The toll the Tour takes on riders’ bodies is well documented, so too the tedium of long bus transfers. On some teams, there’s the additional psychological stress of living in close quarters with colleagues you might not get along with – but not on EF Education First.
On a team full of characters, the atmosphere is always good but in the absence of Taylor Phinney, the team’s usual C.V.O (Chief Vibrations Officer), the responsibility for maintaining the mood falls on Mike’s shoulders.
It is a duty the Canadian takes very seriously. It will require a deep knowledge of his teammates mood swings and music tastes, their unfortunate tendencies and hidden talents. We asked him a few questions about his teammates to find out how he plans to delegate responsibilities on the Tour team bus.
Who is the MC on the team bus?
I’m hatching a plan to have each rider put together a playlist so we can keep it fresh. Some guys on the team have great taste in music, others... not so much. Bettiol was in charge of the tunes the other day, and the mix was packed with throwbacks; Space Jam, Fresh Prince, “What Is Love” by Haddaway – the bus was bumping!
I hate to judge, as I haven’t really seen him dance, but something tells me Hugh Carthy isn’t the strongest dancer.
Best dressed on the team?
I would say Phinney. The man dresses well, but also has his own unique sense of style. He isn’t a follower. Other guys dress well on the team, but he wears what’s best for him.
Most likely to miss the stage start?
Rigo. Not because he is disorganised but because he is often too busy shaking hands and kissing babies.
Most disruptive roommate?
Joe Dombrowski is a solid roommate. I love rooming with him, but sometimes you feel like a 10-year-old on a sleepover. You stay up to the wee hours of the night just chatting. Not the best for recovery, but great for entertainment.
Instafamous? Who has the biggest following and loves a gram?
Rigo! Rigo! Rigo!
Longest in the shower?
Hmmm, not sure. Maybe that means it’s me.
Most dedicated in training on a rest day?
Simon Clarke, hands down. He is the consummate professional.
Qui parle le meilleur français?
Merci Michel, vous êtes un gentilhomme!