PezCycling News - What's Cool In Pro Cycling : Interview: Navigators’ David McKenzie

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Interview: Navigators’ David McKenzie
Proud father of a six months old boy and a three year old daughter, David McKenzie talked to us from the Jayco Classic where he’s sharpening his reflexes amid “hundreds of early season crashes” and scored a respectable 5th place a few days ago. Macca has joined countrymate Henk Vogels on Team Navigators, and is looking forward to 2004…

EVB- Last year you rode with now-defunct iTeam-Nova, a team that used a fan supported membership model as a part of their fundraising. You were also part of the team’s management, along with your wife Susan. Given what you know now, is that kind of funding model a realistic option in cycling?

DM- Yeah you know, there’s always potential but we lacked Team funds in the end. We had about a thousand members in 2002 but although not enough, I believe French Team Jean DeLatour approached its merits.

EVB- Looking at the bright side, must be great to just focus as a rider this year and not wear a couple of hats – ?

DM- You bet. Like we discussed last summer, when I heard the fax ring, it wasn’t always just to map out a training schedule but sometimes to seal a deal with a mitt sponsor for the team!

EVB- When we talked on the way to Beauce (GPCB) driving you from the Montreal train stop, we looked like a bunch of ravers if it wasn’t from the clanking of the usual cyclist’s luggage on a lobby floor in the wee hours!?

DM- [Laughter]

EVB- You guys are such boy scouts! You can travel cramped on a train and van after animating a race like the ‘03 USPro Champs and still smile about it. Will you still keep two apartments at opposite axis of the world with the expanded family and the Navigator’s race program?

DM- For now Susan will stay with Leroy and Lulu in Oz. May be logical to get a flat in Jersey but we’ll see how the Euro program pans out. My immediate goals are here (in Oz) the Nationals next weekend and starting ‘04 with a bang like doing well at Tour Down Under is extremely important for me. After Nov. 10th, I took a three week break and feel fresh for what’s ahead.

EVB- Are you on your new custom 52 cm Colnago yet?

DM- Looking forward to my compact C50!

EVB- Compact?

DM- Yes.

EVB- How was your Christmas holiday?

DM- Very convivial! We spent it country side eating duck and lamb based dishes and of course some Shiraz. Not because one has to fend for himself to be a pro but I like to cook as a pastime, more gourmet style.

EVB- Your favorite dish?

DM- Pasta Pomodoro (ed. – unlike the rest of our conversation where he sounds fresh off the massage table, very calm and collected, his intonation takes on a latin twist.). I like to prepare it since it only takes two, three accoutrements, all fresh and simple to cinch
it. I like French food but I know some amazing Middle-Asian restaurants here.

EVB- Not to dwell on the unfortunate turn of fate of Michael Zanoli, but you’ve been around (as a pro) since ‘97, what are your thoughts on the old substance topic ?

DM- What’s sad is he died in a psychiatric ward didn’t he? We can’t forget what we’re doing to our bodies… day in day out isn’t good for you! Nothing’s healthy about it. What we do isn’t natural ya know you derive from your family genes including and not the least a hard work ethic and make the best of it.

EVB- Life after cycling and/or if you weren’t a pro cyclist?

DM- (assertively) Media commentator actually! Tried my hand at it in Queensland. I reckon I have 3-4 more years of racing in me.

EVB- What you’d like to be remembered for?

DM- Well I still have a mark to make, but [let’ say that I] wasn’t a flash in the pan. One who always tried hard and made no enemies in the sport – especially in Australia.

EVB- Most memorable moments?

DM- My kids and stage 7 of the 2000 Giro respectively [Dave won the stage – ed.].

Thanks Dave – and good luck with Navigators. Pez-Fans can look forward to some exclusive coverage of the TDU with diaries and back-stage shenanigans with the Navigators (Jan 20 – 25.)

Visit the Navigators website at


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