On Velo-club du net,
every week is dedicated to a different rider. So far, the riders at word
were Laszlo Bodrogi, Rik Verbrugghe, Jacky Durand, Aurelien Clerc, Sebastien
Joly and Christophe Agnolutto. Today, we start the last series of special
weeks on Velo-Club with two interviews with Nico Mattan about his career and
personality and the chat transcripts of Thursday 9PM CET on Nicolas'
Nico Mattan was always asociated with his friend Frank Vandenbroucke
and in the beginning of Nico's career, he followed Frank around from team to
team. He was a great helper, but he was capable of more than that.
He proved this in finishing far ahead in the results on many occasions like 3rd
in Gent Wevelgem 98 and 5th in the HEW Classic also in 1998. In 2000, he
even crosses the line in Plouay only at ten seconds from Bartoli in second
place. A silver medal opens the road for new possibilites.
But he doesn't only get podium places, he also won some very nice races,
especially in 2001: the prologue of Paris-Nice, the 4 Days of De Panne overall,
the GP Ouest France and the Giro del Piemonte. But not only 2001 was a
good year for him, also 2002, especially in the Tour de France where he showed
himself in two mountain stages. On the Mont Ventoux and on the Hautacam he
showed he can sure climb and this was confirmed in the mountain classification
by ending in 5th position.
What if you would only have 24 hours to live?
A big party with my family, my friends, all people I know. i like being
around people, talking, discussing.
What do people call you?
VDB always calls me "keuns", which mean rabit in the dialect of
Western Flanders where I come from. He always said that, but in the
peloton, nobody knows this.
What do you like best about
I'm a bon-vivant, I like life and after all my cardiac problems we
start living another way. I like living.
What's your favorite part
of the day?
I like eating so the time of the meals, with a good glass of red wine and my
What's the moment you like
I don't really have a moment like that in particular. I won't say
getting up in the morning because when you wake up, you need to be happy to be
What has life thought you?
Life is so short that you need to enjoy everything, all small things in
life. You always need to fight and don't stay in the sofa.
What would you have liked to learn at school
and would have been very usefull to you?
I learned English in school..On the language side, I speak well French,
Italian and English so it's always an advantage over other riders who don't
speak any foreigh languages.
What's your favorite film/book/CD?
I don't really watch many movies. I can't stay in my sofa to watch a
movie....Never, it's a waste of time! I might maybe read some magazines on
show-biss....On the CD-side, I like R&B. I also like the group
Matmatah and I even went to see them because they performed at a festival not
from from my house.
What's your favorite country or city?
My dream is Africa and I'm looking at organising training camps for cyclists
in South-Africa. We even started our own society, we're five with me and
Frank Vandenbroucke: http://www.sabi-online.be
so I would say South-Africa in particular.
What's your weak spot?
Eating because I'm not really a person who watches what he eats. I like
having dinner with a nice glass of wine and a bit of bread with butter.
When I have lots of space, I might eat an entire baguette.
What's your favorite
I don't really have a favorite expression in particular, I'm not someone who
talks a lot. I call everybody "maat" (buddy in English).
A fan follows you around, flattered or angry?
It wouldn't bother me too much. I know some fans who follow me around
in Belgium but I haven't seen anyone who would follow me to the South of
France. It doesn't annoy me at all.
A fan creates an internet site who has been
dedicated to you without your authorisation: flattered or angry?
I have my own site, so he can do what he wants as long as their no
shananigans in it.
You receive a great present from someone that
you don't really like, do you accept it or not?
Yes, you need to accept everything if someone offers you a gift. If
they want to give it to me, I take it even if I don't appreciate it, I keep it
and I put it in my garage, no problem!
Keep on coming back for the chat transcript and be sure to visit Nicolas' site www.veloclub.com
Taken from velo-club