vande Velde's frame lined up outside the Vuelta truck was confirmation of the American's return to competitive action.

The sight of Christian Vande Velde's frame lined up outside the Vuelta truck was confirmation of the American's return to competitive action.
(Image credit: Barry Ryan)
Image 5 of 65

Built for speed. Detail of Tyler Farrar's steed.

Built for speed. Detail of Tyler Farrar's steed.
(Image credit: Barry Ryan)
Image 6 of 65

David Zabriskie's race bike, ready for the Vuelta. Note the double seat pin. Originally a feature to prevent slippage during Paris-Roubaix, it now being placed on all Garmin-Transitions bikes.

David Zabriskie's race bike, ready for the Vuelta. Note the double seat pin. Originally a feature to prevent slippage during Paris-Roubaix, it now being placed on all Garmin-Transitions bikes.
(Image credit: Barry Ryan)
Image 7 of 65

The dossards from the team's debut Tour de France decorate the office window in Girona. The only one missing is that of marketing manager Will Frischkorn, who wore 194 en route to completing the Tour.

The dossards from the team's debut Tour de France decorate the office window in Girona. The only one missing is that of marketing manager Will Frischkorn, who wore 194 en route to completing the Tour.
(Image credit: Barry Ryan)
Image 8 of 65

Some wheels waiting to go in the truck for the Vuelta.

Some wheels waiting to go in the truck for the Vuelta.
(Image credit: Barry Ryan)
Image 9 of 65

Garmin-Transitions are the first team to use the new LeMond Revolution trainer and played a vital role in the development of the product.

Garmin-Transitions are the first team to use the new LeMond Revolution trainer and played a vital role in the development of the product.
(Image credit: Barry Ryan)
Image 10 of 65

The service course isn't just a storage unit or mechanics' workshop. The Garmin riders also come here for physiological testing.

The service course isn't just a storage unit or mechanics' workshop. The Garmin riders also come here for physiological testing.
(Image credit: Barry Ryan)
Image 11 of 65

A team van being loaded up with kit ahead of the Vuelta a Espa

A team van being loaded up with kit ahead of the Vuelta a Espa
(Image credit: Barry Ryan)
Image 12 of 65

Camelbak provide 24,000 bidons each season to Garmin-Transitions.

Camelbak provide 24,000 bidons each season to Garmin-Transitions.
(Image credit: Barry Ryan)
Image 13 of 65

Normatec 'Space Legs' are used to help riders' post-race recovery. The team brings a few pairs to all stage races, where some riders are more enthusiastic about their use than others.

Normatec 'Space Legs' are used to help riders' post-race recovery. The team brings a few pairs to all stage races, where some riders are more enthusiastic about their use than others.
(Image credit: Barry Ryan)
Image 14 of 65

The Garmin-Transitions truck that will carry the team's equipment to the Vuelta a Espa

The Garmin-Transitions truck that will carry the team's equipment to the Vuelta a Espa
(Image credit: Barry Ryan)
Image 15 of 65

Kirk Carlsen rode this steed before graduating to the ProTour set-up.

Kirk Carlsen rode this steed before graduating to the ProTour set-up.
(Image credit: Barry Ryan)
Image 16 of 65

The previous season's bikes are normally passed on to the under-23 squad or else sold.

The previous season's bikes are normally passed on to the under-23 squad or else sold.
(Image credit: Barry Ryan)
Image 17 of 65

The strikingly designed Garmin-Transitions equipment truck.

The strikingly designed Garmin-Transitions equipment truck.
(Image credit: Barry Ryan)
Image 18 of 65

Almost ready. The bike that could carry Tyler Farrar to Vuelta glory.

Almost ready. The bike that could carry Tyler Farrar to Vuelta glory.
(Image credit: Barry Ryan)
Image 19 of 65

The famous Bradley Wiggins TT special is not the only item from the team service course that can be bought online.

The famous Bradley Wiggins TT special is not the only item from the team service course that can be bought online.
(Image credit: Barry Ryan)
Image 20 of 65

David Millar's trophy from the Three Days of De Panne takes pride of place at the Garmin-Transitions HQ.

David Millar's trophy from the Three Days of De Panne takes pride of place at the Garmin-Transitions HQ.
(Image credit: Barry Ryan)
Image 21 of 65

Another one of Svein Tuft's TT frames.

Another one of Svein Tuft's TT frames.
(Image credit: Barry Ryan)
Image 22 of 65

A race bike with dossard still intact.

A race bike with dossard still intact.
(Image credit: Barry Ryan)
Image 23 of 65

Spot the odd one out. Bradley Wiggins never used this custom British champion TT frame as he left for Team Sky before the season started. Svein Tuft got considerably more use out of his Canadian flag version.

Spot the odd one out. Bradley Wiggins never used this custom British champion TT frame as he left for Team Sky before the season started. Svein Tuft got considerably more use out of his Canadian flag version.
(Image credit: Barry Ryan)
Image 24 of 65

One of David Zabriskie's time trial frames.

One of David Zabriskie's time trial frames.
(Image credit: Barry Ryan)
Image 25 of 65

Robbie Hunter and Ryder Hesjedal's time trial bikes.

Robbie Hunter and Ryder Hesjedal's time trial bikes.
(Image credit: Barry Ryan)
Image 26 of 65

The mechanics' workspace is kept in immaculate condition, with every item ordered precisely.

The mechanics' workspace is kept in immaculate condition, with every item ordered precisely.
(Image credit: Barry Ryan)
Image 27 of 65

The mechanics work on the bikes for the Vuelta

The mechanics work on the bikes for the Vuelta
(Image credit: Barry Ryan)
Image 28 of 65

This small office is the nerve centre of Garmin-Transitions' logistics and planning

This small office is the nerve centre of Garmin-Transitions' logistics and planning
(Image credit: Barry Ryan)
Image 29 of 65

A Garmin-Transitions team car parked beside the equipment truck

A Garmin-Transitions team car parked beside the equipment truck
(Image credit: Barry Ryan)
Image 30 of 65

Mavic wheels for every imaginable possibility.

Mavic wheels for every imaginable possibility.
(Image credit: Barry Ryan)
Image 31 of 65

Christian Vande Velde looks set to use an O.Symetric chainring at the Vuelta.

Christian Vande Velde looks set to use an O.Symetric chainring at the Vuelta.
(Image credit: Barry Ryan)
Image 32 of 65

The Garmin-Transitions equipment truck getting packed up ahead of the Vuelta a Espa

The Garmin-Transitions equipment truck getting packed up ahead of the Vuelta a Espa
(Image credit: Barry Ryan)
Image 33 of 65

An ingenious use of a Mavic skewer in the bathroom at the Garmin-Transitions service course

An ingenious use of a Mavic skewer in the bathroom at the Garmin-Transitions service course
(Image credit: Barry Ryan)
Image 34 of 65

A special fridge is held aside for POM.

A special fridge is held aside for POM.
(Image credit: Barry Ryan)
Image 35 of 65

Every rider has a race bag, stored in these boxes at the service course. The bag contains helmets, gloves, raingear and spare shoes, so that the riders themselves don't have to worry about bringing them to races.

Every rider has a race bag, stored in these boxes at the service course. The bag contains helmets, gloves, raingear and spare shoes, so that the riders themselves don't have to worry about bringing them to races.
(Image credit: Barry Ryan)
Image 36 of 65

When shipping their bikes, Garmin-Transitions make use of the inflatable Biknd Helium bike case.

When shipping their bikes, Garmin-Transitions make use of the inflatable Biknd Helium bike case.
(Image credit: Barry Ryan)
Image 37 of 65

Mavic supply wheels for every occasion

Mavic supply wheels for every occasion
(Image credit: Barry Ryan)
Image 38 of 65

It's important to know who owns what.

It's important to know who owns what.
(Image credit: Barry Ryan)
Image 39 of 65

Some new test frames waiting to be built up

Some new test frames waiting to be built up
(Image credit: Barry Ryan)
Image 40 of 65

Mavic are wheel supplier to the Garmin team

Mavic are wheel supplier to the Garmin team
(Image credit: Barry Ryan)
Image 41 of 65

The Garmin armada of TT bikes, sitting in the team truck and ready to go to the Vuelta.

The Garmin armada of TT bikes, sitting in the team truck and ready to go to the Vuelta.
(Image credit: Barry Ryan)
Image 42 of 65

A new bike in the process of being built up for David Millar. Felt supply new frames for testing towards the end of the season.

A new bike in the process of being built up for David Millar. Felt supply new frames for testing towards the end of the season.
(Image credit: Barry Ryan)
Image 43 of 65

Getting the TT bikes ready ahead of the Vuelta's opening team time trial

Getting the TT bikes ready ahead of the Vuelta's opening team time trial
(Image credit: Barry Ryan)
Image 44 of 65

One of Dan Martin's steeds awaits him at the Garmin Service Course

One of Dan Martin's steeds awaits him at the Garmin Service Course
(Image credit: Barry Ryan)
Image 45 of 65

Bradley Wiggins left for Garmin for Sky last winter, but not before Felt had prepared a special TT bike for him for 2010. This frame has been in the service course waiting for a buyer all season

Bradley Wiggins left for Garmin for Sky last winter, but not before Felt had prepared a special TT bike for him for 2010. This frame has been in the service course waiting for a buyer all season
(Image credit: Barry Ryan)
Image 46 of 65

Some of the bikes Garmin-Transitions keep in their service course for their VIP guests. Somebody is clearly a Tom Danielson fan

Some of the bikes Garmin-Transitions keep in their service course for their VIP guests. Somebody is clearly a Tom Danielson fan
(Image credit: Barry Ryan)
Image 47 of 65

Garmin's Paris-Roubaix bikes have a section of wall space to themselves. They were brought to the Tour de France for stage 3 over the cobbles. Note the padded handlebar tape and dual braking system.

Garmin's Paris-Roubaix bikes have a section of wall space to themselves. They were brought to the Tour de France for stage 3 over the cobbles. Note the padded handlebar tape and dual braking system.
(Image credit: Barry Ryan)
Image 48 of 65

A stack of new Felt frames waiting to be built up ahead of the Vuelta.

A stack of new Felt frames waiting to be built up ahead of the Vuelta.
(Image credit: Barry Ryan)
Image 49 of 65

A sneak peak inside David Millar's raced bag. The attention to detail is striking. Millar keeps everything carefully labelled.

A sneak peak inside David Millar's raced bag. The attention to detail is striking. Millar keeps everything carefully labelled.
(Image credit: Barry Ryan)
Image 50 of 65

A man for all seasons. David Millar's race bag is ready for all eventualities.

A man for all seasons. David Millar's race bag is ready for all eventualities.
(Image credit: Barry Ryan)
Image 51 of 65

POM are another important supplier to the Garmin-Transitions team.

POM are another important supplier to the Garmin-Transitions team.
(Image credit: Barry Ryan)
Image 52 of 65

The kitchen area at the service course

The kitchen area at the service course
(Image credit: Barry Ryan)
Image 53 of 65

CeramicSpeed provide bearings, pulley wheels and bottom brackets

CeramicSpeed provide bearings, pulley wheels and bottom brackets
(Image credit: Barry Ryan)
Image 54 of 65

Gearing combinations for all terrains are provided by Shimano.

Gearing combinations for all terrains are provided by Shimano.
(Image credit: Barry Ryan)
Image 55 of 65

Pedros keep things running smoothly at Garmin HQ

Pedros keep things running smoothly at Garmin HQ
(Image credit: Barry Ryan)
Image 56 of 65

3T supply handlebars to Garmin-Transitions.

3T supply handlebars to Garmin-Transitions.
(Image credit: Barry Ryan)
Image 57 of 65

A stash of Garmin musette bags. Every available inch of storage space is used at the service course.

A stash of Garmin musette bags. Every available inch of storage space is used at the service course.
(Image credit: Barry Ryan)
Image 58 of 65

A stock of fresh Garmin-Transitions jerseys.

A stock of fresh Garmin-Transitions jerseys.
(Image credit: Barry Ryan)
Image 59 of 65

Probiomine protein shakes.

Probiomine protein shakes.
(Image credit: Barry Ryan)
Image 60 of 65

Garmin-Transitions also operate a sales service out of the service course, allowing fans to buy the same materials used by the team.

Garmin-Transitions also operate a sales service out of the service course, allowing fans to buy the same materials used by the team.
(Image credit: Barry Ryan)
Image 61 of 65

The Garmin-Transitions soigneurs need a lot of space for their Qolum products at the service course

The Garmin-Transitions soigneurs need a lot of space for their Qolum products at the service course
(Image credit: Barry Ryan)
Image 62 of 65

At this point in the season, the Garmin-Transitions boys have eaten in to stocks of Clif energy bars at team HQ.

At this point in the season, the Garmin-Transitions boys have eaten in to stocks of Clif energy bars at team HQ.
(Image credit: Barry Ryan)
Image 63 of 65

Fiji supply the water, and plenty of it.

Fiji supply the water, and plenty of it.
(Image credit: Barry Ryan)
Image 64 of 65

A team car decked out in the iconic argyle livery of Slipstream Sports.

A team car decked out in the iconic argyle livery of Slipstream Sports.
(Image credit: Barry Ryan)
Image 65 of 65

Were it not for the Garmin team car parked outside, it would have been difficult to find the service course on the fringes of Girona.

Were it not for the Garmin team car parked outside, it would have been difficult to find the service course on the fringes of Girona.
(Image credit: Barry Ryan)

When Will Frischkorn first joined Jonathan Vaughter's humble TIAA-CREF team as a rider ahead of the 2005 season, he could scarcely have imagined the road that they would travel together. At the time, the team raced mainly in the United States, and its oft-repeated goal of competing clean at the sport's highest level seemed little more than a fanciful pipe dream to many outsiders. A peloton dominated by big hitters like US Postal and Liberty Seguros was surely no country for naïve men.

Yet where others scoffed, Vaughters' ambition struck a chord with Frischkorn, and he had no hesitation in signing up. "I signed because of what JV told me," Frischkorn explains. "The plan always was for it to develop into something like this."

Six years later and Frischkorn is now marketing manager for Garmin-Transitions, having retiring at the end of 2009. In the intervening period, he has completed a Tour de France and helped his team become one of the behemoths of international cycling, an outfit whose innovative interpretation of the sport has already had a marked impact on the peloton.

Nothing encapsulates this better than the team's service course in Girona, Spain. The anonymous-looking warehouse on the outskirts of town is more than just storage space for bikes and equipment, but the nerve centre of the team's racing and marketing structures.

When we visit a week ahead of the Vuelta a España, Frischkorn is on hand to show us around as mechanics prepare the team's bikes for the season's final grand tour. The sight of Christian Vande Velde's frame propped against the side of the truck is the first indication that the American is back in Europe and back in the saddle.

"Right now, eight of the nine riders for the Vuelta have been decided on," Frischkorn says, "That means the mechanics can get those bikes prepared." With the truck due to leave for Seville the Monday before the race starts, the final spot on the team had to be confirmed over the weekend.

Fortunately for Garmin-Transitions, a cross-country truck journey to Seville is a relatively short hop in the greater scheme of things. Races like the Tour of California, for instance, cause a greater logistical and financial headache for the team. "Even though we have another service course in Colorado, most of our equipment is obviously here in Europe," Frischkorn explains. "So for a race like California, we had to spend something like $20,000 FedExing equipment back and forth."

Another organisational difficulty for the team is dealing with multiple and simultaneous races. As the mechanics in Girona were filling the truck for the Vuelta, the team bus was in Plouay ahead of the GP Ouest France and two Garmin-Transitions squads were competing in the Italian one-day races and at the Eneco Tour.

Indeed, during the Vuelta itself, the team will have to send riders and equipment across the Atlantic for the two ProTour races in Canada, although Frischkorn acknowledges that its timing could hardly be better. "At the end of a season, a lot of our old equipment and bikes are passed on to the under 23 team so the bikes that go to Canada can be brought straight to Colorado."

Speaking of next season, in one corner of the warehouse is a stack of 2011 Felt frames, which will be used in some of the late season races and tested ahead of next year. One of the hallmarks of the Garmin-Transitions teams is its desire to play an active role in the development of the materials it uses.

"It's very important to use to have a good relationship with our suppliers," Frischkorn says. "Felt are great in that regard. For instance, they came up with a really light frame for us for this season, but we actually asked them to go back and make it a little heavier and they did that. Not all manufacturers are like that, and we really only want to work with suppliers who want to develop and who can use our feedback."

One of Frischkorn's many tasks as marketing manager is meeting with new and existing suppliers, and he is fulsome in his praise of the team's current partners. Indeed, after announcing his retirement from racing last September, injuries in the team saw Frischkorn back into service for the last races of the season in Italy, something he had to balance with his new role.

"I remember between Piedmont and Lombardy I had to fly out for a meeting with Mavic. Not the best race preparation," he laughs. The meeting bore fruit however, as Mavic came on board as wheel supplier and has since worked closely with Garmin-Transitions on developing new products.

Other smaller but no less important suppliers have stacks of their material carefully labelled and stored in the warehouse. For instance, upstairs is a special zone taken over by boxes of CamelBak bidons, and Frischkorn reckons the team goes through 20,000 bottles a season. Meanwhile, in a back room at the service course is a special fridge filled to bursting point with bottles of POM, suppliers of the team's post-race recovery drinks.

Most of the Garmin-Transitions roster lives in the Girona area, and in addition to fostering team spirit, it ensures that no rider ever has to bring his own bike to a race. "The guys have their training bikes, but the race bikes stay here and go directly to races. It saves time for the mechanics because they don't have to work on the bikes right before races, plus it means that the riders don't have to worry about anything when they travel, they just need to turn up," Frischkorn says.

Outside of the team bikes, an interesting aspect of the Garmin-Transitions headquarters is the fact that the team also keeps a stock of team issue bikes for use by VIP guests at races such as the Tour de France and another part of Frischkorn's role is entertaining these guests on the race. "It's exhausting but I love it," he says. "People are always so enthusiastic to be that close to a big race and it's infectious really."

Not only are guests given the chance to ride Garmin-Transitions equipment, the team also provides the public with the opportunity to own it. As well as selling team kit (a room at the warehouse serves as a stockroom for the team's nascent internet shop), any team bikes that aren't passed on to the under 23 set-up are sold off at the end of the season.

Out of this year's crop, one machine certainly catches the eye, a Felt time trial bike with a striking Union Jack paint job. Of course, David Millar isn't British time trial champion, but Bradley Wiggins. Frischkorn smiles as he explains: "The bike was built up last winter before Bradley left for Sky. It's a pity the way that worked out, but this would have been his TT bike for this season if he'd stayed with us. We've been trying to find a buyer, but..."

At the end of the season, Garmin-Transitions will move to a new service course at one of two new locations in Girona, after three years in its current location. "We still have to decide on where exactly, but we just need more space," Frischkorn says, and we are reminded of how far Jonathan Vaughters' team has travelled in such a short space of time.

Before the big move, however, take this opportunity to look at around the Garmin-Transitions service course and the team's pre-Vuelta preparations with our exclusive photo gallery.