What's Cool In Road Cycling

Trent Lowe Gets PEZ’d!

He’s been a world champion (junior mountain bike), spent two years with Disco, has just signed-up with the boys in the Argyle knitwear and he’s only 23; we caught-up with Australia’s Trent Lowe at his Spanish home, shortly before he rode his first race of the year – the Tour of the Med.

He side-stepped our first question (like the professional he is) but gave us good answers to the rest, here’s what he had to say.

PEZ: Are you glad you didn’t go to Astana from Disco, given their exclusion from the Giro and Tour?
Trent: I’m very happy and excited about my new team; particularly the fact that we’ve got really good directors. (There’s a future for this man in politics!)

PEZ: How did the Slipstream training camp compare to Disco?
Trent: It was a week longer than I was used to with Discovery and it was at altitude, in Silver City, Colorado. Allan Lim organised the work; there were long duration runs but also specific work-outs for the team’s sprinters plus we did ttt training. That’s the first time I’ve done training specifically for that discipline, which is an important one for the team – I think it will pay dividends later in the season.

Trent Lowe gets some TTT practice with Disco last year in Germany. He’s the smallest one in the pic.

PEZ: Does your system cope well with altitude training?
Trent: Definitely, I adapt really well and always feel the benefit after it. You have to be smart though, the key is not to go too hard too early, it takes your body a bit of time to get used to the thinner air.

PEZ: Who impressed at the camp?
Trent: Davie Zee was going very well, I think he’ll be one of the men to watch in the Tour of California, and so was Jason Donald – he was second in the prologue in California last year.

PEZ: How are the Felts?
Trent: Light! Lighter than the Disco Treks and they aren’t exactly heavy. The fit on my time trial bike is good, I’ve been fine tuning my position for the last couple of years and I feel I’ve got perfect fit on my the Felt.

PEZ: Vaughter’s approach v. Bruyneel’s approach?
Trent: Jonathan is very relaxed, there’s just an atmosphere of trust that says; ‘we’re gonna get the job done!’ I was never ‘mothered’ at Discovery, I don’t like that, we’re all pros and know that we have to get on with the job but at Slipstream it’s more of an implicit thing that we know what’s expected of us, it doesn’t have to be said.

PEZ: What’s your programme?
Trent: After the Med, it’s the Tour of Valencia, Tirreno-Adriatico, Criterium International, Tour of Aragon then the Giro.

PEZ: Where do you aim to peak?
Trent: I want to have a good Criterium International and I want to perform well in the Fleche and at Liege – I think those two races suit my characteristics, then there’s the Giro, of course. After the Giro I’ll take stock, but I’d like to ride the Worlds – that would mean a programme of stage races to build up to it.

PEZ: Argyle?
Trent: Yeah, I like it, it’s good; We’ve got the casual clothes now too – Jonathan’s right into it! Have you seen the bus? It’s amazing!

PEZ: You came from mountain biking – what do you think of the Pro Tour?
Trent: I really enjoy it, there’s a big buzz, it’s like cycling’s Formula One and whilst sometimes it feels like a big circus, it’s great being part of it.

PEZ: Do the pros talk much about the drug scandals that have plagued us?
Trent: Not that much, but you do when you see riders who you know are not involved in anything being excluded from races – you symapathise with them. No one wants dispute in the sport, you want to enjoy it.

PEZ: Do pros pay much attention to the cycling mags and sites like ours?
Trent: Yes and no, most of us read them but you do get frustrated if you see stuff that’s inaccurate; if you’re on the road though, sometimes the ‘net is your only news source.

PEZ: Biggest differences between off-road and Pro Tour?
Trent: A ton of little things. But the main difference is in the organisation, it’s much more efficient than I imagined it would be. It always amazes me how the Directors manage to find these great guys with such special skills – mechanics, masseurs, domestiques. I guess the biggest thing is that on a mountain bike team you have maybe four or five riders and a couple of staff; Pro Tour it’s 30 people on the road together – it’s a huge under-taking.

PEZ: If you could win just one race . . .
Trent: I was world mountain bike champion as a junior, that was pretty cool so it would be good to be world road race champion; I think the Tour is beyond me but the Fleche and Liege are two races I’d love to win.

Trent’s system handled that altitude training just fine; he finished a solid 12th in the Tour of the Med – we’ll be talking to him again during the course of the season – meantime we wish him luck at Valencia.

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