Christian Vande Velde - Retired American professional road racing cyclist - NBC Commentator
Episode 115 - Christian Vande Velde - Retired American professional road racing cyclist - NBC Commentator
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Show notes (please see Timestamps below for more detail)
Christian Vande Velde raced bikes at the highest level throughout his 15-year professional career from 1998–2013, competing at the 2008 Summer Olympics and 18 Grand Tours. With two top-10 performances and multiple team victories including a 4th place in the Tour De France in 2008, and a year-out from retiring he had a brilliant win at the USA Pro Cycling Challenge.
Post-retirement, Christian has built a 'second life' in cycling through his role as an NBC sports commentator ... quote, "I rode bikes now I talk about them on NBC."
Christian is also a celebrity Peloton instructor.
See the timestamps below for more detail.
0:00 - Introduction to show.
1:55 - Interview starts
3:52 - COVID changed so many things in regard to broadcast commentary, particularly the ability to work from home studios via television feeds, Christian explains how he has adapted to this new way of working and how he feels it will be in the future for major international events.
7:39 - Christian's relationship with the late Paul Sherwen goes back decades to when they were both in grade school. He tells us some beautiful stories about Paul and his gift of language.
11:58 - Christian explains a not-so-typical day working commentary on the Tour de France.
13:57 - Greg turns the clock back with Christian and they talk about how he found his passion for cycling.
19:34 - Growing up in Chicago, at what point did Chris realise he had some talent for this cycling thing?
21:10 - Christian tells the story of winning his first junior worlds team race as he studied under a scholarship at a small arts school. This was a major turning point for him, but he was berated by the head coach for winning.
25:32 - The high amount of training miles back in the late 90's while in camp in Adelaide Australia had an impact on Christians entire career. He explains both the pros, and cons of the training and nutrition from back then.
29:07 - Being an elite athlete meant missing out on friend and family time back home ... Christian explains the sacrifices and the life of an athlete is not always as glamourous as it's perceived to be.
30:50 - Having so much success on the track, Christian explains why he switched to road racing.
32:07 - Christian describes the feeling of getting his first big pro contract. Wait till you hear how much it was worth!
34:24 - In road racing, a 'domestique' is a rider who works for the benefit of their team and leader, rather than trying to win the race. In French, domestique translates as "servant". Christian explains how this works within a pro cycling team, including his time riding with Lance Armstrong.
39:43 - Christian gives some insight in regard to Lance ... with, or without drugs, was Lance still the best rider in all those events?
43:26 - Christian's best grand tour was the 2008 Tour de France. He explains why, and how his mind and body turned up for this event.
51:55 - Christian has publicly stated that the worst event for his career was the 2005 Giro d’Italia - he explains in detail why and what happened before and during this event.
54:41 - What embarrassing moments stick out for Christian?
56:02 - Why did he decide to retire, and what was the transition into commentating for NBC like for Christian.
01:05:50 - Christian gives his view on the sport of professional cycling and explains some big factors that have changed the sport for the better.
01:08:30 - Who was the greatest cyclist you ever competed against?
01:10:49 - Who is Christian Vande Velde's G.O.A.T cyclist?
01:12:30 - If you could sit with any 3 people for dinner, who would they be, and why?
01:14:31 - What's one piece of advice that you could give to people now to help them optimize their lives?
01:16:02 - What's next for Christian Vande Velde?
01:18:18 - Interview ends.
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