Sometimes when I’m out on my bike, in my head I’m Jens Voigt.
Editor Tony and I saw the German Saxo Bank rider recently when we headed off to Rotterdam ahead of the Tour de France prologue. We could have probably gone up and said hello, but they say never meet your heroes… so I didn’t. We’ll leave it as it is.
To be honest, I don’t know tons about Jens, but this is what I do know.
• “Shut up legs” – that’s one of his.
• “Shut up body and do what I tell you” – that’s another.
• “I get paid to hurt people – how good is that?” Poetry.
• “Even if you only win one out of ten tries, that is one more than zero out of ten.” Philosophy.
• In a sport that’s chock-full of hard men, Jens is the toughest of the lot. He attacks. Loads. And if it doesn’t work, he attacks again.
• He’s 6ft 2in and 76kg of pure guts.
• The guy is pushing 39 but he’s still as scary as ever.
• He fell hard coming down the Col du Petit-Saint-Bernard in last year’s Tour and broke himself badly, but I kind of expect the road still came out of it worse.
That’s all the stuff I know about Jens, really, but that’s plenty. And that’s why sometimes when I’m out on my bike, in my head I’m Jens Voigt.
Mat has worked for loads of bike magazines over the past 20 years, and been editor of 220 Triathlon and Cycling Plus. He's been road.cc technical editor for seven years, testing bikes, fettling the latest kit, and trying out the most up-to-the-minute clothing. We send him off around the world to get all the news from launches and shows too. He has won his category in Ironman UK 70.3 and finished on the podium in both marathons he has run. Mat is a youthful 45-year-old Cambridge graduate who did a post-grad in magazine journalism, and he is a past winner of the Cycling Media Award for Specialist Online Writer.