Bram Tankink's first name is short for Abraham, who is a key figure in Christianity, Judaism and Islam. Bram's professional career began with a team
that was famously sponsored by a company that sold frozen French fries ("frites" or "chips", if you will) in supermarkets. During the 2008 Tour de France, Bram was asked what he would say to Riccardo Ricco after the Italian rider tested positive for CERA. He answered, "Well, I would punch him in his mouth. I actually hit him during the descent yesterday, so I'm happy about that, because he's just an asshole. "
Maxime Daniel is from Rennes, the capital of of Brittany in France. Riders from that part of the country are known for being tough, particularly due to the harsh weather they experience during training. Having said that, Maxime has still experienced tough days on the bike. His account of one day at this year's Tour Down Under seems to imply that he bonked, or blew up (in cycling terms)—though automatic online translators of his French insist on saying that he "ended up farting in the last lap of the final circuit."
Laurent Didier is a guy who some cycling fans in Belgium dislike, through no fault of his own. This is because Radioshack picked him over Stijn Devolder to go to the 2013 Tour de France. More importantly, he's the guy not named "Schleck" who you may see wearing a Luxembourg national champion jersey from time to time.
Kévin Reza was introduced to cycling (not simply riding a bike) when he was four years old. His parents are from the Guadeloupe—a French group of islands in the Caribbean—though he was born in Versailles, a city best known for a palace that has a large number of mirrors which tourists pretend to be impressed by when visiting.
Jérome Cousin has a powerful unibrow. We know you can't tell by looking at this picture, but trust us. Yes, he turned professional when he was only 20, and almost won Étoile de Bessèges last year... but all you need to know is that his unibrow borders on majestic.
Alberto Bettiol was born and raised in Poggibonsi, an Italian town with the distinct honor of having a song
written about it by none other than singer and actress Milva.
Neil van der Ploeg spent part of the off-season sleeping in an altitude tent, but did not allow his girlfriend to sleep in it with him. The reason? She's a bit of an "oxygen hog."
Travis Meyer is Cameron Meyer's brother. In 2011, he had surgery on his external iliac artery. Why? Because cyclists bend over while they ride, which can put a kink in arteries in the nether regions, causing bad things to happen. So think about Travis next time you want to "slam that stem".
Pavel Kochetkov is a rookie this season. His first name can also be used as a last name, and is three times more popular in Russia than in Belarus. His favorite book is John Steinbeck's Grapes of Wrath.
William Bonnett won a stage at Paris-Nice in 2010, and has been a professional since 2006. And yet, as you read this, all you're probably wondering is if maybe, just maybe, he's related to the actress who played the oldest daughter in the Cosby Show. He's not. She spells her name with one "n" and one "t".