Loading ...
Loading ...
Loading ...

Winter series 3/4 – The soigneur

During the Tour Down Under, we spoke to Deceuninck–Quick-Step’s soigneur Rudy Pollet about the tasks of a soigneur, passion and special requests from riders. He also revealed what the riders have for breakfast and who makes the best coffee.

Tour de Suisse: So Rudy, you are currently working at the Tour Down Under in Australia. Could you give us an idea about what exactly a soigneur does, cos I’m sure it’s more than just handing out musettes on the road.
Rudy Pollet:We do a lot indeed; massages, filling bottles, cleaning cars,shopping, picking up riders at the airport, managing hotels, laundry, lunch packets for the staff, food for the riders.

TdS: So you guys are some kind of team Scouts: always prepared and always ready for whatever is needed?
RP:Yes, we have to be ready for every situation.

TdS: The word soigneur originally comes from massage; in modern cycling you have so many tasks to look after, how do you find the energy and strength for those sport massages in the evenings?
RP:Passion for the sport helps, and working with young people. (laughs)

TdS: You go from hotel to hotel in foreign countries; how do you make sure that the riders get a proper dinner and breakfast?
RP:I always contact the hotels before the race starts, via phone and email. Talking and discussing the rooms and food. For the big Tours, we have our own kitchen truck with a chef. 

TdS: Staying in the same hotels as teams at the TdS, I noticed that soigneurs tend to pimp up hotel breakfasts. What do you bring to the breakfast for the riders?
RP:We provide the riders with muesli, oats, honey, jam, avocado, blueberries, our own coffee machine, nuts, dried fruits and vitamin supplies. 

TdS: Where do you prepare all the food for the race?
RP:We have a truck with a department for the mechanics and a department for the soigneurs (the kitchen).

TdS: What can you always find to eat at the Deceuninck-Quickstep bus?
RP:The riders normally eat rice and tuna or a sandwich after the race. But first, the recovery drink!

TdS: How many bidons per rider do you fill up for each stage?
RP:Depends on the heat and the strength of the race.
Can be 5 but also 15. 

TdS: Who makes the best coffee in the Wolfpack?
RP:Bus driver Dirk Clarysse. He make it sometimes with Slimovich(laughs)

TdS: What was the strangest or most extraordinary food wish a cyclist has ever asked you?
RP:That was to make fresh popcorn. (laughs)

TdS: Is there something you always bring to the Tour de Suisse because it’s hard to find in Switzerland? And do you usually bring anything back home from Switzerland?
RP:You can find everything in Switzerland. But I try to buy everything in Belgium, we have a lot of storage space in the truck. If I have to go shopping, there are enough Lidl shops in Switzerland.

TdS: Thank you very much for your time and all the best for the 2019 season!


share this page

Happy New Year!

The TdS team would like to wish you all the best for 2019 – and we hope you’re also looking forward to an exciting Tour de Suisse in the summer!

Read more