• NCCN Disp#ches: Shelley Olds Interview

    by  • February 5, 2013 • interviews, norcal scene, too random


    Shelley Olds and TIBCO race at the 2013 Tour of Qatar

    Shelley Olds began her racing deep in NorCal’s track, dirt, and over every road and climb – any weather, any terrain … she was a natural in some ways, tenaciously learnable in others, and tough as nails all the time, every time.

    She was part of a NorCal-celeb with her devilishly awesome Rob “hooptie” Evans … as wingman, training guru, and style consultant.  Rob was then, and is now, the best showman NorCal racing has on it’s beautifully diverse circuits.  Period.

    The uber-couple’s split was continental and Olds in Europe, this year joining the American TIBCO UCI Points Generating Machine.

    Olds is back with a NorCal based team, the Linda Jackson superprogram –  TIBCO Racing.  Jackson, herself, is healing up after a car turned into her, bringing her down with multiple injuries and hospital care.  We all wish Linda continuing fast healing – what a legend we’re living with!

    Disp#ches d’ hernando: SHELLEY OLDS INTERVIEW 2013


    7th in the Olympic Race

    Can we just get straight into a tough question … we all felt that flat tire at the same moment – the Olympic Road Race.  Now that you’ve had a few months, how do you feel about that moment?  ….  An Olympic medal within your hands –  in the winning break, the race going exactly to scenario that would benefit you the most … and then the front flat. I apologize for jumping straight in – but, it’s such a story – how are you feeling now? 

    Shelley Olds:
    Of course, what happened with the flat tire in the Olympic Road Race, in the most inopportune moment of the race, was devastating for me. But I think any athlete competing for Olympic Gold, understands that the process you have to go through to even get to that moment, is the most difficult and the most important part.

    For me, participating in the Olympic Games was already a dream come true. The challenges I went through to even be in London on race day, were more difficult than the race itself.

    When I look back on the whole experience, making the Olympic team and my performance on race day is something I will always be so proud of. Although I happened to have very bad luck in the race, and possibly had a real shot at an Olympic medal, I enjoyed every moment of the preparation and build up to the Games. I showed up on race day ready, and I believe I executed how I needed to, in order to give myself and the U.S. the best chance at a medal. Cycling is cruel sometimes. It’s not like swimming where things like weather, equipment failure, or crashes can happen to you even when you do everything else right. They also might have 7 opportunities for a medal, when we only have one shot at glory and then its over. But this is cycling.


    Olympic Resolve – Olds’ perspective is healthy, whole, and in the right direction.

    What I learned most from my Olympic experience is that you have to enjoy the process. On race day, let it all go and trust in your preparation. Anything can happen, so you can’t base your value on one result. I have let the memory of the flat tire go, but I will never forget how hard I worked to make the Olympic Team and how much I enjoyed preparing for the ultimate sports event.

    The 2013 season … with TIBCO! Will you race a bit in the US, or stay in Europe? Your program? Big goals?

    Shelley Olds:
    I am very excited to be a part of the TIBCO team. After the first race [Qatar, Feb 2013], I have never before had such a positive feeling within a team. I believe we will have a lot of success this year, but more importantly, we will enjoy racing together. I will race a lot in the U.S. this year and I am very happy about that. I will race in Europe as well. I am racing first in Europe for a block, then the U.S., then Europe again. I will race World Cups, National Championships, Giro d’ Italia, and some big American crits.  All will be goal races for me.

    Are the Team Time Trial world’s a goal?

    Shelley Olds:
    The TTT will not be our team’s biggest priority this year but we will do our best to obtain a good result there.

    Hardest race, so far, you’ve done.

    Shelley Olds:
    I think the hardest race every year for me is the Giro d’ Italia. It’s the longest stage race and covers the most challenging terrain. I have ridden in support of some really big riders, including Mara Abbott and Emma Pooley, so that always makes it more hard, but also more fun. And of course there are always the hard fought battles for the sprint stages.

    I love the Giro, but it’s definitely the hardest race I do every year.

    Next One Big Goal for the coming years.

    Shelley Olds:
    World Championship. This is a huge goal of mine. I would love nothing more than to wear the rainbow jersey. It’s a beautiful thing.

    Cycling Clothing … you have been a part of clothing, fashion, photography and cycling and sport for a long time now … just how many closets full of clothing do you, or could you have had by now? Do you find it hard to find the right sized clothing for you outside of the sport world?


    Shelley Olds

    Shelley Olds:
    Good question. Actually, one of my favorite things about having so much extra clothing at the end of each year, is giving it to my closest friends that ride. Its awesome to see how happy you can make someone by giving them your old or extra cycling clothes. Its something we take for granted, as professionals. But I love to give it away to people who really appreciate it. And yes, it seems that the clothing world outside of cycling is stranger and stranger to me. I try to stick with sportswear for most of my non-cycling outfits. Its just more comfortable.

    As a woman traveling the world for her job – do you have any tips on travel? Best airport foods? Worst airline experience!

    Shelley Olds:
    It takes a long time to really get dialed, as far as travel. I would say some key things are:

    • Make a list that you constantly update with all of your traveling needs, and always refer to it before travel.
    • Research the country you are going to well before travel. Like weather, currency, electrical adapters, food, etc.
    • Wear comfortable clothing with pockets and layers so you can easily access money and passport, and adapt to temperature changes.
    • Wear compression tights.
    • Drink a ton of water and sit in the aisle seat. Adding some electrolytes or vitamin-C packets to every other water you drink is also very helpful.
    • Sleep as much as possible before you travel. Bring blindfolds, headphones, ipod, books, and your own food like fruit and bars on the plane.
    • Choose your seats early and collect your miles for every flight you take….it will pay off later. If something goes wrong in the travel, like missing bags or delays, don’t stress…..its part of the game.
      Be easy going and roll with it. Being stressed doesn’t get you anywhere.  Conserve your energy for the race…

    If you could pick one thing to instantly change about cycling, what would it be?

    Shelley Olds:
    There would be no more fatal accidents with cyclists and cars.

    Thanks Michael

    Thank You, Shelley Olds, and best of luck in 2013 and your continuing Olympic march!



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