Yuanhui Dong has just completed his first week as a trainee mechanic at the WCC, where he is getting some tips from fellow Chinese Erju Zhang, one of the first mechanics to complete the UCI Mechanics Training Course last year.
Since completing the course in June 2013 Zhang has come closer to his dream of working for a UCI ProTeam. In October he joined the mechanical team for Orica GreenEdge during the Tour of Beijing stage race. He has also done some work for US-based Continental squad Five-hour Energy presented by Kenda and for UCI Professional Continental team Champion System Pro Cycling Team. While trying to obtain a permanent contract with a professional team, Zhang is back at the World Cycling Centre to perfect his skills.
“I have learned a lot at the World Cycling Centre. I really like working here and now it is my dream to work for a professional team,” says the accomplished mechanic who particularly appreciates the excitement of working from the following car at races.
Yuanhui Dong, 34, would like to follow the same path as his compatriot. Most of his experience so far has been gained working with cycling clubs. Like Zhang, he has also done some work with Shimano back in China, but he has never worked with a professional team or at a race: “But one day I would like to do it. I want to work at a high level. It is my dream and my life.”
For the moment, he is stationed in the workshop, learning the trade on the WCC trainees’ bicycles. He has already accompanied the track group to some competitions to observe the mechanics in action.
Next month, the WCC road trainees will be arriving in Aigle, and Dong and Zhang will travel with them to their races.
“They are both enthusiastic and ambitious,” remarks WCC Master Mechanic Alex Roussel. He confirms that his first pupil, Erju Zhang, is already an excellent mechanic who is gaining the necessary experience out in the field.
Dong’s turn to follow suit….
• Launched in 2013, the eight-week UCI Mechanic Training Course gives mechanics a chance to improve their skills by working at the heart of the World Cycling Centre’s mechanical team both at the centre’s workshop in Aigle and at races with the WCC trainees.
• Applications are open for the next courses from May 5 to June 27 and September 1 to October 25.
Photo: Yuanhui Dong (left) and Erju Zhang at the World Cycling Centre workshop