By Vaughn Trevi/Daily Peloton with a link to DP http://www.dailypeloton.com/
Interview: Jack Anderson of Endura Racing
Australian Time Bandit, Jack Anderson on his career, racing in Australia, Europe finding his way British team Endura Racing - career and goals for the 2012 Season
Jack Anderson made his move to race in Europe four years ago; previous to his European adventure Jack as a 20 year old impressed with consitent top 5 performances in 2007 to sign with the Aussie Domestic squad Team Budget Forklifts in 2008 2when his was at home in Brisbane. In 2009 he opened his season in January with the TTT victory in the opening stage of the Tour of Wellington in New Zealand at over 52 km/h... three more time trial victories followed that year. His best being the U23 Oceania ITT Championship.
In 2010 he opened his season with 2nd in the Elite Men's ITT at the Scody Australian Open Chamnpionships; good enough to picked up by Magnus Backstedt and Martin McCrossan's Team Sprocket in Sweden. He caught our eye when he was a protagonist at the French race 33rd Mi-Août en Bretagne where he finished sixth on the G.C. in the UCI Europe Tour 2.2 event.
Jack European campaign continued with top ten placement earning him a contract with British team Endura cycling in 2011... catching up with Jack Anderson
Luke Allingham: How did you get interested or started in the sport of cycling?
Jack Anderson: My Brother had read lance Armstrong's book, and was watching the Tour De France on TV. So I decided that as boring as I found it then I decided to watch it too. Then I read Armstrong's book and thought I could do that, so I bought a bike out of the newspaper for $100.00 and started .
Luke Allingham: Do you have any hobbies you enjoy doing off the bike or do to relax?
Jack Anderson: For sure. Anything outside of the cycling world is the best way to relax. It is nice to get away from the sport which is your job. your life. your love it consumes you. I enjoy Sailing , fishing , the beach, basically anything involving boats and the water and sand. Of course catching up with my family and friends weather that's for coffee or whatever is always a good way for me to relax and escape work for a bit.
L.A.: You raced with Endura Racing in 2011, overall how would you describe your season, personal and with Endura Racing?
Jack Anderson: Personally this year has been a really steep learning curve. It has been a hugely successful year for Endura and for myself. We have won a lot this year and everyone has had their small successes, I can only hope personally and on a team level 2012 is equally as successful. I have really enjoyed riding for the team learning from the older guys and we are a really tight knit bunch.
I know a lot of riders say that about their teams but I honestly wonder if they know what that means, they have nothing on us at Endura. We are like family I am close friends with a lot of them and that means not only would I do almost anything for them but it means we succeed on the bike, and it means we have a lot of fun doing it. I think we have a very different atmosphere from many of the bigger teams so its something I really treasure and value.
L.A.: What are your main goals for the coming season? Are you hoping to ride the 2012 Olympics?
Jack Anderson - Endura Racing
Jack Anderson: The coming season...hmmm my goal is to win, whether that's me personally or a teammate. Everyone wants to put their arms in the air.
We have a great program at Endura so all the races we do are big , if the team can win and I can win, any race will do. That's why I ride. But certainly win some time trials too.
I probably won't get to ride the Olympics , Australia, is the strongest cycling nation in the world so to make that team you have to be good , and I am not there yet, maybe in 4 years time.
.A.: In 2009 you took 1st place at the Oceania Cycling Championships, U23 ITT; can you describe what that day was like and what it felt like to win the title?
Jack Anderson; It was great to win the 2009 Oceania Championship , I beat Michael Matthews which is a little claim to fame, he said laughing. Oh it was one of those days when you are just firing and I was on. Those days you are unstoppable.
I then went to the 2009 World Time Trial Championships in Mendrisio Switzerland. But Sadly I got sick 2 days before and rode the ITT very very sick and finished a disappointed 41st place.
But then in January 2010, I came back with a point to prove. In the Australian Open Time Trial Championships I finished 2nd Behind Cameron Meyer and in front of Luke Roberts. That was probably the biggest result of my career. To prove that the U23 Oceanic title wasn't a fluke and I could mix it with the big boys.
L.A.: What is the funniest thing you've experienced during a group training ride or road race?
Jack Anderson: Riding through the Brisbane City during a training ride I saw a guy passed out in the gutter from a big night still with his phone held to his ear. Also Tour of Utah had some pretty interesting supporters on the Mountain top finish on the final stage this year, they were hilarious offering us steak and all sorts of things while we climbed.
L.A.: Cadel Evans won Australia's first Tour de France in 2011 and the world championships a few years before... as Australian what was your reaction after you saw Evans make those breakthroughs?
Jack Anderson: Yeh I was at the worlds when he won but sadly I didn't see the race. This year when he won the Tour I was at my home in Girona and it was incredible. For me it was quite inspiring to see him win. I had always supported him for many years and after his two second places everyone said that he would never do it. I think a lot of people stopped supporting him after those 2 second places.
A lot of people don't like his personality and people put him down for one reason or another but now after he finally did it and proved them wrong. Now he is arguably the best all around rider in the world It's funny to see everyone who never supported him jump on the band wagon and say how much they love and support him.
L.A.: Recently GreenEdge Cycling has collected a WorldTour License for 2012, does this give inspiration to younger Australian cyclists such as yourself, if so how?
Jack Anderson: Greenedge ..Um sure it is great for the very small percentage of Australian riders they will pick up. Out of 30 riders how many are young talented Aussies? What about everyone else ?
The unfortunate thing is there are a lot of talented Aussies who will never get that chance for many different reasons . They are however an awesomely strong team and any current pro would love to ride for them. They will be a force to reckon with in the coming years, so it is great for Australian Cycling of course.
L.A.: You placed 2nd in General Classification at the 2009 Mersey Valley Tour, you were only about 20 seconds behind overall winner Dylan Newell, can you tell us a little bit about the race and what you experienced during it?
Jack Anderson: I was young then young and dumb as the saying goes I won the 22 km Time Trial and then lost the Tour on the final stage over the top of the very last climb of the Tour , Oh well If I knew then what I knew now I am sure it would have been a different story.
L.A.: Have you gotten back onto the bike to start training for the 2012 season yet? What is your off season training program set up like?
Jack Anderson: Yes just the last 2 weeks have been pretty full on . I had 4 weeks off, and then a fair bit of time just doing what ever I felt like, no structure you know.
The off season is about Mentally taking a break as much a physically. I do a lot of gym work and still ride but put the emphasis on Gym and spending time with my lovely friends and family, while I am at home in Australia. Come January, through till October I wont see them, so I will have plenty of time to train.
L.A.: Two or three years in Europe? Must have been quite an adventure to just head on to Europe and sign on. How did you set that up? Do you think it was the best route for you, would you recommend it to other Australian or American riders?
Jack Anderson: 4 years in Europe now. When I couldn't get into the AIS in 2008 They organized a ride for me with an Italian Amateur team U.S. Fracor . So I packed up and went there to live and race for the year. and every year since I have been back to Europe. Now I am really happy Living in Girona Spain and I love Europe and it's culture.
I wouldn't necessarily recommend Italy , France and Belgium and Holland are great too, with many Pro teams to progress into. The National Academy is of course the best way to go but as I have said that it only caters for a very small percentile so this is the only other option if you want to make it. It's worth a shot hey.
Jack collects his trophy at the Hell of the Marianas - PIC Century Cycle where he won the race and broke the course record by 5 minutes in December. Photo courtesy of Jack Anderson
L.A.: What's your favorite race on home turf in Oz and in Europe so far; which would you really like to add to your palmares?
Jack Anderson: I love the Herald Sun Tour, so would love to win or do well in that one, or the Tour Down Under one day. In Europe I would have to say the Tour Of Britain; we are a British team so to be successful in that would be great.
Luke Allingham- The Sun Tour is one of the oldest stage races in Australia, what was it like to see the race with Euro-pros this year and getting a higher profile?
Jack Anderson: This year to do the Sun Tour with the national team was cool. It is the third time I have done it. This year it was finally sunny unlike the previous two times, and all three times I have done it I have gotten sick, this year I did also but I had good form so it wasn't so bad. It's nice to race with the European guys in outback Victoria , I am proud of Australia so it's nice to show it off.
L.A.: Any advice to give to an amateur cyclist who dream of becoming a pro rider?
Jack Anderson: Enjoy being an amateur, enjoy the ride. Don't train too hard, just relax and let your body develop over the years. Once you turn Pro it becomes your job and your life and as we have seen before many cyclists soon stop the sport because it consumes them and they get sick of it.
So enjoy it while you can, as the saying goes, "It's good to have an End to journey towards but in the end, it's the journey that really matters".
L.A.: Is there anyone you would like to thank for supporting you in your cycling career at this point?
Jack Anderson: All my sponsors , and of course Endura. Some supporters John Reeves, Ashley Curtis, My coach Peter Richards has been a huge supporter and is a dear friend and I thank him.
Most of all my family, Mum and Dad !
June 2, 1987 - 24 years old
2008 Minnett-Triple Play (Australia) (to September 9)
2008 US Factor (Italy)
2008 - 2009 Team Budget Forklifts (Australia)
2010 Team Sprocket (Sweden)
2011 - 2012 Endura Racing (Great Britain)