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Being the BMC Racing Team chief mechanic means more than just assisting riders during races for Ian Sherburne and his crew.
Being the BMC Racing Team chief mechanic means more than just assisting riders during races for Ian Sherburne and his crew.

BMC Racing Team Behind-the-Scenes: The Mechanics

23. december 2010

Santa Rosa, California

Few people see the amount of work the BMC Racing Team's mechanics do to get the BMCs ready for racing or training. "For every hour of racing, there are five or 10 man hours put into ordering parts, handling logistics, building bikes and driving vehicles to locales," says BMC Racing Team Chief Mechanic Ian Sherburne.

Overcoming Challenges

Like every member of the BMC Racing Team staff, Sherburne says mechanics place high expectations on themselves to always do their job better. With riders from different nations and a racing program on multiple continents, logistics becomes the biggest physical challenge, he said. "But with the staff we have, they're all very comfortable working in friendship-type of relationships we all have with the riders," Sherburne said. "The riders realize we're as dedicated as they are to our job. We want to help them do what they do even better."

Product Development
The BMC Racing Team's mechanics work closely with BMC to provide valuable feedback. When the newest model of the BMC, the "impec," made its debut at the Tour de France, the mechanics were first to hear the riders talk about it. Remarks about its "fantastic handling" and "silky smooth ride" – providing comfort without sacrificing stiffness – were common. "We have very good relationships with all of our sponsors," Sherburne said. "Our feedback to them is a positive byproduct of a synergistic relationship between experienced mechanics and experienced riders who are always pushing their equipment to the highest level."

Building BMCs And Friendships
Whether it is washing and maintaining the BMCs, building Easton wheels, gluing on Continental tires or loading the BMCs onto Thule roof racks before a race, Sherburne says it remains a labor of love for him – even after 20 years in the bicycle industry. "Probably the most satisfying part of the job are the friendships and relationships you have with riders," he said. "You spend all that time before an event in training and preparation. To see eight guys each doing what they want to be doing – at the highest possible level – and know you're a big part of that, is very rewarding."