Once more, for old times' sake
John Lieswyn (Health Net-Maxxis) will be ending his international cycling career this Sunday in Madrid as a member of the US team for the road world championships. Lieswyn's final season has been a memorable one, with wins and near misses while his team has effectively run the table in US domestic cycling. It's now time for this veteran to ride one more time in a worlds race. Cyclingnews' Mark Zalewski tracked Lieswyn down for a quick update on his worlds experience.
After almost winning the Barclay's Global Investors Grand Prix in San Francisco and then winning the Carolina Cup early this month, Lieswyn thought his racing was done, since the US federation had not included his name on the list of riders for the worlds. However, his plans changes suddenly last weekend when he found out he was named to the team by the coaches. With some quick reshuffling of travel plans Lieswyn finds himself in Madrid with the opportunity to help a fellow American win the rainbow jersey.
Cyclingnews: How is this worlds different then the other ones for you? Is it more nostalgic, or business as usual?
John Lieswyn: In extreme distance and expected difficulty, this worlds has the same daunting feel about it. What's different is that I'm extremely motivated to make the sacrifices pay off; I am absolutely determined to get to the finish and to do a good job for Fred. Of course, should I be forced out due to a mechanical or crash I could accept that as part of cycling. But I won't be able to accept any other kind of failure on my part.
CN: What have you been doing this week to prepare, especially since it was rather short notice?
JL: After having ridden only occasionally since San Fran, I hit it every day since Saturday (the day I found out about the selection). I got in two particularly hard rides over four hours. Tuesday included 10km of sub-max climbing efforts.
CN: What do you think of the course now that you are there?
JL: Haven't seen it yet. The elite team will be getting on the course during the one hour intermission between the under 23 and women's races Saturday. Due to the complexity of the course, one way streets, and traffic, that will be our only real chance to see the course at any kind of speed.
Click here to read the rest of the interview.