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A Rare Look Inside Rally Cycling's Team Car

By Staff | May 2, 2016 | Rally Health

Incredible. Memorable. Unbelievable.

Sure, it was a great weekend to see some cycling when the U.S. Pro National Team Trial Championships and the Professional Criterium National Championships came to Greenville, South Carolina, recently. The weather was fine, the crowds were friendly, and the races were super exciting. Brad Huff of Rally Cycling pulled off a thrilling last-minute sprint to become the 2016 Criterium National Champion. Rally® Cycling also swept the U.S. Pro National Team Time Trial Championships, with the women’s team taking first place by a mere four seconds. Wow!

But we’re pretty confident that the two guys who got a rare opportunity to ride along in Rally Cycling’s official follow cars had the best time of all. Normally, only team staffers like the directeur sportif and bike mechanic are allowed in the follow car, where they communicate strategy and tactics, update riders on times, or hand out food and water.

But thanks to our partnership with Rally Cycling, we were able to offer our client Blue Cross Blue Shield of South Carolina a couple of seats. Greg Hamlin and Nick Luther were the lucky two who got a rare inside glimpse of pro racing at its best.

“It was an unbelievable experience,” said Greg, “from meeting the women's and men's teams and getting to know the directors and support team to watching the entire event unfold.”

As for Nick? “I really enjoyed the whole experience, from the moment we got in the car until the team crossed the line,” he said.

View from Follow Car

The view from the follow car

 

Nick works in R&D at the fabric company Glen Raven, and is a Cat 2 cyclist with the GHS | GCM racing team. He’s preparing for an upcoming Elite Time Trial race, so riding along on the men’s time trial was a real treat.

“I have never been in a follow car, but have always seen them while watching pro races such as the Giro D'Italia or the Tour,” he said. “Listening to the management discuss strategy between themselves and with the riders was amazing.”

Greg is also an avid cyclist who belongs to a riding club, so he’s on a bike two to three times a week, either on the road or training indoors. It was his first time in a ride-along car as well, with directeur sportif Zach Bell at the wheel. This ride was a particularly memorable experience, because he was there when everyone in the car realized that Rally’s women’s team had just won the time trials.

Greg Hamlin Ride Along

Greg Hamlin and the Rally follow car

 

“When we heard the announcer give the time to beat as UHC at 44:08, and Rally finished at 44:04…to know I had just witnessed national news and was the one of the very first few to know was incredible,” he said. “They made me feel like part of the team by letting me know what was happening and what to look for with the women as they rode.” 

You didn’t have to be a serious cyclist to enjoy the other Rally Cycling festivities, either. Earlier in the week, a group of volunteers from Blue Cross Blue Shield's Columbia and Greenville offices came together to build a bunch of Diamondback bikes for the local Boys and Girls Club. Together, they built 24 bikes in just two hours.

Now that’s fast.

Staff
Rally Health