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Monday, February 16, 2009

Andrew La Corte interview - 2008 Masters Worlds

Kissena Track Racing: Welcome back Andrew

Andrew LaCorte: Thank you

KTR: What was your preparation for world's after winning the 2008 Master Nationals like? Was the cold weather in New York detrimental to competing in Australia?

Andrew: No, almost the same weather. Just the steep track was the difference.

KTR: Airline, duration of flight, how was the flight, dealing with jet lag, what bike equipment did you take, cost of trip, cost of transporting equipment?

Andrew: Traveling to an event in Australia is basically not fun. There are only two airlines that go to Australia from the US. United was ok. A little 80ish, style wise if you ask me. And Qantas was more expensive. I flew out to Sydney on my own. Cost of flight is anywhere from $1900-$2300 depending on when you by your tickets. And buying your ticket early doesn't mean you will save money. I first landed in San Fran then linked up to another flight. Flight from San Fran to AU is about 13-14 hours. I should have spread the flights out a little more. Jet lag in AU was not bad. I had to adjust to AU time before I left the states. Steven Hill gave me all of that advice on how to deal with the time difference and he was dead-on the money. He told me when I returned home is where I am going to have the problem - he explained that he got sick as did I too. Equipment wise, I tried to travel light as much as possible. Shipping the bike to CA was about $150. To AU and back to CA was free. I used my Pro bike case. If you get your bike apart and into a suitcase you are better off and can save some money too.

KTR: What where the hotel accommodations like? Tell us about your preparations, training sessions and getting back and forth to the track, transportation wise?

Andrew: I arrived four days before the events so that I could get training time on the track. When I arrived I imagined seeing Mary Nothstein winning the sprint events at the 2000 Olympics, and thought, I wanted to do the same. I couldn't wait to get back on the track. Pablo Ravazzani and I stayed at the Rydges Hotel. The weather at that time was about 20 degrees warmer at that time of the year. I would take the bus to and from the track every day. On some nights I would miss the bus and would have to ride home. Not that bad, about 2 miles from the track. My daily training routines were written by Kirk Whiteman and each day was less active. One would image that I would workout with Pablo since we shared a room. But we had different schedules and he had to get back to the hotel for his beauty sleep.

Preparation after Master Nationals was a little different and I had to deal with two things. I realized that I needed surgery after winning Masters Nationals. I was very uncomfortable on the way home. On a scale from 1-10, pain wise, it was about a 4. But I knew it could be a potential problem with my intestines. I didn't want to wait until after Worlds so I was able to get the surgery three weeks before my departure to Worlds. I was also dealing with my father’s death. I had a lot on my mind, Doug Rothein and I worked together every evening after work.

KTR: Tells us about the track, training partners, culture shock, food, facilities at track, weather?


Andrew: The track is very similar to ADT in Carson, CA. However, to me ADT is more slippery, dust wise than Dunc Grey. My training partner in AU was Anton Quist. We practiced the team Sprint exchange every day. I never did an exchange that close to anyone in my life. We also recorded the best 2nd lap and 3rd lap times. The competition at the event was scary fast. I couldn't believe how fast the 40-44 age groups were. The French and Brits were quick, but in the finals it came down to Quist of the US and Asbit from AU in the individual sprints. In the team sprints we came in 4th.

KTR: Competition at track, interacting with competitors from different countries?

Andrew: Interacting with people and competitors was friendly, everyone talks to one another, except on race day of course. Andrew Burne and I knew it was going to come down to us somewhere some how down the line. We would talk to each other at the handlebar grill and pub attached to the Velodrome on occasion.

KTR: Did the competitors have better equipment, what were some of the cutting edge equipment or brands you saw?

Andrew: About the same as we have here in the US at high ended track races. One of the hottest bikes there was Larry Nolan’s bike, the specialized frame that can be used in TT’s and on the track. Sweet ride!

KTR: Was your equipment comparable or better?

Andrew: About the same. I think we had better equipment as the Tiemeyer is the only frame that I have not broken yet. We were the only team to have a few Tiemeyers. That is my choice. However, this year I have a new sponsor and I am on their bike right now testing a few things. We are going to have to make a frame that is built to the same specs as I grew much attached to my custom frame. Worse case situation is that we have the bike repainted with new sponsor on the frame. Will see what happens. So far we are about 2 degrees off of my current frame.

KTR: Training methods of the Australian track riders and skill level as compared to riders in the US?

Andrew: They did the same things that we did in warm-up. Nothing special, we watched what they did and they did the same. Although I was a target before I arrived. New Aussie friends told me that they watched me on this site in races and training video’s. So, recordings of me training this year won’t be happening right? Right! No worries.

KTR: Days off, entertainment, sightseeing, general impressions of Australia?

Andrew: My only day off it rained. I didn’t have much time to sight see, but Sydney was like any other typical modern city, and the climate controlled track was indeed amazing. I did want to visit a friend on the woman’s pro cycling team, America’s Dairy Farmers team in Melbourne but again ran out of time to visit. I did watch some cricket on television, looks like an interesting sport, similar to baseball with lots of spectators and coverage.

KTR: Did you meet your goals or did you fall short of your goals since this was your first Worlds Competition?

Andrew: Qualified 3rd in the flying 200 meter time trial. Had a little technical issue with the front disc when it came a little lose and rubbed the fork into the home stretch 200 meters out, so I fell short there. I now have a nice grove in the fork now but no big deal. I do have to take my hat to the Aussies. I knew it was going to be the toughest racing I ever did. They did a great job of bringing me long in the 1/8’s and ¼ finals. By the time I got to Burne I was pretty tired and need more time to recover. At Master Worlds they go 24 deep with two reps. Here in the states they go 10 deep with one rep. Again, did I fall short of my goals? Well I think I did my best. In the race with Burne it got a little close. I was not going to move and either was Burne. He is bigger than I but I was up for the challenge. In order to get on the podium I had to beat Worley, but I was spent - nothing left. I tried to hold him off but was not able to. I do have to work on better recoveries on longer sprints which seem to be the up and coming way to sprint.

KTR: Would you be attending next year’s Masters Worlds and would you be better prepared to get on the Podium now that you have this experience under your belt?

Andrew: After Andrew Burne’s two-year sanction from Cycling Australia for the presence of the anabolic steroid of Nandrolone and Drostanolone came back positive really puts me on the podium, but I have no pictures so that is disappointing. Now I have to protest for the medal which I think they only move you up medal wise in timed events. Would I attend next year, I don't think so as the flight and carrying of all the equipment is dreadful. I have my mind set on Pan Ams in the Dominican Republic in 2009 with the American team, along with Master Nationals and Elite Nationals, and in 09 I will not stop until after Canada's Can Am Winter Nationals. I am not sure yet but this might be the last year that I will do any Elite racing and will concentrate more on masters only. I do have my eye on Tandems Elites this year too with one of my teammates.

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