Long time coming but the pod is back. And back to cycling 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 payed 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 offseason 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.
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.
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.
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.
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…