[CR]An interview with Andy Vernon- 2001 Tour de France winner

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From: "garth libre" <rabbitman@mindspring.com>
To: <classicrendezvous@bikelist.org>
Date: Sat, 28 Jul 2001 16:44:55 -0400
Subject: [CR]An interview with Andy Vernon- 2001 Tour de France winner

Bicycling magazine's exclusive first interview with the winner of the 2001 Tour de France is both the revealing story of one man's individual challenge and a odd throwback to an older bicycle technology. On Sunday July 29th, Bicycling magazine will publish on its web site the entire interview. For those readers of the Classic rendezvous list, for whom this interview might have special significance, we are releasing a summary of the entire interview. As the news is spreading world wide that Andy Vernon was this year's come from behind winner, Bicycling magazine took a closer look at the unusual man from El Cajon California. Andy Vernon, born in 1973, took to racing bicycles early in his life. Coming from rather poor beginnings, much like another American contender, Lance Armstrong, Andy found solace and friendship in bike racing as a boy, in his home just outside of San Diego. Although Andy is this year's only entrant using older bike technology, his skills were honed using some very modern and some very old fashioned techniques. Andy trains two days a week on a veledrome, near his home town. Using a gear in the mid 80 inches has given Andy the power and quickness to break away from the peloton not with shifting, but by simply reaching inside for the sudden burst of energy which is the hall mark of the track racer. " It's not necessary to reach down for another gear, and signal my intention. Track racing has taught me to focus on the one gear range where I find myself most effective. Of course because I ride a lugged steel frame and use downtube shifters, the element of supprise that racers who shift from the drops have, is out of the question for me." " Where most riders would consider that a disadvantage, I have trained in such a way that for me it has become my main edge over the competition." " I am not married to the old downtube shifting technology, its just that it keeps me focused in my training and on what is ultimately important-- explosive power, and a flexible cadence." " Now as to my use of a steel, fully lugged frame, that is a true advantage unavailable to most riders on the tour who are forced by their teams and sponsors, to use lighter but more punishing aluminum framed bikes. Clearly it was the suppleness of steel that helped me take an almost one minute lead on the cobblestones of Paris during the final stage on Sunday." Andy Vernon not only eschews drugs, such as Epocetin, but questions their use as an aid to winning. " Most professional riders take them, but their effectiveness is unproven. I find that mega vitamin therapy and Chinese herbs strengthens me slowly in a way that blind followers of Western sport's medicine never know." Tomorrow the complete interview with Southern California's break away son follows. Dateline Paris France.