Wednesday, November 4, 2009

In The Rear View Mirror With Jens Voigt

With his nasty crash in mind during the Tour de France following six weeks of absolute rest, one would think that Jens Voigt would look back on the 2009 season in resentment. But as often before, the German iron man shows his high moral and positive view of life when he reflects on the year that is almost gone:

"The crash on the descent during the Tour was ugly in many ways and most active athletes know that the a six week break in the mid-season can make you crazy and restless inside. But the incident had a more profound influence on me. With all the alternative impacts the crash could have provided in mind, I have been grateful for even being able to recognize my wife and children, to be able to walk and to live a life without permanent injuries. That is the most important issue for me and my family. Everyday life functions again and I enjoy the off-season and being at home where my kids have made endless lists of activities for us to do before the races begin again".

Not only did Jens Voigt win the 2009 edition of the stage race, Criterium International overall. He even won stage two, the point competition, the mountain competition and in addition Team Saxo Bank also conquered the team competition. There was only the youth competition left to win which the German power plant for good reasons wasn't able to take.

"It was great winning the Criterium International for the fifth time. Only the French legend, Raymond Poulidor have done the same and I will certainly go for the sixth victory in the 2010 season. In addition, I am happy about the beautiful Tour de France 2009 with three stage wins and an overall second place for Team Saxo Bank. My definite goal is to be selected for the Tour de France line-up in 2010 where I hope and believe that I am back in peak shape. I do not want to end my Tour de France's participation with a crash”.

But before then, Jens Voigt will without any kind of training enjoy a couple of weeks of well- deserved holiday which began last weekend when he helped Chris Anker Sørensen to win the Japan Cup. Then he will start his training program and at the end of this month, the whole team will join B.S. Christiansen on the annual survival camp.

"Of course, I am looking forward to days without food or sleep with nocturnal walks in complete darkness. Who wouldn't”? Jens asks ironically and rhetorically. When you are standing freezing, hungry and tired in the middle of a dark forest without knowing where you are, it seems difficult to see the point of anything. But these "stupid" hikes still serve a relevant and important purpose. It brings the team closer together and we learn to know each other and work together with our differences as a strength. That is highly relevant when we work so closely together as a team and is a great tool of welcoming new riders to the team. And when the camp is over you leave like after so many other successfully overcome challenges in life with a larger luggage of readiness and confidence”, concludes Jens Voigt.

Besides the joy of experiencing the new riders on the team in 2010, he is looking forward to meeting Baden Cooke who has signed a contract with Team Saxo Bank.

"We have had to say goodbye to good friends and old acquaintances on the team like Kurt-Asle and Karsten Kroon, Lars Bak and Marcus Ljungqvist but in return we get to welcome several new riders who are just waiting for the proper development. Baden Cooke for instance, is a strong rider who previously among other victories has won the point classification in the Tour de France. But external factors have held him back in the last few years. I am looking forward to watching him unfolding his talent and I am looking forward to working with the new aspiring riders”, concludes Jens Voigt.

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