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Local man turns 'mercenary' mechanic for 2012 Exergy Tour

Kurt Messersmith from Boise is a professional cyclists-turned tune-tech for hire.

by Brian Holmes

Bio | Email | Follow: @KTVB


Posted on May 24, 2012 at 4:57 PM

Updated Thursday, May 24 at 5:04 PM

BOISE -- It costs a lot of money to travel the world on a carbon fiber racing bike, and it also takes a team of talent to make it happen.

That's why in the UCI and USA Cycling Tours, most international teams transport a whole cast of characters from managers, to massage therapists, to mechanics to help them win events.

However, the expert staff members from these large teams sometimes can't make each trip due to financial constraints. In that case, some folks might ask how the team riders cope, without say -- an experienced bike mechanic.

Today KTVB found and spoke with an international team who faced that very predicament this week. The racers of Team Faren Honda found help right here in Boise through local cyclists and bike mechanic Kurt Messersmith.

Messersmith -- who used to race professionally -- was recruited by Team Faren Honda to crank wrenches, adjust derailleurs, and air-up tires.

He calls himself a "mercenary" mechanic.

Messersmith found out about his newest job just 10 days ago. On Thursday morning, he found himself making adjustments for the reigning world and Olympic road race champion Nicole Cooke from Great Britain.

It's a task that might seem intimidating for some -- not Brian.

"No, I don't think intimidating, but i want to have it right, which is why we spend a lot of time on a half-millimeter of saddle height," Messersmith said while deeply focused on his task.

Messersmith is precise in his every movement for an important reason. He says a lack of precision could lead to a poor performance or even injury, which
is why he pays attention to the smallest of specifics.

Another challenge: Messersmith says he also communicates and listens in a lot of translated Italian, French, and English due to the multi-ethnic makeup of his team. "Hopefully when it gets to me it's the right message," he jokes.

Yet, for this veteran racer turned precision mechanic, the 2012 Exergy Tour will be full of early mornings and late nights as Messersmith gets to showcase his ability and his home state.

What's next for the After he finishes his duties with Team Faren Honda? Kurt says he will go back to his day job at a local bike shop and wait for another call to be another team's mechanic.