Backstage – former professional cyclist Steve Bovay provides teams, drivers, commissioners, organisers and last but not least the TdS live ticker with the latest news about the race.
When a large part of the tour team strolls leisurely towards the breakfast buffet in the morning during the tour of the country, Steve Bovay is already returning from his run. He does not want to neglect training during the Tour de Suisse and has to bring it in when he is not yet on duty. Steve Bovay trains for the Ironman Triathlon. One month after the Tour de Suisse he starts at the Ironman Switzerland in Zurich. At only 32 years of age, he now continues his career as a professional cyclist in triathlon and marathon races (BMC Racing Team 2008/09). Today Steve Bovay is an ambitious amateur sportsman and works full-time in sales at Produits Epagny, a traditional salami and dried meat company in French-speaking Switzerland. At the Ironman Switzerland in Zurich 2015 he finished 15th overall and qualified for Hawaii. In 2016, he even finished 10th in 9h04 at the Zurich Ironman and, as the winner of his “age group”, was also able to qualify for the legendary Ironman in Hawaii. However, he had to give up the start for professional reasons.
Exhaustion before concentration
But the morning training sessions on the fringes of the Tour de Suisse have an additional positive effect: “The exhausting before the stages is really good for me,” explains Steve Bovay. “Because from start to finish I’m highly concentrated and can hardly move in the car at all.” That’s a terrible thought for a motorist like Steve Bovay. However, the radio tour has its very special charm. “I feel like a cyclist in the middle of a bike race every time – it’s indescribable!”
Steve Bovay has been on the radio tour since 2011. Three motorcyclists from the French-speaking part of Switzerland belong to his area of responsibility, who collect information. Two of them have been with us for over ten years. In addition, an Ardoisier informs the racers by chalk board about the time intervals. And of course there is Steve’s driver, who keeps the car of the radio tour safely in the race. Stress is always present when a lot of information is thrown at Steve Bovay at once. And this is not seldom the case. Highest concentration is required. The impressive Swiss landscape often passes unnoticed by the Romand. “But when we go up the tremola, it’s always a special experience.” No wonder, because the cobblestone of the Gotthard south route is as bumpy as the barren alpine landscape is breathtaking.
Steve Bovay’s blackest day as head of the Radio Tour so far was on his first Tour de Suisse 2011, when the Colombian professional cyclist Maurizio Soler, then second overall, was involved in a serious accident. The shock was deep, especially since Soler is only one year older than Steve Bovay. Maurizio Soler suffered a craniocerebral trauma and as a result had to give up his cycling career.
Only verified information about Radiotour
The reporting of accidents is also part of everyday life on Radiotour. Steve Bovay informs about all incidents as quickly as possible, factually and factually, so that the affected teams are informed immediately. But – no matter if it is an escape attempt or an accident – only when he receives a definitely confirmed start number, he reports the number via Radiotour. As a former professional cyclist, he knows what information a team and a rider needs and what is unnecessary. He provides information about Radiotour in French and German as well as in English for the team bosses.
In order to be able to recognize and classify every rider and his team without hesitation, he follows the bike races intensively throughout the year. He likes Peter Sagan and his professionalism: “Sagan is a star – and that is exactly what cycling needs.