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Bob Roll at Interbike (aka Interbobke)
 
By Janna Trevisanut
Date: 10/7/2004
Bob Roll at Interbike (aka Interbobke)
 


Mr. Giuseppe Martinelli of Team Saeco is thinking that Bobke must be Italian, since he
wouldn't be able to talk were his hands tied behind his back... (only joking)

Bobke was looking very good today, by the way, and was sporting a mountain man beard. Bob took questions from the audience and told a story or two. He was first asked how many languages he speaks. He said that he can manage five languages "including English - Italian not too bad, Spanish, English, some guttural Flemish, when I need to."

The next question was what size shoe Lance Armstrong wears, and Bob dutifully reported that his size is 43 and a half. Bob was asked if he is familiar with Shiner Bock beer in Austin, Texas, to which he said that yes, he knows it quite well, that in fact he has “drained the town of Shiner from time to time, such as when Lyle Lovett came back to town after being on the road."

An audience member asked about Lance’s automobiles, and Bob said that Lance has many cars – he has Mercedes and he just got a 1972 GTO – he took the goat (slang term for a GTO) to West Coast Kustoms and had it totally customized. Bob reports that it is “so bad ass.” Bob also reports being at Nike a couple weeks ago and saw the chopper motorcycle that Lance had made – there were security guards around the bike beforehand so no one would sit on it – Bob says, “I was like, ‘please let me sit on it,’ and they were, ‘NOOO.’”


Miles of smiles for Bobke.

So Bob tells how Lance is set to ride his chopper down this gangway as a presentation for the employees of Nike (an audience of 5000 people) and the stage was up on a ramp and it made an L-shaped turn. "Lance took the ramp at about 75 miles per hour – he was like Evil Knievel, and came about that far from crashing his rainbow, and all the Nike guys are like 'Aaaaaaaaarrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!!!!'”

An audience member asked Bob about a famous photo of a mud-laden Bobke from Paris Roubaix in which all the other riders are going along on the dry cobbles but Bobke is going through a big puddle – Bob says, “Yeah, right through the mud - that was a mistake.” That photo is here.

Bob says, “Yeah, we never used to preview the courses, (he asked why I was off in the mud at Paris-Roubaix when the rest of the Peloton was on the dry road) and just before that stretch, where Graham Watson was standing, was the only puddle on the whole 300 k of the course that year on the dry Paris-Roubaix – it was a big puddle but - they had all previewed the course so they knew they had to slow down.

“You can’t imagine what the fight is like for position in Paris Roubaix on the straight stretch of the road on the cobbles, and I was always in about 150th place, so the whole Peloton slows down for this one corner, and I’m like, ‘Oh whoa, oh ah!’ so I go around the outside, I get to the corner and I think, ‘Oh! So that’s why they slowed down!’” Bob mimics his panic and yelling through the mud, and then continues, “But I didn’t crash or flat there, and then a hundred yards later Sean Kelly crashed right in front of me and I clipped his gear off with my chain ring. And I hit him right in the head. And his head bounced, and he jumped up – he got sixteenth, I got 35th. But, enough of that malarkey - no one can stump Bobke!”

Thanks for the laughs, Bob! Our next installment will be Bob interviewing Gilberto Simoni and Damiano Cunego.

 
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