Christian Vande Velde Interview
Dave Osborne talks with Christian Vande Velde about Christian's 2008 season, life on Team Garmin-Slipstream and the 2009 Tour de France.
I was riding well and climbing well. I wasn’t really too fatigued after a lot of the stages. The guys that I expected to be going fast weren’t really going as fast as I really expected and my perceived exertion by the time I got to the finish wasn’t half of what I thought it would be. And that really changed my outlook of the race. It was a whole process throughout the year starting with the Tour of California throughout the Giro, the Tour de France, and Missouri. Sitting here today, giving this interview, I’m a different person than I was a year ago.
DO: Are you preparing for the 2009 Tour of California now?
CVV: Yeah, I am doing my best right now. It was a pretty rough winter in Chicago, but I feel really good right now and I’m working hard. We are doing a great training camp. At the same time my wife is very close to giving birth so I might have to skedaddle out of here sooner than later back to Chicago. It will probably compromise my Tour of California, but for a good reason, that’s for sure.
DO: I think priorities…
CVV: That’s definitely a priority.
DO: You bet. Family is a priority. Can you describe what is your off-season and to what extent you’re on the bike during that period? What are you up to in the off-season?
CVV: Well October is definitely my off-season. I get up to Wisconsin. I’m from the Midwest so I love to be on the water. Things like that. Just get away from everything cycling. I try to do everything that I can’t do during the season; whether it be just hanging out with the family or going for a walk or going for a hike. Things I would never do during the season. Having big dinners and maybe drinking a little bit too much wine. Just having a good time and mostly getting out to see friends and family in the Chicago area. That’s the reason why we have a place back there.
DO: Looking back at the career you’ve had, is there any specific moment that stands out above others?
CVV: Yeah I’ve had a pretty diverse career, that’s for sure. I’ve spent a lot of time being a team pursuiter. A lot of people forget about that. I had a lot of great times and I was part of the Project 96 in the USA, won the world cup overall in ’97, and had some great moments to be a track rider. And I still reminisce. I still like to follow track racing. I really think about a lot of those guys. But then after that I turned pro and ’99 was a really special year for a lot of us on the US Postal team. We had a really cool core group of guys. We had a great year that year. I remember a lot of that year. The last two years in CSC were a blast also. Of course this last tour