November 27/07 4:33 am - The Hansen Interview: Geoff Brown
Posted by Editor on 11/27/07
Comin' Back Across The Pond: Geoff Brown Interview
by Matt Hansen
Geoff Brown has just completed his first year as chief mechanic for the Symmetrics Fuelled By FarmPure team. Brown came to the team after almost two decades of working in Europe - the majority of it with Lance Armstrong and his Discovery/US Postal and Motorola teams. Here's what the veteran wrench had to say about year one with the S-Team....
Matt Hansen: This year was a big transition for you--and a bit of the unknown. What was it like coming back to Canada?
Geoff Brown: It was great to be back in the homeland and get back into the Canadian lifestyle. Being away all those years really makes you appreciate what a great country Canada is.
MH: What was your general impression of the race scene in Canada - it's been years since you've seen the domestic scene. When would you have been involved with it last?
GB: As you know, cycling has never been a big sport in Canada, and as such faces a lot of problems in getting the recognition and support it needs. Despite this, I think the scene is definitely improving as can be seen through Symmetrics, Team Race, etc., and also by events such as Beauce and BC Superweek. We're definitely moving in the right direction. The last time I was involved with Canadian cycling was 1992.
MH: What did you think of the level of support for the team in terms of equipment?
GB: Overall the team has great support from all our equipment sponsors - Norco, Shimano, Ritchey, Maxxis and others. We are at about at the same equipment level as a European Continental team, so no complaints and much appreciation!
MH: What are some of your highlights of the year for you?
GB: Obviously the victories such as Cuba, US Open, Nationals, Superweek, etc. Also great performances in top level races such as Philly week, Beauce, Missouri and Chihuahua. And, of course, the pinnacle being Svein's victory in the UCI America's Tour and Symmetrics victory in the team classification. We - both the team and Canada - should all be very proud!
MH: Are you taking a break this fall before the season starts up again?
GB: At the end of November I will head back east to spend the holidays with my family in the Ottawa area and also hopefully get some good x-country skiing in the Gatineau Park. I will be back at the team base in early January.
MH: What do you think about some of the reforms being put in place in Europe re: doping?
GB: Cycling is getting such a bad rap at the moment that something has to be done. Whether or not the reforms will be effective remains to be seen. I think that ultimately something that nobody has thought of yet will have to be done to eliminate the dopers. I just don't know what that something will be.
MH: Have you noticed any differences between being involved in a Canadian professional team versus a European one?
GB: The Symmetrics riders are as professional as any cyclists I've ever worked with. They train hard, they race hard and they live their lives as they should in order to succeed in our brutal sport. When I flew over for a quick visit in 2006 to BC Superweek I saw immediately that even though I was leaving the big pro show in Europe I would still be working with pro cyclists. So nothing really changed other than the geography.