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When reality hits

A look behind the scenes of our Factory Racing Team. By Irmo Keizer.

World Cup photographer and writer Irmo Keizer is traveling with the GHOST Factory Racing Team and getting a close look behind the scenes like almost no one else. Over the race season he will share his insights with us and provides you with stories offside ordinary racing results. Take a look and enjoy.

The individual team

 

Shopping time. Oranges, cheese, pasta, nuts, bread, olive oil and a whole lot more fills up the shopping cart in no time. The sheer quantities of food surprises even the cash-clerk as she scans numerous items. Fifteen minutes later, lunch is prepared at the team’s temporary headquarters in Cyprus. 

As riders get back from their training, hunger kicks in. Helping hands make light work as riders and crew team up to transform ingredients into a tasty meal. The woodfire is lit, to beat the still-lingering winter in Cyprus. Laughter erupts as fun is poked among the crew. There’s someone working in every corner. Be it the physio, the teammanager or the mechanic. A relaxed atmosphere makes it enjoyable but make no mistake, these guys are at it. 

There’s a lot to be done before each season. This is where the team behind the riders truly stands out. Although mountain biking is an individual sport, the team can make a world of difference. Supporting the riders in all areas, providing them with the very best in materials and forging that team which makes life on the road far more enjoyable. There will be tough moments and this is where that teamspirit will make a world of difference. 

The first one - Albstadt

 

Fast forward to Albstadt, Germany. The inaugural World Cup of the season. Everyone is fired up and ready. Anxious at the same time. Will all that hard work pay off? The girls are in shape, no one is ill. The pits is buzzing. Everyone is aiming to perform here. Poised to test if they can live up to their own expectations.

In the team pits everyone is hard at work. Sponsors mingle with the team as they make their practice loops on the course. A glimpse into the world of the team they sponsor, plus for some the ability to talk about experiences with the products they provide. A team effort in more than one way.

When the light turns green

 

Lots of laughter and fun, mingled with some tears every now and then. Tears of joy, tears of fear or of disappointment. Racing will send anyone through a host of emotions and the first World Cup in Albstadt would prove to be no different. Albstadt’s underground remains challenging for both material and riders and this year would not be any different.

Mixed emotions. Lisa and Marika battled the elements and the resulting mechanical problems that followed. Both were primed to perform here but saw their chances fade as bad luck threw them back in the field. It’s part of the game, but tough to swallow. Their result, 16th for Marika and 18th for Lisa, is not what they desired. There was no giving up though, showcasing their mental strength as they kept fighting till the finish line.

Anne and Sina started moments later, as tears faded into fire. Anne’s stellar performance in a tremendously tough race saw her racing in the very top of the women’s elite field. Sina, riding her first World Cup in the elite, struggled a bit to her own liking, but still found herself within striking distance of the top 10. The day’s disappointment suddenly changed towards joy and happiness. 5th for Anne and 11th for Sina. Plus, team of the day for GHOST Factory Racing.  

 

Today would show why we are a true team.
Being there for each other at all times.
Sharing grieve and joy.
Building towards our goals together.


See you in Nove Mesto.

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