Bernhard Eisel is one of the most experienced riders in the Team Sky squad and has ridden in 14 Grand Tours during his 12 seasons as a professional. The most memorable of those was helping Bradley Wiggins claim Team Sky’s first Tour de France victory in 2012, and Eisel also aided Mark Cavendish in his green jersey success 12 months before.
Although the Austrian has sacrificed his own chances of success countless times for others, he still boasts an enviable palmares which includes victories at Ghent-Wevelgem and Paris-Bourges among a long list of others. It is those one-day Classics where Eisel shines, although his leadership and tactical awareness make him an integral part of the squad at any point in the season.
Q & A
Who or what inspired you to start cycling?My brother - an ex pro and nine years older than me. He was always on the bike.
What was your first road bike?It was my dad's old bike which he painted orange and red.
Childhood heroes:Miguel Indurain and my brother. Without them I wouldn't be in this sport.
Funniest team-mate?We have a couple. Danny Pate and Kosta make me smile.
What do you love most about cycling?I always joke that I'm 32 and I've never worked in my life. I love this sport and everything that comes with it.
Career highlight:Riding onto the Champs-Elysees at last year's Tour de France with Bradley in yellow, Froomey second, and Cav winning the stage. It was incredible.
Favourite race:The Tour of Flanders, Paris-Roubaix and Tour de France. I always enjoy riding them.
What has cycling taught you?Everything since I was 11-12 years old. It's taught me learnt how to live and race together with my team mates.
Previous teams:2001-02 Mapei-Quick Step; 2003-06 Francaise des Jeux; 2007 T-Mobile; 2008-11 Columbia-HTC (Highroad).
Main interests away from cycling:I like reading and being quiet more as I get older, but I still like to party once in a while.
If you weren't a rider, what would you be?Thankfully I've never had to think about that. I'm absolutely happy with what I'm doing.
Favourite film:The Usual Suspects
Favourite band:I listen to everything but I'm not a musician so have no idea what's good or not.
Best friend in the peloton?Mark Cavendish
Favourite food:Italian food is my favourite, and I also enjoy a nice steak.
Most famous person you've met:Jonathan Edwards. He's still the triple jump world record holder I think.
Most embarrassing moment on a bike:There are not too many thankfully!
Best advice:The bike takes you wherever you want to go and as far as you want to ride. Freedom and adventures are behind every corner.
Select Radclassic - Gleisdorf GP - 1st
Tour du Limousin - 1st stage four
Volta ao Algarve - three stage wins; Tour de Suisse - 1st stage one
Tour of Qatar - 1st stage four; Volta ao Algarve - 1st stage two; Driedaagse de Panne - 1st stage two and second overall; Paris-Roubaix - 5th
Volta ao Algarve - 1st stage two; Commerce Bank Lancaster Classic - 1st; Commerce Bank Reading Classic - 1st
Paris-Bourges - 1st; Volta ao Algarve - 1st stage five
Tour de Suisse - 1st stage two; Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne - 2nd
Gent-Wevelgem - 1st
E3 Prijs Vlaanderen - 3rd overall