Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Joost interviewed

Joost Posthuma's web site tells of an interview with him in Sportweek and gives a link to a pdf file of the article.

Like his site, the sports mag is written in Dutch. It explains that Joost came relatively late to professional cycling and has had to do some quick catching up. As a teenager, he excelled in 800- and 1000-meter track races, but found that he was an eternal second behind Bram Som. Som has gone on to be the European 800-meter champion, while Joost, as we know, has been making his way nicely on the Rabobank team.

The article says Rabobank hasn't been known for nurturing young talent, rather wasting it in support roles. Thus Joost has spent a lot of time protecting the Rabobank team leader of the moment. Still, he has shown a lot of flair when given his own lead, taking off on early breaks and placing well in time trials. He's also twice taken stages in the Paris-Nice race and came in second in this year's young-rider competition in that race. He also possessed the White Jersey for best young rider during the first two days of this year's Tour de France, and took 6th in this year's Eneco Tour.

All this comes out in the interview as well as some comments from his team coach on his development: how he's young: has developed the ability to be a winnner, but hasn't yet got the right mind-set. He himself says he still feels the uncertainties of a new-comer since most of the guys he's up against were winning as junior bike racers when he was still running track. He's comfortable providing support (domestique in racing lingo). Still, he also points out, he was the top Rabobank finisher in the Eneco Tour.

He says his style is to be constantly on the attack, taking chances rather than playing the odds, and adds that -- like his mentor Erik Dekker -- he seems to be suited for the tours as much as the one-day classics. This makes him strategically useful to Rabobank, since they haven't been as strong in the tours as they might (despite winning last year's Tour of Spain).

Dekker himself says that Joost has lots of potential. The two are frequently compared these days, with Dekker saying Posthuma has yet to prove himself and Posthuma saying it's flattering, though premature, to be called the new Erik Dekker. He feels his confidence growing and says he's being given more and more freedom to drive forward. He hopes to progess by winning small, short races and see whether in time he's able to come out on top of the major ones.

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