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 want to get two of you guys up in the break and then try for a victory. If we don’t win, at least we did everything we thought we could and it went according to plan. Nine times out of ten someone will throw a span in the works, there might be a big crash or the rain starts, god knows what happens. That’s what makes cycling really cool. You never know exactly what’s going to happen. At the end of the day the rider makes the ultimate decision whether they follow through with the plan.
DO: What does it take to maintain your focus for hours of racing? What goes on?
CVV: It’s like the Tour de France is a great book. You have 21 chapters and every chapter is a little bit different. Some chapters are so intense that you are just on point from start to finish at all times, not doing anything else, just eating and drinking, riding at the front and not crashing. It might be insane for 20 minutes and the break goes away, you get to chat with your buddies and the group starts chasing from behind. It gets harder and harder and there’s a sprint at the end. How I keep my composure, the days I really need to be on point I am, other days I try to put my mind in neutral and try to relax as much as I possibly can. Everyone’s a bit different but that’s how I gotta get though things.
DO: What advice can you give to riders and racers about biking?
CVV: I appreciate getting out on new, more demanding roads more and more. I never had hills by me or even mountains living by Chicago. So I never take riding in the hills or mountains for granted. Once I started doing that, cycling took on a whole new meaning to me. Whether you’re a sprinter, climber, big or small everyone will always enjoy riding in the mountains just because it’s a beautiful place. It’s a different thing when you feel like you’ve accomplished more when you’re getting up and down mountains. You get the descents and relief going down. Seeing the world is part of riding the bike. It’s the best form of transportation in the world.
DO: I appreciate your time and thank you on behalf of Roadcycling.com.