By: Todd Kohli
Fortunately, prior to his trip, I had mentioned that my Elite team MetroMint Cycling was holding their annual team training camp in Sonoma County, where the 1st stage of the ToCa will pass through, and wondered if he’d like to join. Freddie agreed, and after a bit of coaxing as we were driving last Saturday to Petaluma, I picked his brain on the upcoming year of racing.
(Check out Todd’s first article with Fast Freddie, HERE)
PEZ: What is your take on the Prologue of the Tour of California?
Freddie: The prologue is great and a really quick race, and will enable enough time gaps to give some riders a bit of an advantage going into the Stage 1, setting up a good rhythm for the entire tour. It is a perfect race for the fans for watching each rider up close, especially on the climb up to Coit Tower. We’ll be going slow enough on that hill that everyone will be able to see the pain on each rider’s face. It’s really great to race again in San Francisco, as the community of cycling here is amazing, and it’s good to have a race right in their backyard.
PEZ: What do you think of Stage 1?
Freddie: I think that Levi wanted to make it harder for the rest of the field and come into Santa Rosa in the lead for his hometown. Guaranteed, Levi will come into this race ready to peak and perform at a very high level. The steep section from the coast up over the hills to Occidental is where this stage will be won or lost. If the top climbers are allowed to get away, then the field and the sprinters will be out of contention for the Stage 1 win.
Author’s note: we rode about 60 miles of this stage together with the Metromint Team, going over both sprint areas, and climbing the hills to Occidental. As the team was being lead by Freddie going along Hwy 1 and turning right onto Coleman, Freddie took the turn faster than a grand prix motor car!
The area around Coleman.
He wanted to be sure he knew how the end of the second bonus sprint would be as well as going into the turn at top speed felt like. As the rest of the Metromint team was half way up the hills toward Occidental, Freddie came back down at top speed, and headed back to Hwy 1 to do it all over again. He caught the rest of us as we were descending down into Occidental, where we all stopped for some coffee, imagine that.
PEZ: Where will the Tour be won or lost?
Freddie: The individual time trial in Solvang. George, Dave, Levi will all be gunning for it. It will be difficult for the climbers and sprinters.
Cows…cows are good.
PEZ: What are your thoughts on not having the San Francisco Grand Prix?
Freddie: It’s a big shame for the City and the community at large that this race isn’t able to continue, from the spectators to the business owners in San Francisco—everyone has lost. It brought over 500k people to the city for an entire day-how amazing is that? It’s sad to see that government and local politics had the power to shut it down.
PEZ: How is the coffee business going?
Freddie: The coffee is really going strong and with its alliance to the Fast Freddie Foundation, we have focused it on being a product for the foundation to sell and use for raising money for members of the community to hold cycling clinics and other events. As everyone knows, cycling and coffee just go hand in hand with the culture and community, it’s a boost for the individual. I am still quite passionate about it and love that it is able to help the community at the same time, please go to www.fastfreddiecoffee.com to learn more.
Freddie cheeses for himself.
PEZ: Do you ever get bored?
Freddie: I need a lot of challenges and other things to push me, from the Foundation to getting involved in the community, it’s just my personality. Everything that I am involved with outside of racing is typically revolves around cycling in some way or another…
PEZ: How has cycling changed since you started?
Freddie: It depends on how you view it, but the deeper you get involved, the more you understand, from the economics to the globalization of the sport. The sport is on the verge of thinking big, it used to be about being historic and having a tour that is 100 yrs old, but we’re getting there with races like the Tour of California and opening up people’s minds a bit. In racing, the old pros used to train on feel, and now it’s a bit of American culture, where Lance and other top pros use technology to hone their skills and form, while also focusing on specific training plans and focusing on specific. I think it’s a slow process though.
PEZ: What’s it like now to have a family and being a Dad?
Freddie: When you are a pro and have a wife that gets used to the lifestyle and is supportive, it is manageable. However, once you’ve had a child you realize how much gets sacrificed to you and your family, and you have to come to terms with a balance, this will vary from person to person with the team and the family. I love being really involved with my son, but it’s not easy, like today, I am missing his soccer practice, but tomorrow, I’m going to hitch his 40lb bike trailer to my bike and go for a 3 hour ride with him, it will be the counter balance that I need. Over the winter I did some training in Carmel Valley and we went on 4 hr bike rides together…he loves going for bike rides, I really push some major watts up those hills with him attached!
Alright, so today we’re going to work on lead-outs, specifically lead-outs for me. Sound good?
With that, we rolled into camp, took the team photo, and then Freddie did what he does best: he talked about the sport of cycling, talked about the route that we were going to ride, what zone we should be in (of course his!) where we were going to stop for coffee (duh!). With that, we did a short 4 hr ride of 68 miles, came back to camp, and had dinner, while Freddie discussed everything from training in zones to eating right. Thank you again Freddie!
Todd Kohli is a Cat 4 rider for MetroMint Cycling in San Francisco. During the day he is a landscape architect with Edaw and on the side is an aspiring photographer – check out his shots at ToddKohli.com.