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Rik Verbrugghe Interview
 
By Janna Trevisanut
Date: 10/31/2002
Rik Verbrugghe Interview
 

Rik Verbrugghe has ridden for Lotto-Adecco (soon to be Lotto-Domo) since 2000. He has won two Giro stages and one Tour de France stage, though as he says below, these are not what he considers his biggest accomplishment. He finished 88th in UCI points this season. This interview was done Tuesday, October 29 by velo-club.net.

Photo by Celine Tytgadt

Velo-club: What do you like the most about your job?

Rik Verbrugghe: I would say the adventure and the chance to visit different countries, discover new landscapes, meet plenty of different kinds of people belonging to different cultures.

VC: And what do you like the least in your job?

RV: Cold climates and rain. I don't like them.

VC: Which of your accomplishments are you especially proud of?

RV: As for my private life, I would say my daughter. As for cycling, I'd say winning Flèche Wallonne.

VC: Which were the biggest mistakes you have made in your career?

RV: I have made several small mistakes, and each time I took full responsibilty and learned from them. But I can say I have never made big mistakes. Not any big one in particular.

VC: What has been your greatest career satisfaction?

RV: My Flèche Wallonne victory. That was the day I realized I had the skills needed to win important races. Now, there's a long way to go to win other big competitions...

VC: And the biggest disappointment so far in your career?

RV: Actually I have never had big disappointments. I would have liked to move to a foreign team, but in the end I opted for staying at Lotto. I can't say that it was a disappointment to me, but still I would like to have an experience abroad.

VC: Which rider of the curent peloton has impressed you the most?

RV: Johan Museeuw, as he has been a top class rider for 10 years, and has won most of the time. Even after all the crashes and accidents he experienced, he always came back in such a way. It's an example for the whole cycling environment.

VC: Which riders were your role models when you were a child?

RV: I had two idols: Claudy Criquielion and Gianni Bugno. When I knew that Claudy was going to be my team manager, I was very glad as I thought I could learn a lot from him. I think that his riding style and cadence were very similar to mine, that's why we understand each other well.

VC: Which of your features you'd change, if you had a magic wand?

RV: I'd improve my sprinting skills, trying to become like Museuuw and Jalabert were some years ago. They had many chances to win in any 15-man sprint, while in similar conditions I could just take fourth or fifth. Such performance improvements are not easy to achieve though, as you should be naturally skilled, but you can work on them.

VC: Whom you mostly want to amaze?

RV: Myself, I ride for myself. For passion.

VC: How did you become a rider?

RV: My father and uncle were, and transmitted the cycling virus to me when I was 13. I started riding in the town of Seraing, and won the first race I took part in. Later I took second in almost each of the following contests I raced.

VC: Should you have the chance to thank one person, and only one, for helping you to get as far as you have done, whom you'd thank and why?

RV: My father, as he helped me get started. But on the "technical" side of the matter, I'd rather thank Valério Piva, team manager of the Merckx boys at the time.

VC: Under which climate conditions you ride better?

RV: When it's hot.

VC: If you could turn back time, what would you change in your life?

RV: Well, nothing.

Many thanks to Nicolas Richolet at velo-club.net. Thanks also to Fabio.

Velo-club will hold a chat with Rik Verbrugghe today at 8pm Central European Time (in French) - you must be a member of velo-club but registration is free. This interview is part of velo-club's ongoing series spotlighting riders in the pro peloton. We invite you to visit velo-club.


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