Posted by Editoress on 12/16/08
Svein Tuft Interview
Bruce Wenting, who has worked with and supported Svein Tuft, has provided the following interview, after getting together with Svein after he returned from the Garmin-Chipotle training camp.
Bruce Wenting: Welcome back from Boulder! What news from training camp?
Svein Tuft: Yeah, it's always good to get home, but the camp was excellent. The weather in Boulder was great, we rode in shorts and jerseys, no jackets needed. It was great to connect with the team and staff, and get a sense of the scope of the team and the incredible resources available.
BW: What stood out?
ST: Allen Lim the Team's physiologist is awesome. He can lay out the program, and the team makes sure that all the tools are in place, all you have to do is ride the bike. We spent some time in the wind tunnel in Fort Collins; it apparently costs $5000 an hour! We were able to reduce the power requirement at time trial speed by 30 watts. I've been trying out the position on the trainer every morning and I can feel the body getting used to it.
BW: Will you be heading to Europe soon?
ST: I originally thought I would head over to Girona early in December, but now that I have my schedule for the year I will stick around home until Christmas, then head to Cali[fornia] for some training around Fresno, finishing with some altitude. After that I spend some time at my Mom's in Arizona before training camp at altitude in New Mexico. I start racing with Tour of California. After Cali, I will make the move [to Girona] before Eroica Tour. I'll be in Europe 'til after Worlds.
BW: What other preparation are you doing? Are you switching coaches for the year?
ST: I've been with Houshang Amiri for some time and I will be staying with Housh for the foreseeable future. I really want to replicate the form I had when I won the US Open in '07, so I have some big weeks (25-26 hours) before Christmas then a bit of a lay off before heading South to ramp up the miles. I am really wanting to get out on the XC skis, it was the foundation to the last two seasons.
BW: Skate or classic?
ST: I started doing a lot of Skate skiing, just thrashing around 'til I was tired, now I am back to Classic 'cause I can get to a good level and stay there for 3 hours or so.
BW: You mentioned that you had your race program for the season, any highlights?
ST: Yeah, I start with the Tour of California, then head to Spain for Erioca, Tirreno-Adriatico, 3 Days de Vlaanderen, Tour of Flanders, Paris Roubaix, Milan-San Remo, Giro D'Italia and the Tour.
BW: Wow! That's a major step up from the South America banana tours. Do you have any major ambitions?
ST: I am obviously going to give 'er in the TT's, and the Team Time Trial at the start of the Giro is a major team objective. I've always wanted a crack at the Classics, that's where I want to have my best form, after that it's a bit of an area for discovery.
BW: Do you feel like a bit of a neo Pro with this program?
ST: I've done the 2 week stage races and felt pretty good at the end (he won the 2007 Vuelta Cyclista a Cuba), but the third week of the big Tours is an unknown area for me.
BW: There has been a lot of press around the return of some pretty big names, Armstrong, Basso etc. How do you feel lining up with those guys?
ST: While I have a lot of respect for all riders at that level and that kind of racing, I figure I've earned my own place in the bunch.
BW: Jonathon Vaughters (Garmin-Chipotle team Manager) has assembled quite a team, what are the team goals?
ST: This team is capable of some crazy things. I think we will be right up there in every race we do. The TTT at the Giro could bring another Pink jersey, and the way the Tour is laid out, we could see Christian (Vandevelde) in yellow after the first week. We'd defend that with everything we have.
BW: Speaking of Christian, how's it feel to land on the team with Christian Meier? Will you have similar programs?
ST: (laughing) Actually, after practically living together for the last year, we'll barely see each other. He is starting with Tour Down Under, then the Ardennes Classics and Philly Week. He is an alternate for the Giro, that's the only race we might do together.
BW: Have you had any time or opportunity to reflect on the passing of Team Symmetrics? Is there a legacy there?
ST: It's disappointing that we weren't able to take that as far as possible. As far as a legacy, it says a lot that in a really tough economic climate all of the guys got rides on really good teams. I think the directors saw how the guys rode and recognized their character.
Since I spoke to Svein, winter descended on the Valley with huge Arctic outflow winds and sub zero da ytime high temperatures.
ST: Christian and I hit on a crazy good deal to fly down to Tucson for 10 days. This way we can do the big hours we need without freezing. I'll miss out on the skiing, but there isn't much snow this year. Then it's Christmas in Kamloops!
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