Life on the road with a pro team sounds like all fun and games to the untrained ear. But in all reality it is gritty hard work, especially dealing with prima-donna cyclists as well. But Jac Johann, aka JJ, doesn’t see it like that. He really does see it as the dream job, something he really just loves doing. He has a refreshing approach to the daily challenges of being a World Tour Mechanic, with no job too big or small. And it was great to sit down with him, one of the team behind our team, who we definitely couldn’t do our best out on the road without. Enjoy!
As I also mention in the podcast, we are super excited to have joined the Wide Angle Podium Network which is an awesome community of cycling podcasts, including The Slow Ride Pod, The Gravel Lot and heaps more. We know ourselves that putting out a podcast regularly takes more work than it seems and so we’re super happy to support the other great cycling shows that we love listening to ourselves. Wide Angle Podium is a place where you can also support the content you love by donating. This goes a long way for us in helping to bring you more quality episodes, insights into Life in the Peloton and let’s not forget the occasional freebie!
It was great to sit down with Elly Woods, Mike Woods’s wife last week and discuss what life is like after packing up and shifting over to live and support Mike with his dream job, pro cycling in Europe. Personally, the support from my wife, Lydia, has been something that has allowed me to pursue a long career in professional cycling living on the other side of the world. And it is exactly the same notion I found after chatting with Elly. Not only did she leave her successful job at Hewlett Packard to follow Mike into the pro cycling world, but she left her home, family and friends back in Canada. But in doing this she has seen so many positives open up for her personally, while also in supporting Mike in his already very successful career.
I was planning to sit down with Robert Gesink on the eve of the Giro to discuss his role going there to support his team mate, the big favourite, Primož Roglič . But unfortunately for Robert he had a nasty fall in Liege Bastogne Liege, where he suffered a broken collarbone and pelvis. This again has been somewhat of the story of Robert’s career. With the expectations from Holland as their new dutch prodigy for the Grand Tours’ General Classification, he has had to face the comeback more times than anyone would like. What I have found out, the amazing thing about Robert is not only his ability to come back time and time again in very quick sucession, but it is the results he able to achieve on the other side of these injuries and setbacks.
One positive thing to come out of Robert’s crash this year in Liege, is that he was now available to sit down with me and record a mid Giro d’Italia wrap and discuss how his team and team mate Roglič are traveling along coming into the mountains. He gives some great insights. Enjoy the listen!
With the Giro d’Italia upon us, I thought who better to talk to than the in-form Londoner, Tao Geoghegan Hart. Fresh from 2 stage wins last week at Tour of the Alps in Italy, he is arriving at the Giro for the second Grand Tour of his young career. It was fun discussing and dissecting this year’s furious Giro parcours, as he sets his goals around the race ahead. We also discuss becoming a Pro, growing up in East London. Not to forget the ever important topic of coffee on the race. Have a listen.
This time I chat with Ben Day. Ben who was a professional cyclist himself, in the final years of his racing career he began to touch on the coaching side of things. Once he hung the bike up he went full time into training cyclists in a private capacity. And now in the last few years Ben has crossed over and is working in the World Tour as a trainer. This is why I thought it would be interesting to talk to Ben when doing a podcast about coaching, as he has experienced it from all angles. And as suspected we find out there a lot more than crunching numbers to being a successful coach. Luke Durbridge joins us again to give a riders prospective on things as we try to break down the technical side of our training out on the road.
Taylor has a very colourful career up until now. Born from sporting genes, both his parents being Olympic medalists, he was destined to be a sporting star.
But sometimes we need a pause in life, time to reflect on where we are going, who we are, and then who we want to become. Most often than not we don’t take this time unless it is forced upon us. And I believe in many ways some things really happen for a reason. In Taylor’s case in 2014 he had a career and life changing crash. It removed him from the sporting “bubble” and gave him time to reflect. This is the Taylor we know today. Still an athletic talent, but with a much more open perspective
Rory has had a long career. And as I found out when talking to Daryl Impey, a long career is not without it’s hiccups. “Hiccups” is putting it lightly, because before Rory could really sink his teeth into his profession career with Rabobank back in 2005, he received the piece of mail anyone would fear. A positive test result. For a substance completely unbeknown to him. Crushing. How do you deal with that as a 23 year old? And if you can, how do you come back from that? This is Rory’s story.
I sat down with Luke Durbridge to review the opening weekend of racing up in Belgium; talking who was flying and who wasn’t. We chat about this next phase leading into the spring cobbled classics and then answer some listener questions about racing and all things behind the scenes of our time up in Belgium. Grab a Belgi beer and get listening!
It has been a cliche career of ups and downs for Daryl. From major crashes, to yellow jerseys, to false allegations, to stepping up from Domestique to leader. What we realised is that to be a professional of more than 10 years the journey is never going to be smooth sailing. That’s what makes a successful pro, someone who can fight back and become stronger. And this is the case with Daryl, where the lows are very low, he has been able to reach some amazing highs on the other side. Have a listen to his story.
He’s back on the Podcast. We had fun chatting last time, and after rolling along in the bunch together all these years discussing nutrition among many other things, I thought it was time to record and share his ideas. Not only do we discuss the diets around racing and training but we get into nutrition for performance vs nutrition for life.
Lachlan Morton started out like every prodigy sporting star. Young, was a gun and never lacked motivation to say the least. He was following in his older also talented brother, Angus’s footsteps. But once Gus decided to call it quits with cycling Lachy was left to his own device. Make his own mistakes and ultimately finding out if he really did love the world of cycling. He stepped away from the top end to find his literal own road, which now has enabled him to return to the WorldTour racing, riding and living the life in the peloton his way.
Lawson Craddock was preparing and hoping that first of all he would get selected for this years Tour De France, and then secondly if he did get selected that he would be fit enough to do his job in the team and then ultimately arrive to Paris. But that all changed after the stage 1 when he crashed and fractured the spine of his scapula. From then on the Tour was turned on it’s head for him as he literally battled through every kilometre of each stage right to the finish in Paris. I watched him battle through on TV and now it was great to hear from him about his 2018 Tour De France.
Moving away from the riders in the peloton for a minute and looking at some of the staff we work with as professional cyclist. One of the pinnacle members to any cycling team is the Soigneur. Who can also be described as the helper, or masseur, or driver, or physio, or just what ever gets thrown at them and needs to get done. They are the often the glue that fixes any problem that may arise, or the ear to listen to any problem. I thought it would be interesting to listen to team swanny Englishman John Murray, who is a 25 year veteran at the job, about his take on being a soigneur and to hear about the ins and outs that goes into babying a pro cyclist.
We have known each other for our entire cycling careers. And in many ways have grown up together in the cycling world. Something I have always noticed and admired about Simon Clarke is that he is the ultimate professional. In everything Simon does, he does it at 100%, leaving no stone unturned. There is a lot to be learnt from him, and just being around him throughout my career there is no doubt a lot of his standards have washed off on me but i am sure also on both past and current team mates.
This one is a bit more for the tech heads out there, but i am sure all with learn something about life in the peloton.
Our sprinter and our local guide . The Italian Stallion, Sacha Modolo. And my last recording on the race. He was ever so close this Giro to taking a stage win, being a 2 times Giro stage winner he knows how to be first across the line in his home race. It’s interesting to hear a Italian’s take on this years race.
My room mate, my team mate, my groupetto companion. The Belgian Tom Van Asbroeck. Things are getting tired here as we get ready for the final day in Rome today. Tom is a great rider, very handy sprinter himself, but has shown here how versatile he can be as a lead out man as well. It’s great to hear his battle stories of this final week of this years Giro and to learn a little bit about his past.
As the tour drags on, we are on to our next teammate. Introducing DownTown Nate Brown. The kind assassin. A power house teammate, and a brilliant guy to boot. Nate give us a inside to where we are at in the Giro at the final rest day as well as his story to where he is today as a cyclist.
Next up is Joe Dombrowski. A big character on our squad. A Baby Giro winner and now on his third Giro, so he know’s his way around the Italian roads. Joe quickly made his mark on the road cycling scene after switching form mountain biking and never looked back. He had a rough start to his professional career, but now tells us how he has clawed his way back on track.
We found a moment on the second rest day here at the Giro d’Italia to sit down and have a yarn with English climber and breakaway specialist Hugh Carthy. Hugh in his 4th year as a pro and is starting to find his feet at riding Grand Tours, especially here in his 2nd Giro. We chat about his day up front in a long breakaway and about is less traveled road across to the European professional cycling circuit.
I am on the road for the 1st Grand Tour of the year the Giro d’Italia, and in our team, EF Education First – Drapac Powered By Cannondale, we have a lot of different dynamics of charters. We will be spending a lot of time together out on the road as well as back in the hotels. Apart from talking about what is going on in the race I thought it would be a great chance to find out about everyone on my team in this Giro.
First up is Mike Woods. A Canadian who came late into the cycling game after being forced via injury to hang the running shoes up as a worlds class middle distance runner. He has a fresh view on life in the peloton both in the way that he races and in his over mind set. There is a lot to talk to Woodsy about, and today we only just scratch the surface. We talk a little bit about his story and a little bit about the Giro. Enjoy.
12 months ago I became a Father. As did Kiel Reijnen 6 months earlier. And little did we know about being a father in general, let alone being a father while trying to race our bikes. After chatting to Kiel in the peloton I found out that I wasn’t alone with these feelings, and that we were among many others who were all in the same boat. It’s a juggle, but one that we enjoy immensely. It has brought fantastic prospective to the sport but also to our lives. This is something that Kiel and I chat about and relate to each others new challenges of being a Father of the Peloton.
Can you fathom racing 21 days in a row? It would get pretty tough, physically and of course mentally. Well in the bike racing world, that is called a grand tour. And there are 3 that run through the cycling calendar year. The first being the Giro d’Italia, followed by the Tour de France and finishing with the Vuelta Espana. Well now imagine riding 1 short of a grand tour, and I mean not 21 stages, but 20 grand tours in a row. Never crashing out, never becoming a victim to sickness, let alone your body or mind simply saying enough is enough. Well that is what Adam Hansen is on the cusp of. Having finished last season with 19 consecutive Grand Tours to his name, this season he embarks on number 20, and who knows how many more.
But as I find out in this chat with him, Adam is a lot more than the Grand Tour record he has to his name. He is among many other things, one being a computer programer simply enjoying racing his bike for a living. Enjoy.
He almost doesn’t need a intro, Phil Liggett is the voice of cycling. When I hear his voice it just takes me back to when I first fell in love with the sport watching the 6.30pm SBS highlights of the Tour De France, the Jan Ullrich Lance Armstrong battles. It was a real pleasure to be able to sit down with Phil and talk to him about his time behind the mic commentating over 44 Tour De Frances.
Long time coming but the pod is back. And back to basics it is. Why live in Europe? How does the team structure work? Can you eat whatever you want because you ride everyday? Plus coffee rides, style checks, luft, nature stops and doping. Just some of the topics we cover as my brother, Kirk, gets behind the mic, asking Michael Hepburn and myself all those simple but niggling questions any non-cyclist might wonder about life as a professional cyclist.
Kirk is a TV producer in Australia, who has produced shows like You Can’t Ask That and Demolition Man, and was previously also on screen on the show The Hungry Beast.
Michael Hepburn has been my team mate on Orica-Scott for the last 6 years, where it has been a pleasure to grow with him in the early part of his potentially long career. Both Heppy and I spend a lot of time together in both Girona, Andorra and racing on the road, so it was interesting to be able to answer a few questions from someone who is outside the cycling bubble.
David Millar’s career spanned over 2 decades, where a lot happened in cycling. A lot changed. David was a big part of the changes, where firstly his career was turned upside down after admitting to using EPO, a banned performance enhancing drug, in 2004. Then after serving a 2 year ban from the sport he came back to racing but this time as a advocate anti-doping campaigner. Aside from his dark history in the sport, David has a fantastic insight to what life in the peloton used to be like and to what it is like today.
Luke and I found a bit of time this week between the big Classic races, Ronde Van Vlaanderen and Paris Roubaix, to answer all your inquisitive questions. Sit back and enjoy, cause we did recording and answering them!
While obviously being tied up in the male professional peloton, I realised I don’t really have any idea about what life is like within the female peloton. Gracie Elvin is at the top of the female racing scene, especially when it comes to the tough style of racing in Belgium. She has already been twice Australian champion and is able to give a really good insight to her life on the road as a female Pro.
Marcel Kittel is a house hold name when it comes to the big bunch sprints today. He has won stages in all 3 Grand Tours, La Vuelta Espana, Giro d’Italia and the Tour de France. But it is not so well known that when he first singed as a professional with Skil-Shimano in 2011, he was signed primarily as a time-trialist who might be able to pull a good lead out for the sprinters. Things soon changed. He and I were teammates 2011 and it was nice to be there at the beginning of his stella career, and to now get the chance to discuss what has happened since those early days.
We all worry about the physical training that needs to take place in order for us to perform on a given race day. But I think not enough attention is paid to the mental training that should take place to have us ready psychologically to tackle the big race days. It can literally be the difference between the winners and the losers, having that right mind set. I was lucky enough to have the time to meet Craig Appaneal in my off season this year and we discussed some situations that I have encountered through out my career, where things went well and where things didn’t go so well. We then try and decipher what was happening in my head on those given days. Craig has a background in organisational psychology which not only looks at a individual, but also how a individual acts and works within a team and then how that team works in a organisation. I think he is a person we can all benefit from in not only the performance side of cycling but in all aspects of our lives.
We are back for 2017, and what a way to start with Simon Gerrans. We all know him as an assassin on the bike, a winning machine, where it sometimes feels like he is winning more races than he is losing. But what I wanted to find out, was when did that switch get turned on for him, from being a rider who can win, to a rider who is expected to win. I get inside that cool calm collected mind of his that when inside the final few hundred meters of a race can make unbelievable race winning decisions.
To finish off, hang in there after the music at the end for the first live feed segment podcast I have done, not very successfully but it’s a bit of fun anyway.
English Version – Fast Forward to the 46min mark to watch when Gerrans attacks.
Greenedge Backstage pass of San Remo 2012
World Championships 2014 Ponferrada Spain.
Stage 3 Tour De France when Darryl Impy shows that calm head of his to deliver Simon Gerrans perfectly to out sprint Peter Sagan.
After always seeing him wiz by on the back of a moto bike snapping away during a race, I had the opportunity to pin Graham Watson down here at the last race of the season. It may come as a surprise but most often than not we do not stay in the same hotels throughout the year, so when we were I took the opportunity to have a chat. And just as expected through out his colourful 37 years of taking photo’s of the sport of cycling he has some fantastic insights to all the eras he’s been though during his time in the Peloton. Its great to hear things about the world of cycling from someone who is right there with us on the road, yet shares a different view.
Mario Scirea gives Stefano Giuliani a lift in the 1997 Tour of Spain
Andre Tchmil in the 2001 Paris – Roubaix
Alan Davis crowd surfing 2009 Tour Down Under
Mario Cipollini smokes a cigarette during a stage of the 1994 Paris Nice
Sean Yates in the 1993 Paris – Roubaix
Armstrong & Ullrich in the 2001 Tour De France
Laurent Fignon at the end of the 1989 Tour De France
Greg Lemond on his way to winning the 1989 Tour De France
Greg Lemond after winning the the 1989 Tour De France
Nick Schultz is a young Australian making his way into the European Pro ranks. He has taken a road not so often traveled anymore by Australians into the Euro cycling world. He jumped in the deep end, and immersed himself in the French scene. He has slowly but surely worked his way through the cycling ranks and created an all important european life for himself along the way.
It’s this jump from living at home in Australia with Mum and Dad as a 18 year old, to taking a leap to a whole new culture and lifestyle, living on your own and facing all challenges that come along the way that can sometimes get over looked from everyone from afar. It’s nice to hear that you can do it if you really want too.
So this is the big one! I am speaking with 2016 Paris Roubaix winner Matt Hayman. I caught up with him 1 month after that momentous day, on training camp up in the high mountains in Andorra. A very un-roubaix environment but the memory was still very fresh and vibrant. I get quite excited this week as I hear the story the first time myself, so will have to excuse some of the colourful language.I hope you enjoy it, I certainly did!
Paris Roubaix is a cobbled stone classic one day race, it is one of the 5 memorials races in the year. It is a spectacle, it is a tough mans race. It is the best race of the year. It is my favourite race.
Matt Hayman has ridden Paris Roubaix 15 times in his career, he is a specialist to say the least. This is his favourite race too. 2016 Roubaix was a special day for Matt, I was able to get his thoughts the night before, the night before he knew what the 2016 addition was going to be.
While I was back on training camp in South Africa I had the chance to sit down with Alex Edmondson for a what I thought was going to be a chat about the training involved for the Teams Pursuit in the lead up to the Rio Olympics. What I got a was a lot more interesting. Alex’s is story is not the normal progression in which a cyclist tends to have. Although Alex is only 22, when he tells his story you would assume he is a seasoned professional.
You’ll have to excuse the volume in the episode, as its lower than I would have liked.
Fresh after the race, back in the hotel somewhere in the cold northern part of France in the proximity of Paris. I thought it would be great to capture the thoughts just after completing the Paris Nice Prologue, from my New Zealander team mate Sam Bewley. He explains just what a Prologue is, all the intricacies that go into them, how he goes about approaching one as a specialist and just what makes a good prologue to kick start your tour.
This time I have some fun talking with my new team mate Chris Juul-Jensen. And he is not all the apricot Danish he is made out to be. He turned professional with Saxo-Tinkoff in 2012, and has now made the move across to Orica-Greenedge for 2016. We talk changing teams, changing countries and about the worlds best cappuccino, among many other things. Sit back and enjoy.
Madison Men Final
Mc Grory Scott / Aitken Brett
Had the pleasure to speak with my first idol, my old sports director and now friend, Olympic Gold Medalist Scott Mcgrory. I was lucky enough to be there the night Scott and Brett won the Gold Medal in the Madison at the 2000 Olympics in Sydney. This was before I really even knew what cycling was, let alone track cycling. From this night on I wanted to be a cyclist, and so the rest is history. But the story behind the gold medal has never been told to me, and I thought it would be interesting to find out what was behind my inspiration that started me in the sport of cycling.
Luke Rowe on his way to a BIG top 10 in the 2015 Paris – Roubaix
Speaking with the Welshman Luke Rowe. He has been riding on team Sky for the last 4 years and has developed himself into Belgium cobble stone spring Classics Specialist. Luke stepped up last year finishing 8th in Paris Roubaix and we take a moment while here racing the Jayco Herald SunTour to discuss what it is to be a real classic hard man. And explain just what exactly a Belgium one day Classics race is.
For the inaugural Podcast, I decided to speak with my team mate and close friend Luke Durbridge. Luke turned professional with the Australian outfit Orica GreenEdge when the team started back in 2012. Now entering his 5th year as a pro, I thought he would be interesting to speak to about how he now approaches his season, what type of rider he is and the make up of riders in a ProTour team…