What's Cool In Road Cycling

JIMMY CASPER: 5 Minutes with PEZ!

Typically the off-season is the best time to talk to riders – they’re relaxed and easier to find. Still, at big events like the 2005 Tour de France Route presentation, there’s so much going on that you’re lucky to get even one question in – let alone the 5 minutes we got with French sprinter Jimmy Casper…

We first met Jimmy at the Val d’Orge cyclocross race in France a last month.

Jimmy Casper is known here in France as the man who outsprinted Zabel at the Tour of Germany, among other things. He’s an accomplished rider, and definitely a tough one, as we witnessed in the 2003 TDF when he rode for 8 days with a neck brace, following the huge stage one pile up. His 2004 season has been solid, with stage wins in the Tour of Picardie, the Tour of Denmark, a stage win to go with his overall win in the Circuit Franco Belgie, and the unique honor of being this years Lanterne Rouge at the Tour De France.

I caught up with Jimmy at the Tour De France 2005 route presentation for a few quick questions, and I must give him props for his patience with my French.

Casper struggled through the 2003 Tour after injuring his neck in the Stage 1 pile-up. Here he’s last man on the road, 30 minutes behind the bunch on the col du Lautaret.

Pez: Don’t worry, I’ll get my wife to help me translate.

JC: Oh, she’s French?

Pez: Yes

JC: Good!

Pez: So, which stage in the 2005 Tour do you think will be the best for you?

JC: There’s not one stage in particular, there are all the stages which will finish with a sprint, but I don’t get to pick the stage that I’m going to win, right?

Pez: Right, true… I have to say I think its incredible that you always finish the Tour de France because there are other sprinters who simply abandon.

JC: Frankly, If I don’t win a stage I’m always going to try to win on the Champs Elysees. It’s not always easy, but maybe one day I will manage to do it. We will see!

Pez: Do you think that you will be doing more Cyclocross this winter?

JC: No, I did my last scheduled one Monday, I’m taking a month off and afterwards I will begin retraining for the road. Perhaps a couple of
Cyclocross, but principally road training in December for the coming season.

Pez: Here’s a totally different question, do you have a favorite team
outside of cycling? Like for football?

JC: No, no… Not really.

Pez: Ok, thanks so much for your time!

JC: Your welcome.

Height: 1.75m
Weight: 71 kgs
DOB: May 28th, 1978
Married, 1 child
Professional since 1998

So – like we said – there’s only so much interviewing you can do in the middle of a big press event – but we’ll try to get more with Jimmy later on…

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