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Interview with Chris Baldwin
 
By Cathy Mehl
Date: 8/31/2006
Interview with Chris Baldwin
 

The Daily Peloton had the pleasure of sitting down with Chris Baldwin on Wednesday afternoon prior to the US Pro Championships to talk about the end of his reign as US Time Trial Champion. Baldwin will compete against a field of more than fifty riders as they race against the clock for the right to wear the Stars and Stripes jersey in 2007. Baldwin has won the title two times in the past, so he is no stranger to the thrill of victory when it comes to dominating the discipline of the Time Trial.

Daily Peloton: Youíre completing your year as the Time Trial Champion now, a position not unfamiliar to you since this was your second time to win the title! Can you look back on your year and share with us a few highlights?

Chris Baldwin: I've really enjoyed a lot of the races. Most recently the Tour of Utah was good. I finally started to feel like I was hitting my stride in time trialing at that race. But just all through the year seeing JJ (Haedo) get so many wins was very exciting. It was fun to be part of that.

Daily Peloton: Do you get a little nostalgic when itís time to give up the jersey, or does closing out your year lend special motivation to win it back again?

Baldwin: No, no, Iím not really like that. I'm not nostalgic about it. I just hope to do it again.

What do you think of the change of location and timing for this year?

I've ridden in this basic area before at a camp with Navigators and it's a great area for training. Having it late is a little difficult, especially to keep your motivation up, but everyoneís in the same boat so that's okay. This area is really nice for riding. I havenít ridden the course yet, but will on Thursday.

How do you feel about the Americans Only format for the competition?

I think itís good that its USA only. It lends status to the event.

How do you feel about your chances on this course and the competition for it? Who do you feel are your closest rivals?

I haven't been out there yet, but on paper I think the course looks good. My teammate Justin (England) might have some more input for us before we ride it since heís our east coast recon guy. I look forward to seeing how I go against a guy like Zabriskie. I like it when I race against the best.

You went to a new team this year and of course took the jersey with you, as did Wherry. It seems the two of you instantly provided status to the new Toyota team. Can you talk to me about your year with Toyota?

I donít think the team needed any more status once Tony Cruz and Chris Wherry signed, and they signed on at the beginning. That gave credibility to the team right there. Itís been a great year with Toyota. The team has lived up to all their promises. I think seeing JJ get so many wins was a real special part of the season, and to see Wherry come back from his illness in the second half was also great. But you know, we've had some hiccups. It was hard to see Frankie go. No one can replace him for experience or ability to read a race. We'll get another director but Frankie can't be replaced.

At the beginning of the year Toyota talked a lot about being a fan-based team. Do you think the goals for this type program have been met?

I do, and we were well received everywhere we went. I think itís important to note that this is a three year project not a one year, so there will be things that change. But overall it has worked out well.

What are your future goals? Any special wins you are still searching for? And are you interested in racing in Europe?

I think we will have the same race program next year. I was top 10 or top 5 in some races, so I would like to move up higher. I have all the tools in the tool box. I have a great team, I just need to step up a little myself. Iím no stranger to Europe, Iíve raced there a lot with Navigators and I raced in France for two years. But I never did that well with all of the traveling. I suffered from stomach issues, jet lag, you name it. I just think I can concentrate better on the NRC races.

The off season is coming up. I'm supposing your wife (cyclist) Kimberly (Baldwin) will be home soon, too. How is she doing and how has her year been?

Kimberly is almost finished with her season too and it's gone really well. She races mostly in Europe, and will be home soon. We are apart a lot until the off season and then we are together 24 hours a day, so itís a different lifestyle, but you adjust to it.

Any more late season races for you?

I will do the Parker race in Colorado and then I might petition for the Worlds.

Best of luck to you on Friday, Chris! Thanks for talking with us.


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