Gregory Rast Interview

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04/8/2004| 0 comments
by Thomas Valentinsen
Gregory Rast working hard in Tirreno-Adriatico.
Gregory Rast working hard in Tirreno-Adriatico.

Gregory Rast Interview

On Phonak's strategy for Paris-Roubaix and his own race expectations.

The prestigious cycling classic Paris-Roubaix is hated by many cycling pros. We talked to Gregory Rast of the Phonak Hearing Systems team about his career and his expectations for his second encounter with the notorious pav?s on the way from the city of art to the city of coal. <?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" /?>

What thoughts come to mind when you think about last year's Paris-Roubaix race?
Actually, everything went much better than I had expected. Thanks to the nice weather on the race day, the degree of difficulty was not as high as it would have been with rain and cold weather. I completed the stressful test in 47th place, 12 minutes behind the leader - this in spite of two mistakes. After the first mishap I was able to catch up with the field easily. With the second incident, I had to throw a few punches.

What is the most difficult thing about the race?
A rider needs power and more power for it. If it's not there for you anymore, then things begin to fall apart.

This year your job will be to support your team leaders?
I hope to be able to carry out this task as expected [by the team management and the team leaders]. Among our crew, only Bert Grabsch and Martin Elmiger should be in a position to keep up with the leaders. I think Nicolas Jalabert is also capable of a remarkable performance. Even [Martin] Elmiger is pretty good. He will have his own chances with Oscar Camenzind being absent.

Who are your race favorites?
Belgian Peter Van Petegem could repeat his win from last year. I also consider Dario Pieri ( <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" /?>
Italy
) and Johan Museeuw (
Belgium
) to be dangerous. In weighing the chances you have to keep in mind that the race is more or less one big lottery.

How satisfied are you with how the season has gone so far for you as a rider?
I had hoped for more in terms of results. In my first classics in
Belgium
I was burdened by health problems. More specifically a strong cold and a cough. The first bright spot came with my first professional win ever at the criterium in Uzwil. My performances in the second professional year are more consistent, my body weight is more stable and my ability to recover is better.

Thank you for your time. We wish you great success on Sunday.

Thank you.

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