Interview with Bob Stapleton – T-Mobile’s chief of racing
T-Mobile hired Bob Stapleton to run their racing team, and I’ve got an exclusive interview that I guarantee you won’t read anywhere else.
Q) Bob, I just have to ask this question first. You sold the company you help found, VoiceStream Wireless, for $50 billion. I’m sure your cut wasn’t too bad. What does an avid cyclist do with that kind of change burning a hole in your pocket?
A) Well Brian, you’ve heard of middle-age guys locating the car they drove in high school, and having it restored, right? I was able to track down the Schwinn I rode as a paperboy, and I’m currently having it restored.
Q) Ok then. Didn’t see that one coming. Can we talk about Jan Ullrich?
Q) Uh, how about the team bikes. Tell me a bit about them. I understand they’ve gone very high tech.
A) The team bikes are pretty sweet. We’ve had them equipped with sensors that can actually gather info about the rider’s condition, and then upload it to our computers. This lets us keep our freshest and strongest riders out front, not just the stars.
Q) Cool. Makes me think of Nascar or F1. Without the fires during pit stops. And I understand the next great hope is an Aussie?
A) Yes, we’ve got Michael Rogers on the team. He finished 10th in the 2006 TdF, and just took 7th in the Tour of California. We can’t understand his Aussie slang, but he’s a strong rider. We think it’s the vegemite.
Q) You were quoted as saying “There are many people who would say you can’t win without drugs. I believe you can, but it’s going to take time”. Now, I would like to see our sport clean up as well. But the EPO scandals keep popping up. With Giant’s US headquarters less than a mile from Amgen, (both in Newbury Park, CA) doesn’t that look a bit sus?
A) Whoa! Look at the time. Gotta run.
At that point, the interview was over. Of course, since my connection at Giant couldn’t get me Bob’s email, this interview never happened. And I have nothing but respect for the cyclists that choose to stay clean, and I have faith that Bob is going to turn the sport around. Happy April Fool’s.