If the various confinements have favored cycling, the health crisis has also caused a shortage of spare parts among producers. Repairers and sellers are then in difficulty. And this shortage also affects professional cycling teams, worried about their equipment while the route of the Tour de France 2022 will be revealed this Thursday, October 14.
It was Marc Madiot, the manager of the Groupama-FDJ team who alerted on the subject. “It’s extremely complicated at this time to supply a team, if only on wheels, he explained during a press conference on the next preparation of these runners. Today, for a cyclocross course with our riders, we are not able to provide equipment to 40 riders.“
This team, in which we find the French riders Thibaut Pinot and David Gaudu, is not an isolated case. All the formations are affected by the shortage linked to the health crisis. There is no production circuit or parallel transport dedicated to professional cyclists. Cédric Vasseur, the manager of the Cofidis team, is still waiting for his new bikes. “Logically, they should arrive at the end of November, we have a meeting next week to see if the deadlines will be met.“, he explains.
“We have an internship planned for December, and from then on we need the 2022 bikes, so time is already running out. The health crisis has really put the cycle industry under pressure, we are left to the dropper. “Cédric Vasseur, manager of the Cofidis team
So to avoid running out of fuel, stocks are being pampered like never before. “All the wearing parts, we hang around a little more with them, we have to make it last over time, says Nicolas Daniel, mechanic of the northern team. The chains, which we normally keep 2,000 kilometers, and that’s already a lot, there we drag up to 2,500. It’s a bit like a car that has to go to the oil change, and that we delay. 1,000 or 2,000 kilometers. And then, we often dismantle used bikes from riders who have shortened their season, and we collect parts on those bikes. We undress Pierre to dress Paul. We try to juggle.“
The main challenge is then to keep efficient bikes. And this puzzle is not ready to be resolved, to listen to the managers. “We have even been asked before [les vélos] for 2023, explains Cédric Vasseur. Working a year in advance on frame height controls, when we do not necessarily know which riders will be in the team in 2023, I let you imagine the difficulties we have, that is to say say that everything must be planned.“
Under these conditions, the traditional sale of runners’ bikes, one of the highlights of the end of the season, has been abandoned this year. Most teams are giving it up in order to keep spare parts on hand for next season.
Professional cyclists face a shortage of equipment. The report by Fanny Lechevestrier