An interview with Scott Moninger

Moninger with his niece and nephew

Moninger with his niece and nephew (Image credit: Rob Karman)

Like a fine wine

At 38 years of age you'd expect most pro riders to have retired, and at least considered it. But after a strong 2005 NRC campaign with wins at the highest level, Health Net's Scott Moninger doesn't look like slowing down in a hurry. Cyclingnews' North American Editor, Mark Zalewski, took some time out with Moninger to see how things are at the moment.

After winning the International Tour de Toona stage race this year, some of Scott Moninger's younger Health Net-Maxxis teammates took the liberty of adding a few captions on the picture of the 38-year-old rider in the local paper hanging in the men's room of the Altoona Don Pablo's - "Team AARP." Sure, Moninger is no spring chicken, but the leading winner among active American racers and current NRC leader is still showing guys fifteen years younger that age is merely a state of mind.

"I don't know how much longer I can go," Moninger says. "I thought at this point I'd feel some drop-offs by now in my physical abilities, but it just hasn't happened. Maybe that's due to having a year off? Last year I felt like I was busting out some cobwebs - I had some good results, but this year has been a lot more solid and consistent - winning some big races like Altoona, Cascade, Joe Martin, San Dimas, and I'm currently leading the NRC."

The year off Moninger refers to was a mandatory "vacation" handed down after the USADA declared a positive doping violation that just about everyone in North American cycling agrees was an unfortunate result of rule over-enforcement. However, Moninger was not ready to let his career end on a sour note, and he used his time off to rethink his approach to the sport, the first major training overhaul in fifteen years. "Being away from [cycling] made me realise that maybe I had been taking it for granted. I had been in the sport for so long and every year I would follow the same pattern - take a little time off, start training, go to the training camp - and that has been my regime for fifteen years or more. It gave me a chance to spend some time at home and rebuild my body physically - I spent a lot of time in the weight room rebuilding my core strength and some areas that tend to get neglected."

Click here for the full interview

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