In his long career as a race mechanic – and now Rally Cycling’s Girona service course manager – Geoff Brown has been all over the world.
Brown worked several Tours de France with the biggest US teams of the ’90s and ’00s, and has worked at races on nearly every continent. Not only that, bike racing has even landed him a cameo role in a Hollywood film, the Lance Armstrong-inspired The Program, in which he can be seen leaning precariously out of a team car to mend a derailleur.
Cycling has taken Brown around the world, but until yesterday a bike race had never brought him so close to the place where he was born.
Brown was born in Morecambe, England, about four miles away from the team’s hotel before stage 6 of the Tour of Britain. His family moved away when he was just four years old, so he doesn’t have too many strong memories of the place – but he still has roots here.
“It was a cool experience being so close. It was nice because some family of mine that I hadn’t seen for ten years – were able to come and visit me, to say ‘hi’.”
Brown’s family moved to Canada when he was young, and it was there he discovered cycling – and began on the path that brought him to the point he is now. A man with a Canadian accent, living in Spain, and with a lifetime’s worth of cycling stories.
“My parents were excited I can tell you that. My dad was born in Morecambe too. And then my mom somewhere a bit further north.”
“I told my dad about the hotel. He said ‘That didn’t used to be there when I was a young lad.’ I said ‘Yeah, that was during the second world war!’”
Bike racing can take you to a lot of places. Even right back where it all began.
Tour of Britain stage 6 results
1 Wout Van Aert (Bel) Jumbo-Visma 4:35:56
2 Ethan Hayter (GBr) Ineos Grenadiers ”
3 Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Deceuninck-QuickStep ”
4 Gonzalo Serrano Rodriguez (Spa) Movistar Team ”
5 James Shaw (GBr) Ribble Weldtite Pro Cycling ”
6 Michael Woods (Can) Israel Start-up Nation ”
7 Daniel Martin (Irl) Israel Start-up Nation ”
8 Mikkel Honoré (Den) Deceuninck-QuickStep ”
9 Matteo Jorgenson (USA) Movistar Team 0:00:04
10 Carlos Rodriguez Cano (Spa) Ineos Grenadiers ”
14 Gavin Mannion (USA) Rally Cycling
GC standings after stage 6
1 Ethan Hayter (GBr) Ineos Grenadiers 22:53:32
2 Wout Van Aert (Bel) Jumbo-Visma 0:00:04
3 Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Deceuninck-QuickStep 0:00:21
4 Mikkel Honoré (Den) Deceuninck-QuickStep 0:00:35
5 Michael Woods (Can) Israel Start-up Nation 0:00:54
6 Rohan Dennis (Aus) Ineos Grenadiers 0:01:08
7 Daniel Martin (Irl) Israel Start-up Nation 0:01:10
8 Kristian Sbaragli (Ita) Alpecin-Fenix 0:01:37
9 Mark Donovan (GBr) Team DSM 0:01:58
10 Carlos Rodriguez Cano (Spa) Ineos Grenadiers 0:02:01
17 Gavin Mannion (USA) Rally Cycling 0:02:52
Stage 7 of the Tour of Britain kicks off on Saturday at 5:45 am EDT, with television pictures on GCN+ from 8 am EDT.
— Tom Owen to rallycycling.com