Cyclingnews sat down with Janez Brajkovic at the recent Tour Down Under. It was supposed to be a routine interview about his new team, Bahrain-Merida, and his goals for the season but it turned into so much more.
Brajkovic turned professional in 2005. During his long career he has ridden for what he admits are a number of shady teams. He has raced alongside Lance Armstrong at US Postal, Astana and RadioShack, all under the tutelage of Johan Bruyneel. After two years away from the WorldTour Brajkovic is back with Bahrain-Merida.
Both Bruyneel and Armstrong are currently serving life-time bans from the sport but at 33, Brajkovic is still here and still racing his bike. A veteran from a generation that has gone through the mill; it didn't take long for the Slovenian to open up about the sport and how doping has altered cycling.
Not everyone will agree with what Brajkovic has to say – that he saw no clear evidence of doping at Postal; that he's been tarnished with the same brush as dopers and that he has lost opportunities because of a combination of nationality and the squads he's been on.
Whatever your thoughts, Brajkovic has an interesting perspective on professional cycling's troubled past and issues, such as doping, that are never black and white.