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Gallery: Inside the Lotto-Belisol service course

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Visitors are welcomed by a large version of the 2013 jersey

Visitors are welcomed by a large version of the 2013 jersey
(Image credit: Cyclingnews)
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The mechanics tools carefully placed on the table

The mechanics tools carefully placed on the table
(Image credit: Cyclingnews)
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Bikes are ready for the Tour of Flanders

Bikes are ready for the Tour of Flanders
(Image credit: Cyclingnews)
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(Image credit: Cyclingnews)
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Discarded cranks

Discarded cranks
(Image credit: Cyclingnews)
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The Belgian Classics is a busy time for the mechanics

The Belgian Classics is a busy time for the mechanics
(Image credit: Cyclingnews)
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Spare helmets and equipment for the riders

Spare helmets and equipment for the riders
(Image credit: Cyclingnews)
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Let's hope the beer isn't for the riders

Let's hope the beer isn't for the riders
(Image credit: Cyclingnews)
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You can never have too many cups

You can never have too many cups
(Image credit: Cyclingnews)
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Bags prepared for the VIPs at the Tour of Flanders

Bags prepared for the VIPs at the Tour of Flanders
(Image credit: Cyclingnews)
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This is what you get if you're a VOP

This is what you get if you're a VOP
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Plenty of soya milk

Plenty of soya milk
(Image credit: Cyclingnews)
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Tony Gallopin will ride the Helium SL on Sunday

Tony Gallopin will ride the Helium SL on Sunday
(Image credit: Cyclingnews)
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Jurgen Roelandts will ride the Fenix at the Tour of Flanders

Jurgen Roelandts will ride the Fenix at the Tour of Flanders
(Image credit: Cyclingnews)
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Spare bikes for the riders to pick and chose from

Spare bikes for the riders to pick and chose from
(Image credit: Cyclingnews)
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Just in case you didn't know where you were

Just in case you didn't know where you were
(Image credit: Cyclingnews)
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One of the time trial bike awaits a once over by a mechanic

One of the time trial bike awaits a once over by a mechanic
(Image credit: Cyclingnews)
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The Flanders bikes lined up and ready to go

The Flanders bikes lined up and ready to go
(Image credit: Cyclingnews)
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The mechanics' area

The mechanics' area
(Image credit: Cyclingnews)
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News frames wait to be given to their rider

News frames wait to be given to their rider
(Image credit: Cyclingnews)
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The riders have a selection of wheels and frames

The riders have a selection of wheels and frames
(Image credit: Cyclingnews)
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A team can never have enough tyres

A team can never have enough tyres
(Image credit: Cyclingnews)
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Riders' unused bikes

Riders' unused bikes
(Image credit: Cyclingnews)
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André Greipel's Ridley in the German champion's colours

André Greipel's Ridley in the German champion's colours
(Image credit: Cyclingnews)
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André Greipel's custom saddle

André Greipel's custom saddle
(Image credit: Cyclingnews)
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A place to relax for the mechanics and other staff

A place to relax for the mechanics and other staff
(Image credit: Cyclingnews)
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André Greipel's 2013 German champion's jersey hangs on the wall

André Greipel's 2013 German champion's jersey hangs on the wall
(Image credit: Cyclingnews)
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Flanders bound bikes

Flanders bound bikes
(Image credit: Cyclingnews)
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Mechanic sets up the bikes for the Tour of Flanders

Mechanic sets up the bikes for the Tour of Flanders
(Image credit: Cyclingnews)
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Time trial bikes waiting to be used

Time trial bikes waiting to be used
(Image credit: Cyclingnews)
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25,000 bidons are used in a year

25,000 bidons are used in a year
(Image credit: Cyclingnews)
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A small treat for the riders during a race

A small treat for the riders during a race
(Image credit: Cyclingnews)
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The second team bus, which goes to the smaller races

The second team bus, which goes to the smaller races
(Image credit: Cyclingnews)
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A van for the VIPs

A van for the VIPs
(Image credit: Cyclingnews)
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A team can't have just one bus

A team can't have just one bus
(Image credit: Cyclingnews)
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Cooler boxes for the drinks at a race

Cooler boxes for the drinks at a race
(Image credit: Cyclingnews)
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Adam Hansen's spare helmets

Adam Hansen's spare helmets
(Image credit: Cyclingnews)
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Hundreds of frames go through the service course in a year

Hundreds of frames go through the service course in a year
(Image credit: Cyclingnews)
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Spare wheels

Spare wheels
(Image credit: Cyclingnews)
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The spare team car is prepared

The spare team car is prepared
(Image credit: Cyclingnews)
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Jurgen van den Broeck's 2012 Tour de France jersey

Jurgen van den Broeck's 2012 Tour de France jersey
(Image credit: Cyclingnews)
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Jurgen van den Broeck hangs on the meeting room wall

Jurgen van den Broeck hangs on the meeting room wall
(Image credit: Cyclingnews)
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This year's crop of riders with their new jerseys

This year's crop of riders with their new jerseys
(Image credit: Cyclingnews)
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There is no shortage of signed jerseys around the office

There is no shortage of signed jerseys around the office
(Image credit: Cyclingnews)
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André Greipel's race winner's trophy

André Greipel's race winner's trophy
(Image credit: Cyclingnews)
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Trophies from the team's victories

Trophies from the team's victories
(Image credit: Cyclingnews)
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The spare team car

The spare team car
(Image credit: Cyclingnews)
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There is no end of team kit tucked away in all places

There is no end of team kit tucked away in all places
(Image credit: Cyclingnews)
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A small TV so that you can watch the race from the team car

A small TV so that you can watch the race from the team car
(Image credit: Cyclingnews)
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Trophies sit atop the fridge in the mechanics' area

Trophies sit atop the fridge in the mechanics' area
(Image credit: Cyclingnews)

For teams that spend the year travelling around the world, the service course is the one place that they can call home. Cyclingnews paid a visit to Lotto-Belisol’s service course in Herentals in northern Belgium as they prepare for the Tour of Flanders.

It is where they keep the kit that isn’t already out at a race and where the mechanics can fix and tinker with the bikes. Occasionally a rider might drop by to have one of them attend to his bike, but that is a rare thing. The building that houses the masses of bikes and equipment is non-descript, not what you would expect from a WorldTour level team. It isn’t out of modesty, though, that they do this, but for security. With a number of teams becoming the victims of theft, Lotto would like to keep the place as discreet as possible.

While you might be forgiven for driving past, there is no question about your current location once you’re inside. There is a giant Lotto-Belisol flag hanging in the mechanics’ area and the office walls are decorated with pictures of the riders and team jerseys from the past two seasons. It also stores the spare team bus and car, liveried up and ready to go

When we arrive the team bikes are being busily prepared by the mechanics for a team reconnaissance of the Tour of Flanders route on Wednesday. One notable omission is André Greipel’s bike, it is up on the racks with the many other unused frames after he crashed out of Gent-Wevelgem. The German will have to sit out of the remaining classics, but the team hope to have him back in action at the Tour of Turkey.

Of the bikes bound for Flanders, the riders will use one of two Ridley frames. Team leader Jürgen Roelandts will be riding the Fenix frame, which is the same one he used for the race in 2013. At Gent-Wevelgem he used the Noah, but decided that it was too stiff and reverted to the Fenix. However, Tony Gallopin and the majority of the team will use the Helium frame which is lighter than the one that will be used by Roelandts.

Team mechanic Chris van Roosbroeck, says that this changing of frames is something new. “Five or ten years ago you wouldn’t have seen this, now riders are changing bikes all the time,” he explains to Cyclingnews. “It’s not just the younger riders either. Riders like Marcel Sieberg he is always changing his bike, like he changes his pants.”

Along with the many frames there is all you could need out at a race. Boxes of bidons are pilled high next to crates of coca cola, soya milk and energy gels. There are also plenty of spare helmets, tyres and wheels for the discerning cyclist. The team go through large quantities of most things, with 14,000 energy bars, 25,000 bidons, 100 helmets, 400 jerseys and 90 pairs of shoes passing through the service course in a year.

Click here for the gallery of Lotto-Belisol’s service course.