With responsibility for the racing machines of seven-time Grand Tour winner Alberto Contador and current world champion Peter Sagan among others, Tinkoff chief mechanic Christophe Desimpelaere has a tough job on his hands.
Fortunately, he seems to love it. Apparently, bike mechanics are a sentimental lot, with certain tools staying in the toolbox for decades, even beyond their use.
For Christophe, his spokes wrench is his favourite tool and he’s had the same one for the last 18 years!
But, he tells us, that’s not unusual for bike mechanics, many of whom have a lucky tool they’ve used since their childhood, when fixing bikes was still just a hobby.
Christophe also reveals that the fussiest rider he’s ever had to deal with is the infamous Michael Rasmussen, describing the Dane as a “pain in the ass”. In fairness, that’s by no means the worst thing that’s been said about the man…
Rasmussen apparently obsessively weighed each component before it was put on the bike and even asked for frame from the manufacturer to come without extra holes for a bottle cage for that extra advantage.
Christophe is adamant that, custom paint jobs asides (luckily for Sagan!), a team leader’s bike should be the same as his teammates’, especially given they contribute so much to a leader’s success.