“I’m not a huge risk taker, I’m pretty risk-averse and don’t like obscenely crazy risks, but sitting around the table, talking with the boys about some part of the stage that was super risky, I do like that.”
Mike clocked a sub four-minute mile as a teenager, but injuries ultimately derailed his promising running career. He started racing on a borrowed bike, quickly climbed the amateur ranks and earned a spot in the WorldTour with EF Education First less than three years after he first pinned on a number. Mike took an emotional stage win at 2018 Vuelta a España and earned the bronze medal at the 2018 World Championships.
Q&A with Mike
What animal best describes you?
Snowy owl. I was going for a run one Christmas morning. There was tons of snow on the ground but the perfect amount, so it was cushioning my stride. It was this beautiful winter morning in Ottawa, and I I was running and of a sudden, from the corner of my eye, this big white object came flying by. And, I was like “Whoa, that’s a massive seagull.” Then all of a sudden it turned, and landed right in front of me on the bike path that I was running on. It wasn’t a seagull. it was a huge snowy owl. We locked eyes and there was this quiet moment, just me and this owl, we connected. Then it just flew off.
Travel must have?
My Bose portable speaker. I like to be able to listen to some good music.
Tons of 'em. Woodsy, Rusty, Rook. The rook comes from Alex Howes, Lawson Craddock and Nate Brown. They all called me 'The Rook' the first year I was with the team because I made every mistake under the sun and rode like a true rookie. The name stuck.
Skiing in the Rockies
Best day on the bike?
The World Championships this past season. Standing on the podium after Worlds, that’s been my favorite bike moment so far. I love sports and grew up watching tons of sports as a kid. Being Canadian, I was a huge fan of Canadian sports, and was inspired by guys like Donovan Bailey and these figures that won medals at global events. And watching them as the Canadian flag go up, I would feel this amazing sense of pride and ownership of the performance like I felt like we did this. When I was standing on the podium in Switzerland and watching the Canadian flag go up, I started thinking about, maybe there's a kid like me watching TV, watching that Canadian flag go up and thinking the same thing I used to think. And that was really special.