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Answers from an Anonymous Pro Cyclist
By Staff
Date: 12/12/2003
Answers from an Anonymous Pro Cyclist

A Questionnaire from an Anonymous Rider ... and his honest answers.

From Tick at Cycling4Fans

1. Your motto, professional and personal.

A man's gotta do what a man's gotta do.

2. What is the best thing about being a professional cyclist, and what is the worst?

The best: I can make my living doing what I love. I get to travel and I earn more money than I would in any "normal" job.

The worst: I'm always on the road and never at home, which plays hell with family relationships. And there's the constant worry about a new contract. And the injuries.

3. What do you plan to do after your cycling career?

How the hell do I know? I have no training, no higher education. I have no idea of what kind of job I might find. I can only hope that I will find a job in the sport or that someone will hire me on the strength of my name.

4. The Sporting Director is...

My boss. He tells me what I must do, and then I must do it. If he says I have to ride, then I have to ride, even if I don't want to or don't feel well or have trouble at homes. He tries to be understanding, but he has a business -- our team -- to see to.

5. Fans are...

One of the reasons to keep on riding. Their support and cheers are sometimes the only things that keep me going. On some of those mountain stages with thousands of fans lining the's an incredible feeling, I can't describe it.

6. What is the worst, craziest, or most interesting experience you've ever had with a fan?

Oh, man, there are all kinds of fans. Most of them really don't want anything more than a photo or an autograph, but you can get just about anything you want from some of them -- anything from sex to drugs.

7. What is your favorite race, and why?

Any one in which I have had a win -- which isn't very many.

8. What is your least favorite race, and why?

Any cold, rainy race in the early part of the season, where I know I won't have any chance of doing well anyway, where everything hurts because I'm not in top form yet, not to mention of risk of getting sick in the cruddy weather or crashing in the rain and getting hurt.

9. Which is the most difficult climb?

Alpe d'Huez, Mortirolo, Angliru, all of the famous ones, actually, especially when they're at the end of a stage. 99% of us don't have a prayer of winning such a stage and after 200 km it's utter torture to force yourself up such a mountain. Sometimes you think the only thing to do is to climb off your bike and get in the team car, but you just can't do that -- you're always afraid that that just might spell the end of your career in your SD's eyes.

10. Which of your fellow cyclists do you most respect?

All of them who have managed to have long careers, who are still healthy when they retire, who manage to have careers afterwards...not that there are so many of them.

11. What is your stand on doping?

I wish I could say it's a problem that doesn't exist, but I can't. You just don't understand the fear that most of us live with -- fear of injuries, yes, but even greater is the fear of not doing well, of not getting a new conrtact, of not being employed -- and we simply do what he have to do to cope with that, to help us ride as best we can. If dope will help us, we use it. We can really only help that we don't get caught.

12. Do you have a family? If so, how do they feel about you being a professional cyclist?

Sure, a wife and two kids. I missed both births because I was racing. My son is seven, and I have been at home once for his birthday! My wife used to think it was "glamorous" to be married to a pro cyclist -- now she has started taking about divorce...

13. How did you get started in cycling?

Like all the kids in the neighborhood, I had a bike to get around with. Then my parents insisted I take up a sport, and cycling seemed the obvious one. I discovered I was good at it and I devoted myself to cycling instead of school. I grabbed at a pro contract as soon as I could.

14. Who are your role models?

As a kid you want to ride like Indurain or Merckx or whoever. When you get older you realize they went through the same shit you're going through, and just try to get through each race as best you can.

15. What do you do in your free time?

Free time? Sleep, train, work out. I really try to spend as much time with my family as possible, but...

16. What are your best and worst characteristics?

Best: I'm a hard worker and I always try to the right thing, even if it doesn't always work out.

Worst: I know a lot of the things I do are wrong, like cheating on my wife or using dope to improve my riding, but I do them anyway.

Read more rider questionnaires here.

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