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Thor Hushovd: Chat Transcript
 
By Janna Trevisanut
Date: 12/6/2003
Thor Hushovd: Chat Transcript
 

The Daily Peloton was most fortunate to have Credit Agricole's Thor Hushovd chat with us on Thursday. Here is the transcript of the chat.

Daily Peloton: I would like to welcome Thor Hushovd to the Daily Peloton chat - welcome, Thor!

Thor: Hello! I'm here....Thor with the hammer is ready, and will answer as many questions as possible...

DP: Thor, by the way, we have a special emoticon for you:

Ilka: What do you think about Alexandre Winokourow?

Thor: Ilka, he's one of the best riders in the world. He's impressed me this summer.

Georgina: What do you think of the time trial in the Alpes d'Huez for the Tour de France 2004?

Thor: Georgina, the time trial is a good idea, but not for me. Too hard.

DP: Some of the following questions assume you will ride with Credit Agricole next season - will you renew with them? Have they been a good team for you, and if so, why?

Thor: Yes, I have already resigned for the team for the next 2 years. They have been a very good team, they have given me the time to progress. They always give me the chance to decide which race I want to ride.

Dave_t: You are a huge talent; they should have tried to get you for 4!

Thor:† Dave_t, maybe you are right, but it's rare in cycling to sign for more than 2 years. But I like the team a lot.

Dave_t:† I understand, do you know any riders signed for more than 2 years?

Thor: There are riders who have signed for more than 2 years, but not too many.

Dave_t:† Did you have much contact with J. Vaughters while he was on CA?

Thor:† No, I didn't.

Schiller: Yes, I am sure the group at Credit Agricole is such a great group of guys... it seems as though, despite some bad luck at the Tour, you guys had a great overall effort! Including yourself!

Thor: Yes, everything is going fine.

House: Thor, where are you chatting from?

Thor: I'm sitting in France. Near the Spanish border.

House: Do you live there year round?

Thor: No, just in the season normally. But I just needed a couple of weeks on the bike before Christmas.

DP: What has been your role in the team? Do you sometimes ride support, and other times to win? Can you give some examples?

Thor: The first 2-3 years, I tried to find out what kind of rider I was. Now, I see that Iím a sprinter, I can do some good time trials and am a classic rider. Sometimes I support the team, but most of the time Iím free to do what I want.

DP: Will you have the support of Credit Agricole to go for the green jersey?

Thor: Next year I will have the support from the team. But, like always, I have to be the best sprinter on the team!

DP: What are your goals for 2004? Is Paris-Roubaix a big goal?

Thor: The classics, like Paris-Roubaix and Tour of Flanders. Then, Tour de France. Then, end then with a medal in the Olympics.

Thor: What do you think, Americans, I'm doing good? (smiling)

Answers: Super, excellent, stellar, super...

Andy: We're not all American, I'm English.

Wombat: I'm in Australia .....we think ya doing ok. (smiles)

AndrewS: I'm Canadian and it's been snowing too much to ride outside...

Thor: Sorry, everybody! There are people here from the whole world!

DP: Which one of the classics is your favorite and which one are you gonna win?

Thor: My favorite is Paris-Roubaix. And that's the one I want to win...!!!!

DP: Which would be your ideal race?

Thor: To be with 5 riders in the end of Paris-Roubaix, attack them and finish by myself. Or beat Van Petegem in the sprint.

DP: What's your training-program for January?

Thor: To do long rides, and some intervals to build up the engine. Thatís an important thing for a cyclist...

DP: You have won numerous time trials - how do you do it? What are the advantages of being one of the larger riders in the peloton, and is this an advantage to your teammates also? Are there disadvantages?

Thor: I donít know. I can hurt myself, and have the engine to pull big gears over a while. To be a big rider is an advantage when it's flat, and in the sprints...But to climb, itís horrible. Then I would like to be 15 kilo lighter...and I donít think it is an advantage for my teammates, except if there is a fight I have to arrange... (smiling)

DP: Are there any other young Norwegian riders whom we should keep an eye out for in coming years?

Thor: There are some Norwegians who are coming, but they are juniors. But we have Kurt Asle Arvesen, who is a very strong rider.

DP: Do you think you would do well in track cycling?

Thor: I donít now. But my ex-trainer told me that track cycling is my thing...maybe later in my career.

DP: Where do you ride for training when you are in Norway, and do you spend your off-season in Norway or in the south of Europe, like many Norwegians try to do in the winter?

Thor: I always spend my off-season in Norway. Norway is the best place to be! I just love being in Norway in the off-season. I train on my mountain bike, even if itís snowing.

Georgina: Thor, I would like to congratulate you for your victory in Tour de France 2002!!

Thor: Thank you very much!!!

DP: How high a profile do you have in Norway? Do people recognize you on the streets like they used to recognize the guys in that band A-Ha, or are you able to go to Norway and be anonymous?

Thor: After my stage win in Tour de France last year, people have started to recognize me. Exactly like the biggest Norwegian group, A-HA. Me and Morten Harket are in the same class...But heís a better singer. (smiling)

House: Thor, will you be going for the Norwegian Championship? Is there anywhere that sells Norwegian Champion jerseys?

Thor: For sure, I will go 100% for the championship. My dream is doing the Tour with the Norwegian jersey. But, I've never heard of anyone selling the jersey.

Andy: Who are your best friends at Credit Agricole, Thor?

Thor: My best friend is Jens Voigt. He is a very good man.

Schiller: Thor, how do you like Serge Beucherie as a DS?

Thor: Serge is one of the best DS's. He takes his job very seriously....

Jakob: Thor, I know Atle KvŚlsvoll said after the 2002 Tour de France that you also have the ability to climb well, and I still remember Ronde de l'Isard 1999 - the stage to Plateau de Beille - where you finished 7th. Do you think in the future we will see you have a go on the climbs? I also remember Mont Faron this year.

Thor: When I have my form, and am a couple of kilos lighter, I can climb. But it's better to train on the thing I can do.

Johnk: What do you do to relax off the bike?

Thor: When I need to relax, I go deer hunting.

Andy: What's the fastest you've ever gone on your bike? Or do you tend to not look down at the computer on descents? (smile)

Thor: The fastest I have done is 125 kph. Behind a car. (77.6 miles per hour)

House: I have a Credit Agricole jersey from 2000 that no longer fits and I am going to be in Europe for my honeymoon and my fiancee wants to see the Tour - will I be able to get the jersey signed by the team easily?

Thor: If you want the jersey signed, you just ask for me. And I will remember it from this chat.

Curious: Thor - what type music do you like? Do you listen to music when training?

Thor: I like all kinds of music. But U2 is good. And tonight it's a Britney Spears evening. I like her!!!! That's why I was confused from the start [of the chat] (smiling).

Julian: Britney. Uh oh, you're losing us now.

Thor: I agree. But sitting by myself here in France. She's a nice thing to look at....

Julian: She's average and has no sprint.

Curious: Oh Thor - alone in France? Thought you had a girlfriend.

Thor: I have a girlfriend, but she is in Norway.

Dave_t: Thor, it sucked watching you cramp hard at the Tour last year; was that as bad as it gets, pain wise?

Thor: All the cramping was because of many small things. But the main thing was the heat. I can't handle the heat.

Curious: When does training start in earnest for next season, Thor?

Thor: I've already trained for more than a month.

Schiller: What is your max power output, Thor??

Thor: Think it's close to 1000 watt on a small sprint.

Julian: Thor, who were your idols, growing up? Sorenson?

Thor: My idol was my man from Norway, Dag Otto Lauritzen.

Andy: Didn't he come from your village? I read that in Cyclesport....

Thor: Yes, Dag Otto is from my city, Grimstad.

Dave_t: Did you like Atle Kvalsvol as a kid? (sorry if I mis-spelled that).

Thor: Atle is right. He was a good rider. And now he's my trainer. He is a really good man.

Georgina: What do you think about the 8th place of Christophe Moreau?

Thor: Moreau's 8th place was good, but like we waited.

Andy: You expected better?

Thor: Didn't expect better, but was right.

Schiller: Thor, do you do training in the weight room??

Thor: I train the upper body on the gym. That's all, and enough.

Julian: Thor, were you sad to see Stuey go?

Thor: I was sad that Stuey left, we were good friends. But think it was better for the results for the team.

Andy: Thor, do you speak to other Norwegians or Scandinavians in the peloton? Like Fakta riders, or Arvesen, Kjaergaard and Mads Kaggested (on your team)?

Thor: Mads is in my house now. I speak with them all. We are good friends...

Chrisfox: Thor, any plans for you or your team to do the San Francisco Grand Prix?

Thor: I don't think it's on our plan for next year. But really, I would like to do it. Heard it's a good race.

Steamboat: Do you know if there are plans for a Scandinavian Team (GS 1) with cyclists from Norway, Finland and Sweden?

Thor: There have been many who have tried, but it's hard to get the money. Hope one day there will be a Norwegian team.

Schiller: Thor, I am a rather big rider too (183cm, 76kg). I am wondering if you follow any specific eating plan during the season?

Thor: I am always taking care of what I'm eating. That's one of the hardest thing to being a cyclist. (frown)

Julian: Thor, do you expect Petacchi to go well next year at the Tour, or will we see more of you and Baden Cooke?

Thor: I hope that I will be the man who can stop Petacchi...

Georgina: Do you think you can be leader of your team in the future?

Thor: I hope one day I can be a leader for the classics....

Ogkempf: What do you mean when you say the team is going to be better without O'Grady?

Thor: I think if the whole team does everything for one man, it is better than if each of us tries.

Steamboat: Were you surprised hearing that Heras left USPS and joined Liberty Seguros?

Thor: Heras was a big surprise. I didn't think that Lance would let such a good rider go.

Steamboat: When did you hear about the change? Were there any rumors among the cyclists?

Thor: Saw it through the media. Like normal...

Curious: But, Thor - how can you keep a rider who doesn't want to stay? Would he still perform well for you?

Thor: That's a problem. But it's normal to finish a contract, isn't it?

Curious: True, Thor - but Heras is getting a lot more $$$.

Thor: I think Heras was on good money on USPS.

Ruben: So, if Credit Agricole would make you their sprint leader...and O'Grady pulled sprints for you. What would you think of that?

Thor: It's hard to say. But a whole team, and O'Grady in the end. That should be the best leadout team in the world.

Ruben: Thor, what do you think of Michael Boogerd?

Thor: Boogerd is a good guy as well. And he's always doing his best, attacking, etc.....

SirBeelzebub: Who is your favourite rider from another team?

Thor: I like Hamilton a lot.

Sparky: Hamilton should have stayed with team CSC.

Thor: I agree, Hamilton should have stayed on CSC.

Schiller: Hey Thor, how much do you guys see CA Espoirs??

Thor: Don't see them often. Twice a year maybe....

Ruben: Thor, is there any rider you really dislike?

Thor: There are many riders I don't like. But I will keep the names to myself...

SirBeelzebub: Thor, come on, are you a chicken? (smiling)

Thor: Yes, a big one...

Sparky: Well, we've got Basso now. Let's hope he can do something. And Riis can teach him some TT...

Thor: Basso will be a big rider.

Schiller: What is the lowest weight you hit during the season?

Thor: The lowest weight is around 79.5 kg.

Curious: Thor - what about fans at races? How do they help riders, or do they annoy them?

Thor: The fans are very important. That's why we can do this sport. We want to show the whole world that we can handle it.

Curious: And we thank you!

AndrewS: Thor, what is your favourite bike in the peloton?

Thor: I like the Cannondale!

Ruben: How do you pass the winter? Training indoors?

Thor: The winter is passing too fast. Hanging around with friends. And for sure, training on my MTB or skiing.

Dave_t: Thor, do you have a fan club?

Thor: I have a fan club in Norway. And a bar in Belgium.

Schiller: What wheels have you broken, Thor? How long did it take?

Thor: I have broken many wheels. Ask my mechanics...they don't like the way I ride.

Andy: Have you ever dreamt about a race in cycling? Or what do you dream of?

Thor: Every day I'm on the bike, I dream about winning races. Like the Olympics, the Worlds, Paris -Roubaix. That how I can motivate myself.

Julian: Do you prefer the Belgian weather or the weather in Norway?

Thor: The Belgium weather is good for me.

Cooper: How to train cobbles??

Thor: Okay, this is the last question. Cobbles. To train cobbles, you just have to get used to them. And not too much, if not, you will hate it.

Daily Peloton: Thank you very much, Thor - it has been great chatting with you!

Thor: It was very nice to meet you all. I'm very proud of all the support. Thank you!

Thor: Follow the Tour next year. And I will beat Boogerd (smiles). See you, everybody!

And after a chorus of good byes, thanks you and good lucks, Thor the Thunder God was away. Thanks to everyone who joined us for the chat, and for the excellent questions!

Also be sure to visit Thor's website here.

 
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