Tour Talk & Winning Tips With Jeff Spencer

Just days before the 2008 Tour de France kicks-off, I got together with Jeff Spencer for an upcoming interview and to plan an afternoon ride at the Rose Bowl. “I gotta tell you,” said the doctor who oversaw eight Tour de France victories with the U.S. Postal and Discovery Channel teams, “It feels weird to be sitting here at Starbucks and not headed to France. It’s like after eight years my mind and body know when the Tour starts and they both just expect to be there!”

As the ultimate insider into the Tour, Jeff is full of great stories, anecdotes, and life lessons that pertain to the three week long race. One of the most entertaining stories I’ve ever heard came as we were both extolling the fabulous anarchy that is the Tour. Jeff was making the point that with the Tour de France, ‘You don’t have the luxury of letting your trivial human nature get in the way of what you have to accomplish. You know, like if your oatmeal isn’t prepared the way you like it?oh well! In fact, that reminds me of one of the best examples of all this. I can’t remember which year it was, but just before the stage started, we couldn’t find Lance’s yellow jersey ? it wasn’t anywhere in the team bus! So Lance, calm as ever, actually went outside and borrowed a jersey from a fan that had one looking to have Lance autograph it. Eventually we found the official jersey and we jumped into the car and drove like a 1000 mph to get to Lance pulled over and before he rode out of the neutralized area. Talk about a crazy experience!’

Jeff won’t be at this year’s Tour de France, but to make up for it, he has launched a big ring effort to bring the Tour de France to everyone else not fortunate to partake in the world’s greatest sporting event. Jeff has launched a new web site – Click Here – where he’ll be offering daily pod casts not only on the Tour itself but a the unique perspective and inside analysis that could only come from somebody with the level of access he’s had.
“The Tour is the ultimate life metaphor,” he says. “If you look at the race and the principles used to overcome diversity, those are life lessons that all of us can use and apply to our daily lives. I think people instinctively know that they can achieve more in life and it’s my hope that this web site and the information found in my pod casts will provide the type of guidelines to help make that happen – to make them winners too.”
As a quick insight into what Jeff thinks makes a champion, he alluded to the similar qualities of Lance and Alberto Contador. ‘You could tell they both felt comfortable in the yellow jersey ? it was where they expected to be. They also both have an incredible attention to detail in their preparation. What is unique to them is that they understand that they don’t need to be perfect. They don’t even try to be perfect because any notion of what’s perfect stifles creativity and spontaneity. They are aware that imperfections exist and that when interruptions to the plan arise they would know how to deal with them and step up themselves.’

All proceeds raised on Jeff’s  web site will go to the Lance Armstrong Foundation. 

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