Johan Museeuw: PEZ-clusive Interview
Johan Museeuw was voted “Best Ride of The Year” for 2002, for his stunning performance in Paris-Roubaix. We spoke with Johan, and asked him about this prestiguous honour, his love /hate relationship with the cobbles, VDB, and more…
1. Congratulations on being chosen by our readers and staff as the “Best Ride of 2002” – can say a few words to our readers about winning this award?
(See the story: Best Ride of 2002
JM. I’m very happy that I won that “trophee”. It’s an appreciation of my work. It’s also very fantastic that people outside Europe follow me.
2. You seem to have a “love affair” with the cobbles – sometimes you love each other, sometimes you try to kill each other… When in your career did you realize that the cobbles were something special for you?
JM – It was in my first year that I noticed that the cobbles where something for me. I always was good in the spring classics. Cobbles, short hills, etc. Off course the results in my first year weren’t there, but it was a sign that I had talent for this. After hard work and training I’ve got better and better…with the results now known.
3. You seem to get tougher and stronger as you get older – do you think your best victories and moments are still ahead? What do you hope they will be?
JM – I can’t answer this question, but I hope there will be great moments. It’s so, that a cyclist is at his best between 24 and 32. For me this is over, but I think my little secret is that I still love the exercise and that my body can do all those things.
4. Tell us a bit about the then Quick Step team – what do you think will be the strengths of the new team?
JM – The strengths of the team will be that we have a “mix” of young riders and “older” riders. For the Classics we have Bettini and me, but also the youngsters Boonen, Vandenbroucke and Knaven. Also Hulsmans can do something in the classics, unfortunately he’s injured. Also for the Tours we have talent. Virenque and Wadecki will only focus on the Tour de France. We have a young and ambitious team.
5. Many of our readers would love to see Frank VdB return to his top form – you have been noted in the past as a sort of “mentor” for Frank. Will you continue to help him regain his place in the bunch and what will you do?
JM – I will keep supporting Frank, but I have decided that I won’t speak about this anymore (Ed. Note: the Belgium the press has printed lies in an article with Johan.)
6. When you are training on the roads of Belgium, do you have a favorite cafe or pub that you like to stop in for a little food, coffee, or drink? What is it called and why do you prefer this particular place?
JM – No, I never stop during a training. Only when I’m very thirsty or have a lot of hunger, I’ll stop in a bakery or shop. I only buy something and eat/drink it on the way.
7. Which of the Spring Classics is your favorite? If you were a fan, where would be the best place to watch this race from?
JM – For me all the spring classics are my favorites. When I’m a fan, I would prefer the television, because there you can see everything. Of course, you don’t have the atmosphere of the classic.