ADELAIDE, Australia (VN) – This year, evergreen Aussie Stuart O’Grady embarks on his eighteenth pro season but only his fifth trade team. Clearly, both loyalty and longevity mean a lot to him.
Leaving long-time roommate and friend, Fabian Cancellara, and the Schleck brothers, was the hardest decision he’s ever had to make — but at the same time, he says, GreenEdge was a team he had to join.
Working once again as team captain on the road, O’Grady will be instrumental in the fortunes of this nascent outfit, as much as the chosen men who finish the race off. But as he tells VeloNews, this does not mean his days as a bona-fide winner of Flanders or Roubaix are over. Not if he can help it, anyway.
His secret to his self-preservation and perserverence as a cyclist?
“I guess I’ve got a sick desire for pain and suffering. I love it. … I love it. When you get your form right, [have] great legs … Just to be able to go out there and inflict as much pain on everyone as possible, it’s a really good feeling.”
Realizing life in advertising was nothing like Mad Men and buoyed by the Olympic Games in his Australian hometown of Sydney, Anthony Tan turned his back on a lucrative copywriting career in 2000 in pursuit of something more cerebral. Combining wordsmithing with his experiences as an A-Grade club racer and an underwhelming season competing in Europe, a career as a cycling scribe beckoned… More than a dozen Grand Tours and countless Classics later, it’s where he still is today. He has been a contributor to VeloNews since 2006. In 2010, he won Cycling Australia’s media award for best story. Follow him on Twitter: @anthony_tan