With yet another Tour on his resume - and a second-place stage finish as a bonus - Christian Vande Velde and Team Garmin turn their focus to the remainder of the racing calendar. One highlight of the season that Christian has taken part in the past few years is the Garmin HQ visit and employee ride, which is coming up again in late August. Click the links below for details, and then enjoy Christian's candid insight from when we caught up with him recently.
1) What data fields do you typically show on your Edge device for races? Power, speed, times, heart rate.
2) How do you move past the bad luck that the team experienced in the first week and find the courage to race a stage like you did? We look for opportunities to be a part of the race. With the GC battle lost, that meant stage wins. It has been hard but the team morale has been great.
Luck is part of the sport - good and bad. We have a great team that's remained here and we've raced our hearts out. Its all about being a team and getting strength from eachother on the road and off. We've kept our heads in the game and we'll continue to fight all the way to Paris.
3) How would you describe the Team’s spirit? ... they've been heard singing on the bus at the start. :)
We're all great friends, we've kept each others' spirits up and continued to have fun - even on the hard days. You've got to be able to laugh a bit, listen to some good music and just keep your heads up. We're lucky to have such a great group of guys, and such great friends in each other. Losing Ryder was difficult, and required us to re-focus, and that's exactly what we did. We kept fighting and we've shown the world that we're here to race. We'll race all the way to Paris.
4) Do you have an idol in cycling? I always looked up to Slava Ekimov.
5) Growing up your father was an accomplished cyclist. Did you always want to follow in his footsteps? I did always want to follow in his footsteps. I didn't know how or when but I did know that I wanted to be a cyclist. Still don't know why.
6) You seem to choose homes near golf courses. Do you play? What’s your handicap? I did play a lot in high school and I was decent when I was about 16 and my handicap was about the same. Nothing special. But I do enjoy the sport and have worked on courses throughout my youth. I did everything from being a caddy to the greens crew.
7) When you finish your career in cycling is there another one you would like to attempt? I just want to be the best father I can be.
8) What do you want people to know about Christian Vande Velde? I guess that I am an approachable person who has been humbled many times in sport but was never afraid to come back.