Christian Vande Velde Interview
Dave Osborne talks with Christian Vande Velde about Christian's 2008 season, life on Team Garmin-Slipstream and the 2009 Tour de France.
I’ll never forget.
DO: You’ve mentioned three different teams you’ve been on. What are your experiences as far as strengths and weaknesses within a team? What have you seen as pluses and minuses among the different teams you’ve been on?
CVV: There will be pluses and minuses in every team, but I really just take all the positives of all the teams that I’ve been on. I tried to infiltrate them into Team Garmin. I think we’ve been doing a pretty good job at that. One of the bonuses is a lot of people who have been on Garmin – Matt White, myself, David Miller, Jonathan - we’ve been on similar teams. That helps and we put all the positives into one basket. And we try the best of it. We’re really doing a good job of that here at Garmin whether it be technology...everything that we could have control of we try to get control of. And apart from that, from the get-go we try to put guys on the team that share the same ideology and just get together quite well.
DO: In all your training and racing, is there something in the back of your mind about July of 2009?
CVV: Oh yeah, that definitely gets you out there but first things first. I’m really thinking of California and it’s less than a month away. So California, Giro, Tour - but of course the big picture is that the Tour is always number one. When you panic or you’re too behind you have to tell yourself to relax. It’s seven months away. In all relativity, you have to think you want to put the guys in the Tour of California for nine days. That’s going to be a very hard race. So first and foremost I want to get myself prepared to have a good race here. And take it from there.
DO: Have you analyzed the 2009 Tour de France and said this looks like my stage?
CVV: I really haven’t done that in all honesty. I know the gist of the tour and how it goes. And what the first week is going be like. I think a lot of times that’s what it is. After the first two weeks everyone knows where they are and what they can and can’t do at that point. And then after that it’s Mont Ventoux time. That is going to be the pinnacle of the ’09 Tour. So, no I haven’t pinpointed a stage or two if that’s what you are asking.
DO: What involvement do the riders have in planning the strategy of the stages?
CVV: At the end of the day it’s the rider’s decision whether or not they’re going to follow the decision of the director. Yeah, you sit in the bus and there’s a pie in the sky. This is what’s going to happen today, this is what we want to do. Sometimes it really comes out exactly what you intended to do and those are great feelings even if it doesn’t work out. Let’s say