Michael Barry Interview
Roadcycling.com caught up with Michael to talk about the Vuelta, Team Discovery Channel and the Athens Olympics.
Having supported Roberto Heras to victory in last year?s Vuelta a Espana, Girona resident and US Postal rider Michael Barry knows all about success in the Spanish three-week race. This year, without a main GC contender, the US Postal team enters the race with a slightly different game plan. As he was putting the final touches to his preparations, we caught up with Michael to talk about the past 12 months, the Vuelta, Team Discovery Channel and the Athens Olympics. <?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" /?>
IM: It?s been almost a year since we last spoke to you. During that time you had a top ten finish at the World championships and helped Roberto Heras win his second Vuelta. Looking back, has it been a successful period in your career?
MB: Each season I try and keep the progression going. I want to continue to improve my skills, my fitness and my results. Last year was a fulfilling year as I had some great experiences and was able to prove to myself that I could animate the final of a World Championship and race well in a three week Tour.
IM: Were you able to enjoy the team?s success in the Tour this year? US Postal comes across as a team of friends rather than individuals, it must have been a wonderful experience to see them achieve what they did?
MB: It was great to see them accomplish what they did. I train with all the guys often and know how hard they work during the months prior to the Tour. It was incredible to see the whole team on the front in the mountains and also to watch them win the TTT. It is true that we are a tight group. All the guys really love riding their bikes and that comes out when we race.
IM: How are you feeling going into this year?s Vuelta? Do you hope to better last year?s final result of 78th on GC?
MB: I feel good right now. I have had a great race program through August and am feeling fit at the moment. I am not too worried about my overall result but more about helping the team win stages, and helping Floyd and Triki in the overall.
IM: What is the <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" /?>
MB: Floyd and Triki will be racing for the overall classification. We don't have a rider that has won a three week Tour on the team so our approach will be a little different. We'll be trying to win stages with Max in the field sprints and also trying to win stages out of breakaways. I don't think we'll be approaching the Vuelta with the same singular goal we had in past years but more with a few objectives.
IM: How was your Olympic experience? You must be very proud of Dede (- Michaels wife and T-Mobile pro