|Following an amazing season with Saturn in 2002, what will a new team and a new year hold for one of USís leading female cyclists?|
Kim Bruckner in the Tour de Tucson, a charity event.
BL: How and when did you get started in sports?
KB: Iíve been involved in "sports" as long as I can remember. While growing up in Wisconsin, my parents took my brother, Andy, and I on an ďactiveĒ family vacation..usually hiking and camping in Colorado. Sometimes weíd stay at ski resort towns like Vail and my dad would make us hike up to the top of the chair lift and then let us ride it down. We could NEVER ride it up.
BL: What made you change over from Duathlons to Cycling?
KB: In 1999, I was competing professionally in both duathlon and cycling. Then, in 2000, I joined the Saturn-Timex team with the original intention of competing in both cycling for Saturn and triathlon for Timex. But once I got to training camp and met girls like Petra Rossner, Anna Millward, and Ina Teutenberg, and saw how motivated and excited they were about the team, I decided to give 100% to cycling. The directors at Saturn-Timex were totally supportive of that decision. Itís definitely paid off. I miss the running a bit and all the friends I made in duathlon. It was a great atmosphere. But obviously I have no regrets..cyclingís been rather exciting for me.
BL: How has the transition from the Saturn team to T-Mobile been?
KB: Very smooth so far. We havenít raced together yet as a team, but we had our first camp in November and I think this new team will get along great. I know most of the girls through the sport anyway..itís a small circle. And I am really looking forward to racing with them this year.
BL: Did you have much trouble getting Saturn to release you from your contract? Were there any bad feelings?
KB: I wasnít under contract with Saturn. My contract with Saturn was expiring at the end of 2002 anyway. It was a sticky situation getting out of my letter of intent that I had signed with them. But the letter of intent is not a contract. It was a little rough going for a while but I think things have cleared up now. Iím just focusing on the upcoming season and T-Mobile has been so supportive throughout this whole time.
BL: You had quite a season in 2002 with them, racking up wins at the National Time Trial Championship and the Cascade Classic. Do you foresee the same success with T-Mobile?
KB: Honestly, I donít know whatís in store for me for personal success. We have so many strong women on the T-Mobile squad, that each race it could be any one of us up there on GC needing the support of the rest of the women. But yes, I have high expectations of myself, whether it be as a team leader or a very strong support person. Itíll just depend on the race.
BL: You remarked once that Saturnís womenís team "shows people how itís done" when it comes to racing. How do you feel about T-Mobileís ability to successfully pull off race strategies and attacks?
KB: Are you sure I said that? I might have said, "The women on team Saturn show ME how itís done!" I came onto that team knowing pretty much nothing about bike racing. But for two years, I received the best instruction from some of the best women cyclists in the world. Petra, Anna, and Ina are honestly three of the best instructors one could ever have. They were always so supportive. My first race with them was Tour de Snowy in Australia in 2001 and Anna Millward guided me through that entire race. It was such an incredible feeling to have someone who I admired so much riding in support of ME. What an honor. I can only hope to bring some of what those girls taught me to the T-Mobile squad this year.
BL: Was there a race last year that you were particularly unhappy with?
KB: Actually, yes, there was a race in the early season I and the rest of my team were really unhappy with the unethical racing tactics of certain people. But we came back with a vengeance and won the final stage and the overall. Thatís all I can say about that.
BL: T-Mobile has quite an impressive calendar planned with quite a few European races planned (the Primavera Rosa (Italy), La Fleche Wallone (Belgium), the Tour de Feminine (France), and the Tour de Grand Montreal). How do you feel about racing in Europe? How is it different from racing in the US?
KB: I have really come to enjoy racing in Europe. Itís so challenging for me...and I love challenging myself. Racing there forces me to bring it up a notch. Itís different than the U.S. Racing mainly because the fields are so much deeper. Instead of there being 5-6 main threats to overall GC, there may be 20. The courses are tough, the fields are always big, and they are all very experienced. I feel so fortunate to be on a squad that supports our international racing. The whole focus of the T-Mobile womenís team is to rank among the best in the world and the only way to do that is to race the best in the world.
BL: You did very well at Sea Otter last year with a second place in the GC. Will you be the team leader for T-Mobile in that race in 2003?
KB: I know Sea Otter will be a big race for us, and I love that race. Itís definitely one of my favorites. Weíll just have to see how the race pans out in regards to who weíll be riding for. The opening time trial is a good indicator of whoís on at that time. And the road race is one of, if not the, toughest road races on the entire National Calendar. So itís going to be a great race.
BL: "Queen of the Mountain" at the Solano Bicycle Classic in 2001 and winning the mountain classification at the Cascade Classic in 2002, you sound like a climber, but you obviously do well in time trials as well. What kind of discipline do you see yourself specializing in, if any at all?
KB: I really enjoy both climbing and time trialing, so Iím always trying to work on both. And I need to work on both if I want to continue to improve my GC finishes in stage races.
BL: You finished up 2nd in the NRC points standings in 2002. Will you be looking to hit #1 in 2003?
KB: The T-Mobile global squadís focus is really the big international races and the major U.S. Races such as Redlands and Sea Otter. So I donít think Iíll really be in contention for the NRC points standings. The NRC includes a lot of criteriums and thatís not really my specialty. I really want to focus on the big stage races.
BL: What do you do in your spare time? I hear you are quite the tech junkie!
KB: A tech junkie? Who said that? The "techiest" I get is spending a lot of time talking to my friends on email and instant messaging! Other than that, Chris and I enjoy spending our spare time drinking coffee at Vicís in Boulder or training to become better cooks like our friend, Will. This winter, we also started a Sunday brunch "tradition" with some of our cycling friends. We took Sundays off the bike and Kelly Moniger was in charge of searching out a different place every other week for Sunday brunch. She did a very fine job of it too.
BL: What is training like? How many hours, on average, do you train a day during race season?
KB: I ride anywhere between 2-5+ hours a day. I love riding around Boulder and heading out with the guys for rides. Itís such great training for me.
BL: What is your diet like?
KB: Well, if I didnít like sugar so much, my diet would probably be a lot better. But I do like sugar, so I eat it. I think generally my diet is rather normal, nothing super strange or anything. We always have a good breakfast before heading out the door for our rides, recovery shakes or a sandwich afterwards, and then whip up something healthy for dinner.
BL: What was your favorite moment last year on the bike?
KB: Wow, I had so many favorite moments last year on the bikeÖ itís hard to keep track of them all. The team was in the hunt for the overall World Cup title and Petra was our woman. We had to fight so hard in the New Zealand World Cup...one by one our girls were dropping from exhaustion after working so hard chasing down breaks. Cathy Marsal and I were with Petra on the last lap of the race and then I fell off about half way through and didnít see the finish. When I crossed the line and Jessica and Kristy told me Petra had won, I just broke down in tears. I felt so completely wasted but at the same time totally elated that she had won. It was such a team effort... such an incredible feeling.
Thank you, Kim! We will be looking forward to following you with T-mobile in 2003! See you at the races.
For more info on Kim, her sponsors and womenís racing:
Clif Bar supplements
ITM handlebars and stems
Biemme and Limar clothing and helmets
Cateye computers and heart rate monitors
SRM power meters
Palmares of Elite Women