Published on 28th February 2015 | By Chris Walker

Collecting all your new kit for the coming season is always one of the most exciting days of the year. I’d previously arranged to meet the team mechanic at 10am at the team Service Course; to my word I’m there dead on time. I’m a bit obsessive when it comes to cycling equipment as it can make a massive difference to how you perform. As I arrive he had just finished building my team training bike a beautiful Ridley Helium. He took it off the stand and lent it up against the wall. He then took me into the clothing room where he issued me with all my Vermac Lotto kit, Lazer helmet and Jako casual wear. As I take it all to the car he went and fetched my bike and helps me load up. As soon as I get home I try it on for size; it all fits comfy and snug. I pack it all away into my organized system and then go to the garage to work on the final set up of my bike. I start by getting my cleats set up, I’ve not ridden Keo for a couple of years but they were always easy to work on and super reliable. I molded my shoes back in England; shoes are a very personal thing that you spend many hours in them and for me Bont’s are the only choice to make. I slip into some cycling kit and get out my rollers. I get riding and within seconds I decide my bars need rotating to bring the hoods closer to me and allow my hands to sit with more comfort. After a bit of playing around I find the optimal position. I finish the bike off by rapping the handlebars in tape. All I need now is to take it out on the roads of Belgium to christen it.

James Shaw

Lotto Soudal