6. Driving and navigation
Driving is a massive part of the job. If you don’t like driving. Don’t be a carer! As carers it’s our job to know where everything is, whether it’s a petrol station or a supermarket – definitely the airport.
Finding your way around a bike race can be stressful, especially when you are starting out.
It depends on the race. If you’re in a Grand Tour everything is well planned. You have the meetings before, you know where to go – it’s no problem, and having programmes like Veloviewer helps a lot with planning and information on the stages.
By far the most stressful is the Classics. You’re sometimes in three or four places in a day. There are so many fans that they often block off the parking places, and you’re always up against it to be at the different points.
7. Finish line
The finish can be a stressful and crazy place. Everything happens quickly but you need to stay focused.
Especially on this team you need to be thinking about the GC riders in those key moments. If somebody needs to go to the podium, whether it’s for a jersey or a win, we always need to take the Wahoo KICKR with us.
Drinks are key obviously, plus we need to bring enough recovery food with us, prepared by our chefs. We also have the bag with us to change clothes. You have to help the guys with everything as fast as possible. Everybody wants something from you. You have to go to the doping control, you have to go to the press office. It can be stressful.
After the stage the riders have the same food, whether it’s on the podium or back at the bus. Every day it’s something different – maybe chicken, beef – plus some carbs. It’s always nice food, designed to help the muscles recover as fast as possible and protect the guys.
Final thoughts and advice if anyone wants to become a carer
As you can imagine it’s not a 9 to 5 job and you spend a lot of time away from home. You have to be really flexible and motivated. It’s an unbelievable job – seeing all these amazing countries, epic atmospheres at the races – all the while working with elite sportspeople and everyone around you is the best at what they do.
To be a good carer also takes time and experience. Many people come from within the sport, but I was never a professional rider. I was a trained physio, working in hospitals to start with, but there are many sports massage courses out there. I worked for third category domestic cycling teams and then for me I was always fighting upwards, trying to improve every year. You have to show that you want to work and helping out at the lower levels of the sport is a great place to start. Like a lot of things in life it can be about making connections and being in the right place at the right time.