Bernie Eisel: Where is the Ex-Professional Cyclist Now?

As a documentary film living up to its title in nearly every way imaginable, Netflix’s ‘Mark Cavendish: Never Enough’ can only be described as equal parts beautiful, fierce, inspiring, and powerful. That’s because it incorporates not just archival footage but also exclusive interviews to really shine a light upon the rise, fall, and comeback of the titular British professional road racing cyclist. Amongst those to feature here to help move the narrative along was actually Mark Cavendish’s friend/ex-pro cyclist Bernie Eisel — so now, if you wish to learn more about him, here’s what we know.

Who is Bernie Eisel?

Born on February 17, 1981, it was reportedly back when Bernie Eisel was a mere child growing up in Austria that he developed a passion for cycling, only for it to continue expanding as the years passed. The truth is he was just 11-years-old the day he won his first competitive race, driving him to not waste a second in pursuing his dreams by relocating to Italy to be a part of the Rinascita Ormelle team at 17. However, the youngster didn’t turn professional until the age of 20, that is, until he’d already experienced races under another squad, Gli Amici Piave, before joining Mapei–Quick-Step in 2001 itself.

Though it was Bernie’s move to the T-Mobile Team in 2007 that really helped him establish himself on an international level as not just an individual rider but also teammate Mark Cavendish’s right-hand man. We say this because if it wasn’t for him protecting the sprinter throughout the course at every event to ensure his lead, the latter likely wouldn’t even be close to where he stands today as a renowned athlete. As for his own runs/achievements during these initial years, the road racer won two events before recording his best placing in a monument by finishing seventh at Paris–Roubaix in 2011.

That’s actually the same year Bernie was appointed a member of the inaugural UCI Athletes’ Commission, just to then join his now-close friend Mark Cavendish in switching to the British professional Team Sky. It was there he remained until the end of 2015 despite the fact his lead sprinter had decided to leave following three years to join Omega Pharma-Quick Step, enabling him to shine a little brighter. Yet the duo reunited in the fall of 2015 itself as they both signed for MTN–Qhubeka (later renamed Team Dimension Data), where the former stayed until announcing his retirement in 2020.

Bernie Eisel is Now the Directeur Sportif of a Team

Even though Bernhard (or Bernie) retired from professional cycling in January 2020 — mere months after Mark left to join Bahrain–McLaren — he actually remains active in the industry to this day. In fact, he initially served as a presenter, reporter, and commentator for Eurosport plus Global Cycling Network (GCN) prior to being appointed directeur sportif by team Bora–Hansgrohe for the 2022 season. In other words, he simply switched roles in the world of road bicycle racing, and he admittedly loves every bit of it — that’s why he ostensibly plans to expand his wings here even further.

“I loved my job of being on the other side of the fence [as a broadcaster] — interviewing the riders, seeing the race from a different angle,” Bernie candidly told former employer Eurosport in 2022. “But at the same time, I started missing being in one group and just having the joy of winning [so I decided to take up the post of directeur sportif once it was openly offered by Bora–Hansgrohe].” Coming to what he hoped to achieve as a directeur sportif, he added, “I hope I can manage to be a sports director as I was a rider, trying to be natural and this means that when it really comes to the important moments, the crunch time” he can make sure his riders are as prepared as possible for what they’ll be facing.

Read More: Mark Cavendish: Where is the Cyclist Now?