Welcome to the first edition of #AskArgyle on #FanFriday. The Grand Tour Q&A series might boast a new name, but the concept remains the same. We put out a call for questions on the #PinkArgyle social media channels. You ask us anything you want to know. We pick our favorites submissions and pose your questions to our Grand Tour squads – in this case the Giro d’Italia eight.
This week EF Education First – Drapac p/b Cannondale had plenty to say about food and manners. Read on…
1. What has surprised you most about Israel?
Sacha Modolo: There are more climbs than I expected. I thought it was more flat here, and it has not been flat. For me, that’s a surprise.
Hugh Carthy: The people here have been quite welcoming. I haven’t gotten to see much of Israel because we’re holed up in the hotel, but everyone here has been very friendly.
Mike Woods: The culture. It’s different here, and for some reason, with the world being so globalized, I expected it to be a lot more like America or Europe, but it isn’t and I like that.
Joe Dombrowski: The hummus.
Nate Brown: The hummus. The hummus is top shelf.
Tom Van Asbroeck: The food. It’s pretty good here. I wasn’t really expecting that.
Tom Scully: For the most part, it feels like we could be anywhere else. [Gestures outside to the beach view.] We could be in California, Australia, anywhere. I didn’t know what to expect, but I guess I didn’t feel like it would seem like being at any other bike race.
2. What’s your best advice for bottle seekers?
Modolo: Don’t do what they do in Italy. No “Borraccia! Borraccia! Borraccia!” Just ask politely. Say please.
Carthy: Don’t ask for it. I give mine to the quiet kid in the corner.
Woods: Be polite and be five.
Dombrowski: I kind of like to drop a bottle among the scrum and then observe what happens.
Brown: Don’t be too aggressive. If you want the bottle, I’m more than willing to give you the bottle. Ask nicely and do not try to take it out of my bottle cage.
Van Asbroeck: Wait patiently until I’ve drunk it.
Docker: Just ask nicely. Don’t demand it.
Scully: “Hey mate, give us your bottle.” [Laughs.] Generally if it there’s a nice young kind standing there and he’s asking pleasantly or politely, I’m going to give him one, if I have an empty one to give.
3. What’s something in your suitcase that you’re fairly confident none of your teammates have packed?
Modolo: I don’t know if I have anything special. I have no superstitions, nothing to remind me of home, not much to pass the time. I have a book from my girlfriend. Maybe that’s something?
Carthy: There’s a tee-shirt my sister gave me from a football team in Bulgaria. I don’t know the team, no idea, but I took it with me here.
Woods: Sriracha sauce
Dombrowski: This is new and inspired by Simon Clarke, who is the only other rider I’ve ever seen bring this. I brought a loofah, you know the scrubby things for the shower. I brought a loofah in a Ziploc bag. We always shower on the bus after the stage, and I never really felt like I was that clean, but I brought a loofah and I’m loving showering now.
Brown: A humidifier. It’s a little guy.
Van Asbroeck: A custom toiletry bag that my wife and daughter decorated. It says “We love you.” Nobody has that.
Docker: I have my own coffee mug. I bought it here the other day. I went for a little walk the other day and found a café. Next door was a thrift shop, and it was more antiquely. I picked up the mug that looked like just a mug and then she told me all about the brand, Lapid, from the 60s. I’m a little nervous how I’m going to get it through the whole Giro without breaking.
Scully: Vegemite. Mom travelled with it all around Europe to give it me in Girona, and I brought it here half-full. I’ll break it out only on rest days – a little bit of toast, a little bit of vegemite, avocado, some salt and pepper.
4. What’s the best food you’ve eaten in Israel?
Carthy: The salads, in general, have been pretty good.
Dombrowski: The hummus
Woods: The chilli sauce! Haven’t had to bust out the sriracha sauce yet.
Brown: The hummus
Van Asbroeck: The salads are amazing
Docker: The shakshuka at breakfast and the herb salads and the pita and the hummus. It’s all been pretty nice.
Scully: The hotel food has been amazing all-around. The variety and freshness of the salads has been really good.
5. What do you on the way to/from races?
Carthy: On the morning before the stage, on the drive, I usually have a look at the road book. Post-stage, I usually listen to music, read on the Kindle or watch something quite light on my iPad.
Woods: I ask Joe his opinion on something, and just sit back and watch the convo unfold.
Dombrowski: Chat with teammates, listen to podcast. I listen to some that are news based, some in French, a little bit of everything.
Brown: Depends on how long the drive is – mostly listen to music or chat with the boys.
Van Asbroeck: Most of the time, we talk with the guys in the car. Immediately we talk about how the race went but after that, there’s side-talking about nothing special, just normal people talk.
Docker: I read. I listen to podcasts sometimes. I talk with the boys. I’m reading a book by Jocko Willnik, who is an ex-Navy SEAL, which is pretty cool, and I do listen to his podcast quite a bit. I also listen to the Slow Ride podcast to keep up to date about what’s happening in cycling.
Scully: After the race today, I dug into the post-race meal. [Director of Nutrition] Nigel [Mitchell] organized some really good food for us – another awesome salad, some rice and chicken, some Greek yoghurt. We usually shoot the shit. Dombrowski was spinning stories for us from the front seat and that got us through the 90-minute ride today.