Tour de France Interview Series: team Bus Driver
Matthieu Rompion will drive 5,500km in this year’s Tour de France. That’s no problem, in the past, the 30 year-old French man has driven about 8,000km! Find out what it’s like to be one of the two bus drivers for the BMC Racing Team in this first short article in our Tour de France 2015 interview series...
- Name: Matthieu Rompion
- Tour No. 5
- Years with the BMC Racing Team: 2
- Nationality: French
Mathieu, it must be seriously stressful sometimes to get riders to the start of a race on time. Have you ever been late or missed the start?
Yeah, once! I think it was in 2012. There was just one motorway exit, in one direction, and we had come from the other side and we missed it. We had to do a huge extra loop. I wasn’t afraid of missing the start though, because it also happened to plenty of other teams. We all arrived quite late that day so the organizers delayed the start and the riders were still quite relaxed.
How much ground will you cover during this year’s edition of le Tour de France?
I have to travel about twice as far as the riders because I have to go to the hotel and backThis year, I think I'll have to drive around 5,000km. I have to travel about twice as far as the riders because I have to go to the hotel and back, and then be at the finish line and drive to the next hotel - but this year it isn’t as bad as other years. Normally I cover between 7,000 and 8,000km.
What are some of the other jobs you do other than driving?
I am also responsible for preparing the food for the race. Filling water bottles and preparing paninis. If the riders are missing I love this job – it’s so great to be involved in the professional cycling scenesome clothes or need some sun cream, they also come to me. After the race I do the same again, prepare the food and recovery drinks, do the laundry, and clean the bus from the inside and outside. I love this job – it’s so great to be still like this involved in the professional cycling scene.
You have to respect EU & country laws for driving long distances for transfers. How do you manage on a long transfer of over 6 hours?
I have to stop every 4,5h for 45 minutes, but 99% of the time I don’t have to drive more than this anyway except for when I have to go to the service course in Belgium, but then I have time for a lunch break and to fill up the tank. I think it is important to have this law.