Posted by Editor on 09/27/08
Video Interview with Svein Tuft
We had a chance to talk with Svein Tuft at the team hotel a few hours after his incredible silver medal performance in the elite men's time trial at the 2008 Road Worlds in Varese, Italy. The interest in Svein's ride by the European media was incredible, since none of them knew anything about him. As the 'token' Canadian who covers cycling, I suddenly became very, very popular in the press room, and was asked by numerous publications how they could get in touch with Svein to interview him. We did help arrange an interview with the huge Italian publication Ciclismo (their writer said he cancelled an interview with the Italian team to come and speak with Svein). The next day (yesterday, September 26th), a local newspaper had a caption declaring Svein "the Canadian Rambo" because of his mixed martial arts background.
There has also been considerable speculation about the bike change versus wheel change decision after he flatted. Svein addressed this in our initial race report (see Daily News September 25/08 1:10pm EDT - Road World Championships: Men's ITT Photos and report). Since then, I have spoken further with everyone in the car (and Svein). Svein was 12 seconds down on Grabsch at the time check before and finished 43 seconds behind. I spoke with mechanic Chad Grochawina about how long the change took and he said less than 30 seconds. He also said that Orbea TT bikes (what Svein was riding) are very slow to change front wheels on (because of the way the fork is designed), and that it was actually 4.5 km to the finish, not 6 (if it had been earlier in the race they would have changed the wheel). At that point the course was very technical, and he agrees with Svein that a road bike was not a disadvantage. Svein also said that the adrenaline rush of the mechanical gave him a bit of a boost. The bottom line? We will never know for sure, but the feeling is that it would have been tighter, but that Grabsch still would have won. Let's celebrate a silver.
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