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I’ve still got truckloads of things to talk about from my experience with the Rapha team during the Sun Tour. John Herety, the Directeur Sportif, was a one-in-a-million character. Every time John opened his mouth I either learned something profound about cycling or was laughing my ass off.
When I was first getting to know the Rapha team I was asking John about each of them and what their general traits were. He told me that it’s easy: You can break bike racers down into four types of dogs.
1. German Shepherd (Alsatian): You feed them and train them and they’ll be superb. They’ll do any job you ask them to perform. They’re willing to learn and an eagerness to have a purpose. Example: Gerro
2. Rottweiler: Not too far off a German Shepherd but will sometimes do something totally random and unexpected. A ticking time-bomb that could potentially go buzzirk at any moment. As long as you know that your bike racer is a Rottie and that he might attack at the most unexpected of times, you’re okay. Example: Jens Voigt
3. Labrador: This type of bike racer always needs to be loved. You always have to tell it “you’re good”, “great job”, etc. They need constant attention and reassurance to keep their confidence up. Aside from that they’re a great type of cyclist to have on your team. Example: Cadel Evans
4. Poodle: As soon as you figure out you have a Poodle, get rid of it! He seemed like a good idea at the time, but it won’t do anything you say, runs entirely on instinct, always getting into mischief, and is basically good for nothing! Example: Vino
There you have it. If you’re on a bike racing team take a good look at all your team members as see where he fits in!
Enjoy your Melbourne Cup day.