Wednesday, September 05, 2007

TRIPLE Exclusive: An Interview with Kurt Asle Arvesen

That's Kurt Asle Arvesen peaking around a teammate with a thumb's up for his Norwegian friends (photo by Steve Klein).

During the Tour Prologue in London, the Crankset's own T-o-03 met a slew of interesting people. Among them was Knut-Walther Baldersheim and four very enthusiastic members of his family, who are big supporters of Kurt Asle Arvesen (CSC). The Norwegian rider has a blog, and Baldersheim, a bar owner (Fagernes Gjestegard) in Fagernes, translates Arvesen's entries into English.

Through Knut-Walther's kindly assistance, we are able to bring you an exclusive interview with Kurt Asle Arvesen, who is having a remarkable season to date, winning a stage in the Giro, completing the Tour de France (he finished 67th overall), and becoming the only repeat winner of the Post Danmark Rundt. He recently came back from well deserved holiday in Italy.

Granny: Kurt, you just finished another Tour. What were CSC's goals, and your personal goals going into the Tour? Was it a successful Tour from your standpoint?

KAA: Well, our goals were the team competition, 2 riders in top 10 of the GC and 2 stage wins. My own goal was of course a stage win, and help the team as much as possible. We didn't achieve all of this, but with Fabian's [Cancellara] win in London, things turned out a bit different, defending his jersey for almost a week. Being the team with the yellow jersey on stage 1 in London, was awesome!

G: Were you in the role as a domestique, or did the team give you freedom to go in a break and try for a stage win?

KAA: My role this year, was as a road-captain, but I also got the freedom to try my own chances, especially the last week. Then it was me and Jens [Voigt] that should try to get away, but you know Jens. He was in the break after 1 minute :) :)

G: Too funny about Jens...More doping scandals. What were your thoughts after the dismissal of Vinokourov, Rasmussen, Moreni, and their teams?

KAA: Of course I was very disappointed, especially the case with Vino.

G: Do you feel the sport [of cycling] or the Tour is "dead" as so many newspapers have exclaimed? Is it in moving in a positive direction or do you feel more scandals are in the future?

KAA: For sure not. Rather the opposite! Finally it seems that we`ll get this thing sorted out. Also when you take a look at the numbers of spectators in London, it was fantastic. Also the welcome we got from people when we arrived in Paris, was great!

G: Are you scheduled for some down time, or will you race up until Worlds?

KAA: After Denmark, I`ve done a little vacation, and now I`m trying to peak my form to the end of the season, with my main goals at the Worlds in Stuttgart and the Paris-Tours

G: Will you be in a support role or looking for the victory for Norway at the Worlds?

KAA: I`m one of 3 riders from Norway, along with Thor Hushovd and Gabriel Rasch. We are all 3 strong riders, but I feel the course is good for me, and I`m hoping for a personal result there. If I have the legs, the Team will support me.

G: I noticed you, like a former CSC rider we are familiar with in the States, Tyler Hamilton, had a similar background with skiing as your first sport. Is skiing still your first love or are you a hardened cyclists?

KAA: Of course, now it`s cycling 100%, but during the winter, I love to do different kind of sports. I do a lot of "back country" skiing, I like to walk in the mountains, and are also a big fan of climbing.

G: You, as well as other riders on CSC, have made some statements about the great atmosphere in the team. How would you describe that atmosphere, and how does it compare to other teams you were previously on?

KAA: Team CSC is a great team to be on, and maybe especially since I'm from Scandinavia where the Team is based. The atmosphere in the team is great, and the team spirit is always on a high. When you play the domestique role, it`s not only another rider, but you are also helping one of your best friends!

G: It seems that most of that atmosphere is a direct reflection of the CSC leadership. Was it difficult or just different not having Bjarne [Riis] present at the Tour this year?

KAA: Actually not. We had a very experience team in France, and the Staff have done this for so many years now, so with Kim [Andersen] as the main boss instead of Bjarne, it went very well. But as a friend, of course we missed him.

G: Will you be Stateside for any future races for your US fan base to watch you?

KAA: Not at my schedule so far, but we're going to California in February for the training camp. I'll guess I'm starting off my next season in Australia, with the Tour Down Under.

G: Congratulations on the victory at the Post Danmark Rundt, were you one of CSC's protected riders for the race? With teammate Matti Breschel leading going into the final time trial, was it just a matter of "may the best man win?"

KAA: Thanks a lot, it was great with some personal success, and especially in Denmark, as it feels like my second home. I've always done well in Tour of Denmark, so it`s a race that suits me well. Me, Matti and Nicki [Sorensen] were protected from the start, and it was a bit of a lottery which rider that ended in the right group. In the end though, it was as you`re saying, may the best man win on the ITT. And of course, [Enrico] Gasparotto was dangerous, so I gave it all, and it went great :)

G: Thank you for your time Kurt. And thank you Knut-Walther for all your assistance in making this interview possible. Best wishes to both of you in the future. We look forward to hopefully having you come back for another Q&A.

KAA: All the best.

5 comments:

53rd Tooth said...

Thank you Kurt and Knut-Walther for your contributions to the Crankset. It's a real treat to hear directly from the peloton.

Thanks Granny for bringing so much clout to our little blog here!

Tour of '03 (Steve Klein) said...

Hey, thanks to me for connecting with our Norwegian friends!!!

Tour of '03 (Steve Klein) said...

And thanks for Granny for his hard work and fine job!

Tour of '03 (Steve Klein) said...

And we've got a nice link from Kurt's blog: http://www.kurtaslearvesen.com/eng_default.asp

53rd Tooth said...

Yes of course, how could I forget the To3 props?

Sorry to3. Big shout out for your excellent networking skills!

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

TRIPLE Exclusive: An Interview with Kurt Asle Arvesen

That's Kurt Asle Arvesen peaking around a teammate with a thumb's up for his Norwegian friends (photo by Steve Klein).

During the Tour Prologue in London, the Crankset's own T-o-03 met a slew of interesting people. Among them was Knut-Walther Baldersheim and four very enthusiastic members of his family, who are big supporters of Kurt Asle Arvesen (CSC). The Norwegian rider has a blog, and Baldersheim, a bar owner (Fagernes Gjestegard) in Fagernes, translates Arvesen's entries into English.

Through Knut-Walther's kindly assistance, we are able to bring you an exclusive interview with Kurt Asle Arvesen, who is having a remarkable season to date, winning a stage in the Giro, completing the Tour de France (he finished 67th overall), and becoming the only repeat winner of the Post Danmark Rundt. He recently came back from well deserved holiday in Italy.

Granny: Kurt, you just finished another Tour. What were CSC's goals, and your personal goals going into the Tour? Was it a successful Tour from your standpoint?

KAA: Well, our goals were the team competition, 2 riders in top 10 of the GC and 2 stage wins. My own goal was of course a stage win, and help the team as much as possible. We didn't achieve all of this, but with Fabian's [Cancellara] win in London, things turned out a bit different, defending his jersey for almost a week. Being the team with the yellow jersey on stage 1 in London, was awesome!

G: Were you in the role as a domestique, or did the team give you freedom to go in a break and try for a stage win?

KAA: My role this year, was as a road-captain, but I also got the freedom to try my own chances, especially the last week. Then it was me and Jens [Voigt] that should try to get away, but you know Jens. He was in the break after 1 minute :) :)

G: Too funny about Jens...More doping scandals. What were your thoughts after the dismissal of Vinokourov, Rasmussen, Moreni, and their teams?

KAA: Of course I was very disappointed, especially the case with Vino.

G: Do you feel the sport [of cycling] or the Tour is "dead" as so many newspapers have exclaimed? Is it in moving in a positive direction or do you feel more scandals are in the future?

KAA: For sure not. Rather the opposite! Finally it seems that we`ll get this thing sorted out. Also when you take a look at the numbers of spectators in London, it was fantastic. Also the welcome we got from people when we arrived in Paris, was great!

G: Are you scheduled for some down time, or will you race up until Worlds?

KAA: After Denmark, I`ve done a little vacation, and now I`m trying to peak my form to the end of the season, with my main goals at the Worlds in Stuttgart and the Paris-Tours

G: Will you be in a support role or looking for the victory for Norway at the Worlds?

KAA: I`m one of 3 riders from Norway, along with Thor Hushovd and Gabriel Rasch. We are all 3 strong riders, but I feel the course is good for me, and I`m hoping for a personal result there. If I have the legs, the Team will support me.

G: I noticed you, like a former CSC rider we are familiar with in the States, Tyler Hamilton, had a similar background with skiing as your first sport. Is skiing still your first love or are you a hardened cyclists?

KAA: Of course, now it`s cycling 100%, but during the winter, I love to do different kind of sports. I do a lot of "back country" skiing, I like to walk in the mountains, and are also a big fan of climbing.

G: You, as well as other riders on CSC, have made some statements about the great atmosphere in the team. How would you describe that atmosphere, and how does it compare to other teams you were previously on?

KAA: Team CSC is a great team to be on, and maybe especially since I'm from Scandinavia where the Team is based. The atmosphere in the team is great, and the team spirit is always on a high. When you play the domestique role, it`s not only another rider, but you are also helping one of your best friends!

G: It seems that most of that atmosphere is a direct reflection of the CSC leadership. Was it difficult or just different not having Bjarne [Riis] present at the Tour this year?

KAA: Actually not. We had a very experience team in France, and the Staff have done this for so many years now, so with Kim [Andersen] as the main boss instead of Bjarne, it went very well. But as a friend, of course we missed him.

G: Will you be Stateside for any future races for your US fan base to watch you?

KAA: Not at my schedule so far, but we're going to California in February for the training camp. I'll guess I'm starting off my next season in Australia, with the Tour Down Under.

G: Congratulations on the victory at the Post Danmark Rundt, were you one of CSC's protected riders for the race? With teammate Matti Breschel leading going into the final time trial, was it just a matter of "may the best man win?"

KAA: Thanks a lot, it was great with some personal success, and especially in Denmark, as it feels like my second home. I've always done well in Tour of Denmark, so it`s a race that suits me well. Me, Matti and Nicki [Sorensen] were protected from the start, and it was a bit of a lottery which rider that ended in the right group. In the end though, it was as you`re saying, may the best man win on the ITT. And of course, [Enrico] Gasparotto was dangerous, so I gave it all, and it went great :)

G: Thank you for your time Kurt. And thank you Knut-Walther for all your assistance in making this interview possible. Best wishes to both of you in the future. We look forward to hopefully having you come back for another Q&A.

KAA: All the best.

5 comments:

53rd Tooth said...

Thank you Kurt and Knut-Walther for your contributions to the Crankset. It's a real treat to hear directly from the peloton.

Thanks Granny for bringing so much clout to our little blog here!

Tour of '03 (Steve Klein) said...

Hey, thanks to me for connecting with our Norwegian friends!!!

Tour of '03 (Steve Klein) said...

And thanks for Granny for his hard work and fine job!

Tour of '03 (Steve Klein) said...

And we've got a nice link from Kurt's blog: http://www.kurtaslearvesen.com/eng_default.asp

53rd Tooth said...

Yes of course, how could I forget the To3 props?

Sorry to3. Big shout out for your excellent networking skills!