Team CF president and founder Dr. James M. Wilson recently had a chance to catch up with returning Team CF elite team member Christian Tanguy…
JW: First of all Christian, I personally enjoyed learning about your epic battles last year with Jeremiah Bishop of the Cannondale Factory Racing Team in the National Ultra Endurance Series open men’s category. You brought it down to the final race at Fools Gold and finished third in that race and second in the 2012 series. Congratulations on a great season! You also won the NUE title the year before in 2011 beating Trek rider Jeff Schalk at the final race of the series; the Shenandoah Mountain 100. How is it you’re in these ridiculously close battles for the series in the final race year-after-year? Is the competition that tight? or do you just enjoy the drama? 😉
CT: The 2011 season was a very close one. During my winter training, I thought it was going to be my last full year riding bike in the US before taking an assignment oversea. I was super motivated during the winter and I managed to score few wins early in the season. Eventually I ran out of steam while Jeff was ramping it up. He had a terrific second half of the season. That is why it came down to the last race. Fortunately for me, I was able to pick up the pieces late in the season and win the Shenandoah 100 and the title.
My 2012 winter training was less intense than the one in 2011. However, once I became certain that I was staying in the US, I doubled my training effort but it was not sufficient to win the NUE opener. However, I targeted the Transylvania Epic (TSE) and I had the best training block ever. Unfortunately, an accident during the second NUE race sidelined me. Somehow, I still managed to win Mohican 100 but I was in a downward spiral and therefore I did not had the chance to race for the win. It was extremely hard to invert the trend. Meanwhile my competitors for the overall title were scoring big wins… When I became competitive again, I had bad luck; some mechanical problems and some training mistakes on my side.
JW: How did you get into cycling and when did you start racing bikes?
CT: Once I learned riding bike during my childhood and kept riding it until now. Racing is a relatively new thing for me; ten years ago I would race maybe one or two local races per year and about 20 years ago I did not race at all.
JW: What are your goals for 2013? Are you going to do anything different?
CT: Beside not crash and have fun, I will focus all my efforts again on the National Ultra Endurance Series (N.U.E.) aka. 100 miles races.
JW: You’re an incredibly fast elite rider competing with the best riders in the country. Rumor has it you don’t really ride as much as other elite level riders and that you mostly train indoors. Can you give us a flavor for what your training regime is like?
CT: During the summer, a good training week for me is 10 hours or more on the bicycle.
Training indoors? Well, if I could avoid it, I would… but with age, I tolerate less and less the cold weather conditions… especially when I have a trainer in the basement. In my early 20s I would climb mountain passes (on a road bike) in the middle of the winter with black ice on the road… total madness!
My winter training consist of three 1-hour sessions during the working week and a longer ride on both days during the weekend.
JW: Specialized Bicycles has again stepped up to sponsor TeamCF in 2013. What will be your “go to” race bike this year and why?
CT: The S-Works Epic 29er is fantastic: as rigid as a hardtail on smooth ground and compliant on the rough stuff. I raced a hardtail to victory at 2 occasions but it was because the Epic was not yet available. When one spend more that 7 hours on the bike, comfort is paramount. My full suspension Epic allows me to reach the final miles in frescher conditions; this is where most time can be made (or lost). Compared to an equivalent hardtail, the Epic might feel deceptively slow; it is just because it is so good on the rough trails. I conducted my own hardtail vs full suspension comparison: Fully rules! (especially when equipped with the Brain technology)
JW: Any parting words?
CT: Stay safe out there! and have fun.
JW: Thank you Christian and best of luck at the races in 2013!