#FairlyGroupFriday Fan Q&A: Giro/Cali mash-up

    #FairlyGroupFriday returns. The second part of the four-part Fan Q&A series features riders from both our Giro d’Italia and Amgen Tour of California squads. We love the creativity and curiosity behind the questions for round two.

    Let’s do this…

    What’s your favorite coffee shop?

    Alex Howes: Sitting on a log in the middle of the wilderness with my lady on a fresh fall morning. Coffee tastes best outside.
    Mike Woods: Equator Coffee; my go to in Ottawa
    Joe Dombrowski: I do a pretty excellent coffee at my house.
    Tom-Jelte Slagter: My favorite coffee stop is at my grandmother’s house. She lives 70km from my house, so I always have a nice long ride that day.
    Nate Brown: Juan Pelota in Austin, TX. It’s the best coffee in town, and it’s attached to Mellow Johnny’s, the best bike shop in town.
    Lawson Craddock: Juan Pelota in Austin. The staff is incredible and the coffee can’t be beat.
    Toms Skujins: Rocket Bean Coffee in Riga, Latvia. How could it not be? Great coffee in my home country, and whenever I go, it’s a rest day.

    What’s your nickname?

    Howes: Howesy, Knifebat, the Beautiful Human Orchid
    Woods: Woodsy, Woody, Mikey, Rook
    Dombrowski: Jo Dob, Dombro, Le Mamba Blanc
    Slagter: Greipel introduced the nickname “pocket rocket” after my win in Tour Down Under and at Rabobank they called me The Butcher.
    Brown: Downtown Nate Brown
    Craddock: Lawdog
    Skujins: Tomashunns, Skujy and Tominš (try to pronounce that last one)

    What’s the best thing you’ve ever had in your musette?

    Howes: A magnum (ice cream) bar. They must have chucked it in last second.
    Woods: Snickers
    Dombrowski: Snickers
    Slagter: Snickers
    Brown: Snickers. It’s a game changer
    Craddock: Anything candy-related
    Skujins: Easy. A potato.

    Who do you like rooming with at a race?

    Howes: Mike Woods. He’s a really nice Canadian like most Canadians.
    Woods: Howes. He’s the man.
    Dombrowski: Pierre Rolland – parce que je peux pratiquer mon français. Mike Woods and Alex Howes are good conversationalists, so they’re good options, too.
    Slagter: Woods. He’s an awesome guy with a great sense of humor.
    Brown: Lawson Craddock. I’ve known him for so long, so we can talk about all sorts of things other than cycling.
    Craddock: Nate Brown because he doesn’t smell bad.
    Skujins: Whoever gets to sleep closest to the food room.

    What’s something in your Giro/Amgen Tour of California suitcase that you’re pretty certain no one else on the team packed?

    Howes: A leatherman multi-tool. A water heater. Tea.
    Woods: Nothing. The less crap I have in my suitcase, the better.
    Dombrowski: Aeropress, hand grinder and beans for coffee
    Slagter: Motorsports readers
    Brown: Five pairs of New Balance shoes. Nearly one for every stage of Cali.
    Skujins: “Lopu ekspresis” by Toms Kreicbers; it’s a book in Latvian. I don’t think anyone else is secretly reading this.

    Who is the first to the bus in the morning? The last?

    Howes: Koko [Koren] and Joe are usually the first to breakfast. I’m one of the last. There are no standouts for first or last to the bus.
    Woods: Formolo is always the first to the bus. Everyone else alternates for the last spot.
    Dombrowski: I think I’m often first. Howes does the last minute wake up, breakfast, bus.
    Slagter: Koko is first. Last is sometimes me. Maybe Pierre [Rolland].

    What makes for a good race hotel?

    Howes: Enough space to put two bags. A shower that doesn’t get water all over the bathroom. Screens on the windows. Quiet. Space between the beds. And…chocolate on the pillow.
    Woods: A good race hotel needs: shutters or good blinds, not to be hot, not to smell, to have decent wi-fi and to be quiet. Basically any three-star hotel or above in North America will cover these essentials; however, they are a rarity in Europe. I have yet to find a hotel in that Giro that ticks all these boxes. It also needs to have a solid sleeping environment for me to be happy there, which has been hard to find during this Giro.
    Dombrowski: Good wi-fi. Good bed. Space to open both your suitcase and your roommate’s suitcase at the same time. Good food if we’re missing [team chefs] Sean and Olga.
    Slagter: I need a good bed and a cool room without any noise. Then surely I will sleep well.
    Brown: A huge bed and a bathrobe.
    Craddock: Big rooms, multiple wall outlets, comfy beds
    Skujins: Good food and a firm mattress, so I can refuel and get a good night’s sleep.

    What’s the last book you read?

    Howes: Homage to Catalonia
    Woods: Midnight Express on team soignieur Garry Beckett’s recommendation. It was great.
    Dombrowski: What the Dog Saw by Malcolm Gladwell
    Slagter: A book about the Mafia. I’m still reading it.
    Brown: David Millar’s Racing Through the Dark
    Craddock: I am Pilgram
    Skujins: Pro Cycling on $10 a Day by my former teammate Phil Gaimon

    Read #FairlyGroupFriday round one here.