The Road to Worlds with Jeremy Powers #7

Posted on 25. Jan, 2010 by in interviews

Jeremy Powers at the start of USGP Portland Cup #2

Jeremy Powers at the start of USGP Portland Cup #2

A few days after the US Cyclocross National Championships, Jeremy Powers and his teammate Jamey Driscoll flew to Europe for their 6-week training and racing period before the World Championships to be held in the Czech Republic on Jan 31 2010.

On a regular basis, Jeremy shares the good, the bad and everything in between.

In Episode #7  (recorded January 24), we catch with Jeremy after his race at the Hoogerheide World Cup. He talks about the race, the muddy conditions and his final push for the World Championships. We also discuss  important questions such as cats of dogs, what came first the chicken or the egg, his favorite car and lots more.

(Note: Scroll down for transcript as unfortunately there was some noise during our connection)


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Missed an episode?

  • Episode #6, recorded January 15:  last two races in Belgium, his return home to Massachusetts for a short break and going cold-turkey as far as coffee. He also compares cross courses between Europe and the US and fans after the incident with Niels Albert.
  • Episode #5, recorded New Year’s Eve: on mud, Niels Albert, Sven Nys and Zdenek Stybek and more
  • Episode #4, recorded December 24: fond memories of Christmas past including a sweet go-cart and first bike, race day preparation and his approach to calories and beer, and more
  • Episode #3: traeling ninja-style, busy season, meeting and talking to fans and boxer or briefs….
  • Episode #2: winning USGP in Portland, final preparation for Nationals, roommates, music and more
  • Episode #1: goals for Worlds, a look back at his season, peanut butter, eggs and more

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Episode #7 Transcript

Tell me about your race today at the World Cup in Hoogerheide.
Today was good, today was the final World Cup in Hoogerheide, a good hard race. The guys at the front were really going ballistics. I watched the race recap and just saw everyone was really digging for it, wanted to win, Stybar and Niels, yeah it was just a good race at the front. It was extremely fast, it was crazy, at the start guys were just taking people out like it was their job, it was pretty crazy. Overall, I’m not super-psyched with my ride but it’s fine, we’ll take it, I didn’t have any problems, just cruising along trying to take what I can from these races. Just head into the World Championships and hope for the best now.

You say it was fast but the mud looked sticky, of course on a computer at 6am it’s hard to tell, so tell me about the mud.
It was a little bit of both, it was sticky but it was also really thick in certain sections. It was also very sandy so it dries out really quickly there but not sand, hard to ride through sand. The water actually had somewhere to go. It’s always been a course that even though it’s raining a lot here this time of year stays pretty dry and fast so certain sections of the course really fast, other sections were really grindy.. Overall just a great course, a little bit of both, it was fast , it was boggy, it was treacherous, it was good, it was all those things.

Now you have your two teammates with you, actually the whole crew, the Americans for Worlds are there so does that change how you approach the racing?
No it’s a lot more fun, there’s a lot more people to converse with and hang out, do stuff. We’ve got Stu the owner of who’s here, we’ve got Tim Johnson my teammate and also Jamey is here. Then we also have two great mechanics from Cannondale with us. Troy who was at all of our US races has come over and he has the trailer, the European rig and then we also have another Cannondale mechanic from Italy. So we’re really hooked up, it’s been really great to have the support, it’s definitely needed, it’s so hard to do without.

You noticed a big difference with that?
Yes, if you have to overhaul one of those bikes after a hard race, the first time you do that you know… it takes so much time.

Speaking of Tim, have you played LOL Smiley Face for him?
You know what, he hasn’t been really outgoing, the LOL Smiley Face, it’s weird. I’ve been trying to push on him but he hasn’t been hooking me up, he’s just been correcting me on all my mispronounced words, that’s all Tim’s seem trying to do lately. I’ve got to hit him up, let the air out of his tires, kind of put him into his place a little bit and then put LOL Smiley Face as the only song on his playlist on his iPod when he goes out. I’ll get him if you know what I’m saying, it will be an early April Fool’s joke coming in.

We saw the news that Louisville might get the World Championships in 2013, that’s pretty sweet. What do you think of that? Do you think it’s going to happen?
I hope it happens, that would be awesome I’d be really psyched. That would change everything for me and I think it would be … I could go on for days about it but definitely something I would be excited and a really really motivating thing for me. Definitely excited to hear that news.

For me that would mean that they’d have to move the National Championships to January, I don’t see how else they could do this?
There are a lot of things being thrown around. Once that’s final, once that’s definitely happening, we;ll know in the next five days, we’ll have a little bit better idea of what’s going on and we’ll be able to really say one way or the other. Right now, it’s all really kind of hearsay, a lot of speculation but yeah I think that’s something that’s definitely in the cards.

Okay, let’s talk Worlds. One more race, one more cross race for you this season. What’s your week like before the big race on Sunday?
Nothing too much different. We’re going to do some training rides, Ryan Trebon is actually down the street, I’m going to hook up with him tomorrow for a ride, do a little cruise and then Tuesday we’ll do a little something something, maybe a little longer, I don’t know maybe take another rest day, see how I recover, see how I feel. And then Wednesday, we’re going to do a training ride and then get on a plane and shoot across to the Czech Republic. Then it will be pretty much just checking out the course and getting ready. It’s a World Championships so you get more time to look at the course, it’s a bit more like Nationals where you dedicate… in a typical race, you dedicate maybe a day, a World Cup maybe the day before to check out the course and then the day of you do a pretty good recon of how it’s turned out and then for the World Championships or Nationals, you do a couple days before. You check it once, you check it again, you think about it in your head, you put a lot of emphasis on how the course is going to flow, where you’re going to rest and where you’re going to go hard. So yeah, we’ll be over there pretty early and if there’s some travel mishaps we’ll have enough time to get it straightened it, it should be good.

You mentioned that you think about it in your head so how much do you think about the lines that you’re going to take after you pre-ride the course? Is that all you think about?
No, I think it’s more about breaking it down into certain sections and saying this is a place where I’m probably going to rest and this is a place where I’m going to try and go as hard as I can and make up time, this is a part that I’m good at and this is a part that I’m not good at. Visualizing the race is really important. One of the things that I learned also about visualizing from a good friend of mine is always good to visualize if something bad happens and that’s something that I’ve been doing a lot lately. If I crash or something happens how do I go after that. You have to think about so many things in a big race, man I’m not good in this section what if something happens? Well I’m not far from the pit, or I can pop right back up and this is here or I’ll go there or I’ll take that line. You analyze it more. I guess there’s something to be said for not over-analyzing also but it is a big race, I try to do everything we can do be a little bit more prepared.

So when we talked in our first episode which I guess was over six weeks ago or so, you mentioned your goal was top 15. Is that still the case? How are you approaching the race?
I think top 25 is probably a little bit more accurate at this point. I don’t know why, my form isn’t really coming around the way I anticipated, not for any particular reason. Maybe with the fast snowy conditions I might be able to do something like that, I might be able to actually ride to where I think my potential is. But yeah I would say that mostly I’m going to shoot for the best that I can do at this point, I’m going to walk away from the season and I’m going to leave it all out there. No matter what happens, even if I do have an awesome race and that would be sweet but even if I don’t, you know what that’s okay too, I’ll be disappointed but I’ll keep on moving. It’s not too big of a deal, I’m thinking it’s going to be a good race, I’ve liked the course there in the past. I really liked today’s course too, I know my result doesn’t show it, definitely a good fun fast course and I had a good time doing it. You have to remember that these guys are great racers, everyone that’s out here is a great racer so even if I’m not riding to my absolute best or whatever, these guys are still great racers and I’m still a good racer. For me I just think about it like that, it is what it is. These guys are great, I’m good too. It doesn’t take away from me it they’re great, it just means that I have a little bit of work to do or whatever. That’s the way that I’m looking at it.

You still had an awesome season, compared to last year you’ve improved a lot so next year…
We’re fine, no big deal there. At the end of the season, you look back at it a little bit. Obviously it would have been great to have one ride here where you’re like ‘oh this is awesome’ but hey you can’t everything.

Who’s your money on now? Have you switched? Is it still Stybar? Albert? Nys?
It seems like Albert has a lot to prove right now but I think he’s done with the pressure of the World Championship. It doesn’t seem that he really buckles under pressure but it seems he doesn’t really want to be World Champion again. After I read an interview with him and I feel like he almost wants to give it away because he doesn’t want to deal with it anymore. Maybe he wants less stress, I don’t really know but it seemed to me that he wasn’t that determined. Then today when Stybar finally gave him some business on some of the corners, he got pissed and really went after it. I don’t know, you never know. After losing the World Cup title, he might actually want the World Championship, I don’t really know but definitely it’s going to be a battle. I think Stybar is a very good pick if you’re gambling.

Well my money is on Stybar. It should be fun to watch.
Quick questions, completely off subject just to think about something else. You mentioned peanut butter, what do you prefer smooth or chunky?
Oh definitely chunky, always.

Cats or dogs?

You don’t have a dog though right?
No. But my girlfriend wants one and I want one too secretly but I haven’t told her that yet.

So what came first the chicken or the egg, since you know chickens?
Oh man, that’s a great question, I don’t know. We asked that question the other day. We were actually having a debate about if you needed a rooster and how chickens became. We really couldn’t figure out. For some reason I just thought the chicken were laying eggs and those wore little chicks, you just lay on them and they would hatch. But then I realized that they’re not little chickens in there, they’re just yolks and they’re not going to turn into anything, they’re just chicken eggs. We were thinking about that, we had a debate: do you need a rooster to actually have a chick? It turns out you do, we looked it up and you do. That makes sense.

I’m just imagining this, so you had a debate over dinner about chickens, roosters and eggs.
Exactly. They’re laying eggs, you’d think ‘okay they’re laying eggs’ but that’s not right… it got a little gross, we looked around on the internet, you find some gross stuff but now it’s all good. You need a rooster to make a chick, that’s all I’m saying. It takes two to tango if you know what I’m saying.

Okay we won’t go into details. What’s your dream car?
Man, man right now I want this LandRover so bad but I’m never ever going to get one. But as a dream car, 1964 Impala supersport blue, not a sky blue but a sea blue.

Why that one?
I don’t know, my dad used to have one. I wanted that car for a long time, it’s a hot car. They were so amazing, just a beautiful car. I don’t know I always wanted one, we’ll see maybe some day.

And you still have your Caprice?
The Caprice is really on its last legs at this point, it owes me nothing.

What’s your favorite ice cream flavor? Do you eat ice cream actually?
There is one at a place in Massachusetts. I do eat ice cream yes, with a couple of Lactaid down the hatch. I love this one place, Harolds in downtown Northampton. They have something called burnt sugar and butter and it’s so friggin tasty, ah I love that stuff it’s really good.

How many numbers in your cell phone?
Oh man, I don’t know I have no idea. I can look for you if you want but I have no idea. I couldn’t even tell you.

Hundreds, thousands?
Probably a thousand.

Who was the last person that made you mad?
That’s a great question. Who hasn’t made me mad lately, I’m kind of grumpy lately. Actually I don’t know, let me think about that, that’s a great question, probably James, my teammate James, he’s been so good to me… I don’t know, I can’t even pretend on that one I have no idea.

What do you want more than anything right now?
More than anything right this second? I want mu contractor to come over to put a hole in my kitchen and build me a coffee bar. That’s number one, that’s my biggest, that’s what I’m dreaming about for the month of February. It’s not going to happen but I’m dreaming about it happening.

So you’re not doing that?
I want to do it but I can’t do it myself. We want to cut a hole into the side of the kitchen and make a sick coffee bar, really sweet. When it happens it will be great, anyone can come over and have some coffee. For the moment, it hasn’t happened, just kind of waiting, waiting for Rich to get some time. Rich, if you’re listening, now you’re on the spot, it’s serious.

Yeah, because I want to see that.
Exactly. I know I’m trying to get this nice place to entertain people like Lyne from podiuminsight.

My last question. If Chuck Norris raced cross could you beat him?
If Chuck Norris I would let him beat me.

You would let him beat you what kind of answer is that?
I would feel privileged. If Chuck Norris wanted to race, that would be fine. If Chuck Norris wanted to have a good time and go out and ride, I would let him beat me. If we were at a celebrity type of thing, not that I’m a celebrity, if Chuck Norris comes to something to that and he wanted to win, I would say ‘ you know what Chuck that sounds fine, I’m going to let you do that.’

Thank you, good luck next week and talk to you one more time.
Awesome. Thank you very much Lyne and thank you to everyone that’s been following along and listening. I appreciate everyone’s support and definitely got a lot of emails, I appreciate everybody and just thanks for listening.

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