CNZ-Hi Mike, Your third place in Nature Valley this week was standout! With such a high calibre field it must have been on the rivet to keep the break out front. Crater made some nice comments stating "I couldn't believe how hard Northey was going when he went". With a 16 second lead in the young rider classification you must be confident going into the final day?
MN- Thanks very much, i was rather stoked to be honest, i thought i wasn't going to be able to do much in this race, first few days i was really struggling keeping up, took me a bit longer than i had hoped to recover from philly..
Yeah those last few laps on the finishing circuit were a killer! i was on the absolute rivet last 3 times around. The guy Crater who won sat on me the whole way and refused to pull through saying he couldn't and he was cramping, i knew i needed the time more than the stage win so had to keep driving it. Especially with the peloton closing in so fast on us. We were in a pretty good position after the stage 1st and 2nd in the young rider classification, so either myself or Bobby had a good chance of holding it in the team.
CNZ-This year has seen you change the environment and move from your traditional racing base of Belgium for the new scene of the USA. You seemed to have settled in well and the racing style is suiting you. What do you find are the noticeable differences of the two locations?
MN- Its quite a bit different to europe, but its good so far i have really enjoyed it. The whole English speaking side would have to be the best part! A lot easier to communicate with riders and management etc. Also being the team is a lot smaller only has 10 riders. Makes a huge difference, you know what races you are doing and what is coming up etc. Where as my team last year had 25 riders and you would find out a few days or a week max that you have a race coming up.
CNZ- You new home "Landrover – Orbea seems to be just that, a "home away from home" with so many Kiwis on board, this must have helped the integration into a new environment? There must be a healthy rivalry between the USA and NZ!
MN- Yeah its pretty cool having 3 other kiwi's on the team, we all get along really well makes time on the road go a lot easier. We had the Oregon state team time trial champs a few weeks ago, we entered two teams of 4, 4 kiwi's vs 4 Americans! It was a good chance to put it all on the road and go against each other, of course NZ won!
CNZ- Having some of the nicest bikes in the US pro peloton and certainly the support vehicles must make it enjoyable when you go to work each day?
MN- We are pretty lucky with our team bikes, We get a Orbea Orca race bike with sram force, a Orbea Orca training bike with sram rival, and then our TT bikes Orbea Ordu with rival also.. They are really nice bikes to ride, and come in just legal with the race wheels on (sub 7kg).. The Land Rovers are great get all the looks when you rock up to the races, only downside is they are to tall for the convoy so they get last car every race! They are working on getting the little one lowered so it meets the UCi standards tho which will be good!
CNZ- The team has a good history with employing Kiwis and with this year going to a continental team are the plans to develop the team to be a super power in US racing?
MN- With the Sponsors we have the team definitely has the potential to go a lot bigger, Dave and Norrene are just taking every year as it comes. I'm sure they have greater plans for the team but i guess time will tell!
CNZ- The associate sponsor "Livestrong" is quite noticeable on the team strip. Do you guys help out at events / promotions for the charity?
MN- We do a lot of work for the Livestrong Foundation (especially Norrene). We have done a few fun rides, Children's Hospital visit's, School visit's etc. Its pretty cool, get to meet a lot of people and something different to do off the bike.
The Mike Northey facts:
Crank Length: 175mm
Smallest sprocket and biggest ring: 53x11 road bike and 55x11 TT Bike
Frame size: Orbea size 54, normally 55
Favourite training ride: Waitakes down to Kerikeri
Favourite training partner: Marina & Josh
Favourite dish: Pizza
Favourite band: King's Of Leon
Mike NZ Supporters
: Kiwivelo, Mondiale Freight & Absolute Plastics Ltd
Hey thanks Mike, keep up the impressive riding and we look forward to catching up again.