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Wednesday, April 15, 2020
Butterfield Talks Slipstream 2007 with Cyclingnews

Stephen Farrand an Italian-based journalist working for Cyclingnews.com tracked down the original members of the Team Slipstream 2007 squad that's now known as EF Pro Cycling, the 2007 team featured Tyler Butterfield.

Butterfield only had one season on the team and, by his own admission, he was "never going to make it as a pro bike racer", but the rider from Bermuda was nothing if not determined to make the most of his talents. His path to Slipstream is worthy of its own story, but to summarise: Butterfield was a triathlete working in a bike shop in Bermuda when Philippe Mauduit – now a sports director at Groupama-FDJ – walked in.

After getting to know each other, Mauduit managed find a spot for Butterfield on the amateur French team Vendée U for 2005 and, within a few weeks it was full steam ahead. Butterfield returned in 2006 and impressed in a number of races that Slipstream head Jonathan Vaughters had raced during his amateur days but, through another stroke of luck, the American team boss would fish in Bermuda and, via a mutual friend, Butterfield wrote to Vaughters and was given a one-way ticket to Girona, Spain, for the 2007 season.

"My numbers were never going to make it," Butterfield told us.

To compound matters, Butterfield's season in Europe was plagued by bad luck. He had Giardia – a bowel infection – and got hit by a car in Switzerland, and unsurprisingly wasn't re-signed in 2008.

"I can handle that, though. I couldn't survive in the pack anyway. My numbers weren't high enough, whereas in amateur racing, you can get by through racing with your head."

After his one-year deal expired, Butterfield returned to triathlon and competed in two Olympics, and a Commonwealth Games. He has raced Ironman, and is still competing at the age of 37. He resides in Colorado with his wife, Niki, a fellow triathlete, and their four young children. He almost stopped triathlon at the end of 2019, but is giving it one last effort this year.

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