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Inside the Team Sky Service Course

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Each rider has a place on the rack for their race bikes

Each rider has a place on the rack for their race bikes
(Image credit: Stephen Farrand)
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A wide shot of the Service Course

A wide shot of the Service Course
(Image credit: Stephen Farrand)
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It has a Belgian plate because it's left hand drive

It has a Belgian plate because it's left hand drive
(Image credit: Stephen Farrand)
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The famous Team Sky bus

The famous Team Sky bus
(Image credit: Stephen Farrand)
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Rajen shows the spare parts that are kept in the truck

Rajen shows the spare parts that are kept in the truck
(Image credit: Stephen Farrand)
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The disk wheels are stored over here

The disk wheels are stored over here
(Image credit: Stephen Farrand)
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More carbon Dura Ace wheels await the race bikes

More carbon Dura Ace wheels await the race bikes
(Image credit: Stephen Farrand)
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Inside there is room for two mechanics to work in the dry

Inside there is room for two mechanics to work in the dry
(Image credit: Stephen Farrand)
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Rajen opens up the rear of the truck

Rajen opens up the rear of the truck
(Image credit: Stephen Farrand)
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Personalised number plates are a nice touch

Personalised number plates are a nice touch
(Image credit: Stephen Farrand)
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The custom design Team Sky mechanics truck

The custom design Team Sky mechanics truck
(Image credit: Stephen Farrand)
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The bus had just arrived from the Vuelta a Pais Vasco

The bus had just arrived from the Vuelta a Pais Vasco
(Image credit: Stephen Farrand)
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the grey look is very minimalist but classy

the grey look is very minimalist but classy
(Image credit: Stephen Farrand)
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The thin blue line: the symbol of Team Sky

The thin blue line: the symbol of Team Sky
(Image credit: Stephen Farrand)
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This seat is reserved for a Team Sky rider

This seat is reserved for a Team Sky rider
(Image credit: Stephen Farrand)
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The riders' seats are better than business class

The riders' seats are better than business class
(Image credit: Stephen Farrand)
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The view from the showers

The view from the showers
(Image credit: Stephen Farrand)
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Team Sky use Jaguars for their team cars

Team Sky use Jaguars for their team cars
(Image credit: Stephen Farrand)
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At the rear of the bus there is room for massage and guests

At the rear of the bus there is room for massage and guests
(Image credit: Stephen Farrand)
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Every rider gets his name on the bus

Every rider gets his name on the bus
(Image credit: Stephen Farrand)
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The seats await the riders

The seats await the riders
(Image credit: Stephen Farrand)
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Even the coat hangers are Team Sky blue

Even the coat hangers are Team Sky blue
(Image credit: Stephen Farrand)
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Ever good team bus has an Italian espresso machine

Ever good team bus has an Italian espresso machine
(Image credit: Stephen Farrand)
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The Paris-Roubaix wheels are stored until next year

The Paris-Roubaix wheels are stored until next year
(Image credit: Stephen Farrand)
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Some new supplies had just arrived

Some new supplies had just arrived
(Image credit: Stephen Farrand)
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Notice that the Team Sky bottles have a blue inner nipple

Notice that the Team Sky bottles have a blue inner nipple
(Image credit: Stephen Farrand)
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The provisions are ready for the next trip

The provisions are ready for the next trip
(Image credit: Stephen Farrand)
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Carbon wheels get prepared for glueing

Carbon wheels get prepared for glueing
(Image credit: Stephen Farrand)
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All the best teams have a store of Nutella

All the best teams have a store of Nutella
(Image credit: Stephen Farrand)
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Even the Team Sky musette are blue

Even the Team Sky musette are blue
(Image credit: Stephen Farrand)
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 Team Sky use CNP bars and recovery drinks

Team Sky use CNP bars and recovery drinks
(Image credit: Stephen Farrand)
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The mechanics remember Team Sky's first win in Australia

The mechanics remember Team Sky's first win in Australia
(Image credit: Stephen Farrand)
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Matt Hayman's race bike from Paris-Roubaix

Matt Hayman's race bike from Paris-Roubaix
(Image credit: Stephen Farrand)
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Service Course manager Ken Ilegems is hard at work

Service Course manager Ken Ilegems is hard at work
(Image credit: Stephen Farrand)
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The mechanic's area is spotlessly clean

The mechanic's area is spotlessly clean
(Image credit: Stephen Farrand)
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Adeshive is applied to the rim

Adeshive is applied to the rim
(Image credit: Stephen Farrand)
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Each rim gets three layers

Each rim gets three layers
(Image credit: Stephen Farrand)
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Frederik Moons spreads the adhesive

Frederik Moons spreads the adhesive
(Image credit: Stephen Farrand)
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The mechanics have plenty of room to work

The mechanics have plenty of room to work
(Image credit: Stephen Farrand)
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David Fernandez positions the Di2 cables on a time trial bike

David Fernandez positions the Di2 cables on a time trial bike
(Image credit: Stephen Farrand)
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Rajen fits the Shimano Di2 gears

Rajen fits the Shimano Di2 gears
(Image credit: Stephen Farrand)
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David Fernandez works on a TT bike

David Fernandez works on a TT bike
(Image credit: Stephen Farrand)
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 Shimano Dura Ace racing wheels

Shimano Dura Ace racing wheels
(Image credit: Stephen Farrand)
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The teams' PRO disk wheels for time trials

The teams' PRO disk wheels for time trials
(Image credit: Stephen Farrand)
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Anyone want a Team Sky cap?

Anyone want a Team Sky cap?
(Image credit: Stephen Farrand)
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Edvald Boasson Hagen is not racing, so his four road bikes and TT bike are on the rack

Edvald Boasson Hagen is not racing, so his four road bikes and TT bike are on the rack
(Image credit: Stephen Farrand)
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All the Shimano Di2 changers are ready to be fitted

All the Shimano Di2 changers are ready to be fitted
(Image credit: Stephen Farrand)
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Plenty of minor parts are available

Plenty of minor parts are available
(Image credit: Stephen Farrand)
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Team Sky has a special case for recharging al lthe Shimano Di2 batteries

Team Sky has a special case for recharging al lthe Shimano Di2 batteries
(Image credit: Stephen Farrand)
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Different spare parts have their own place on the shelf

Different spare parts have their own place on the shelf
(Image credit: Stephen Farrand)
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Shimano Dura Ace chainsets in different crank lengths

Shimano Dura Ace chainsets in different crank lengths
(Image credit: Stephen Farrand)
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The Prologo saddles in Team sky colours

The Prologo saddles in Team sky colours
(Image credit: Stephen Farrand)
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Deda handlebars in in any size and shape

Deda handlebars in in any size and shape
(Image credit: Stephen Farrand)
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These are the carbon wheels Team Sky will use for the Ardennes Classics

These are the carbon wheels Team Sky will use for the Ardennes Classics
(Image credit: Stephen Farrand)
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Some of the Team Sky mechanics crew: Ken IIegems, Frederik Moons, Rajen Murugajan and David Fernandez

Some of the Team Sky mechanics crew: Ken IIegems, Frederik Moons, Rajen Murugajan and David Fernandez
(Image credit: Stephen Farrand)

In an exclusive behind the scenes visit to Team Sky’s Service Course in Mechelen, Belgium, Cyclingnews was shown around the team’s northern European base.

At 500 square metres, it’s one of the biggest European Service Course in the sport, in addition to being home to the team’s buses and mechanic's trucks. The huge space is dominated by lines of storage space for the multiple Pinarello bikes for each of the team’s 26 riders.

“It’s very central within Belgium,” Ken Ilegems, the service course manager told Cyclingnews. “It’s close to the highway, the airport and central in northern Europe.”

Ilegems previously worked with the Belgian national track team and T-Mobile, most recently working with Scott Sunderland to find the best possible location for the team to use.

“We have about 100 bikes here right now and 80 pairs of wheels,” said Ilegems. “We hold them here for when the riders want to swap bikes. The riders email in and say what they need. What you’re seeing now is probably worth around two million Euros. At full capacity we can probably store up to four million Euros of bikes and equipment."

Each rider on the team has his own pit station where up to five bikes can be stored. At present Bradley Wiggins’s station is totally bare, with all of his bikes on location at races, while Juan Antonia Flecha has a number of race bikes stored, along with his and the rest of the team’s wheels from Paris-Roubaix. The team will keep all of the wheels onsite for next year’s race.

The pit stops aren’t just for bikes though. The riders also have their own storage box in which all their new clothing is dished out before being taken to events or sent to the riders directly.

The back wall of the warehouse is dominated by race energy products and food. Along with typical crates of gels, drinks and bars the team also has its own cereal, chocolate spread, and branded tomato ketchup to last at least three months on the road.

Of course, no Service Course would be complete without a workshop area, in which each bike is checked and serviced before it’s either shipped to races or stored.

When Cyclingnews arrived on Thursday the team were busy preparing time trial bikes for Mathew Hayman and Chris Sutton before the Tour de Romandie. Carbon fibre race wheels for the Ardennes Classics were being prepared with three layers of adhesive, ready for race tubulars to be fitted.