Ian Boswell – “A three year deal with Sky gives me confidence and comfort”
Baby Giro winner, Joe Dombrowski is just half the story when it comes to rising US stars joining Team Sky for 2013. Dombrowski’s friend, countryman and Bontrager-Livestrong team mate, Ian Boswell is another young man who’s been busy this year, attracted a lot of attention and will be joining the Team Sky juggernaut.
The 21 year-old was second in the U23 Liege-Bastogne-Liege and fifth in both the Tour of Utah and Tour de l’Avenir.
Boswell took time off from ‘camping, hunting and fishing’ in Bend, Oregon to chat to VeloVeritas not long before he prepared to fly back to London for a Sky get together.
Why Sky, Ian, we heard there were eight teams after you?
"I had a list of criteria which I prepared; it had to be a premier team with an emphasis on GC riding which could help me fulfil my ambitions in that area.
"I also wanted a team with a strong emphasis on time trials – with Bobby Julich on the team I think he’ll be a great help in my developing that skill."
Do you have an agent?
"Michael Rutherford – he’s been very helpful; he works with other riders, including Pro Tour guys.
"He deals with the legal stuff – I’m not in tune with that and it’s very stressful trying to deal with that when you’re racing and training."
You signed a three year deal?
"A two year contract is the minimum for a neo-pro on the World Tour, which I think is a good rule - it lets a rider have time to settle – but we figured that the team will be around for a long time and a three year deal gives me confidence and comfort."
How important was Bobby Julich’s presence to your going to Sky?
"It’s good to have Bobby there as a US guy who’s been through the same process.
"I don’t just mean the training and racing – setting up in a house, visas, bank accounts..."
And will he be your race coach?
"My coaching up until now has been with Hunter Allen at Training Peaks – so I’m a devotee of power meters.
"Next season Sky wants us to work with our race coaches, Bobby obviously knows the Pro Tour very well - but I’d like to retain Hunter’s involvement if I can."
And Nice will be home?
"It’s a Sky requirement; I’d been thinking about Lucca in Italy – I know folks there.
"Joe and I had never been to Nice – but Bobby showed us round and we fell in love with the place. Richie Porte and Chris Froome live in Monaco, which is close by – so that’s good for training."
Any worries about being in the shadow of Brad, Chris, Rigoberto and the rest?
"The team is stacked with talent; but that won’t be a problem to start with – I want to learn.
"I understand that my first year or two will be in a supporting role.
"I’m looking forward to getting involved with the science at Sky.
"And whilst I’ll be riding in support, I’m there for three years so I’ll have time to develop and learn – and to get my own opportunities."
Have you had your medical, yet?
"We had basic tests when we were in Manchester after the Worlds – but we’ll be subject to more when we come to London, shortly.
"That will be an in depth screening, including an ECG."
Second in the U23 Liege-Bastogne-Liege – a nice result.
"That was my main goal for the spring, I had really good fitness.
"I rode well but an early break went and the last guy from the break – the Dane, Michael Andersen - stayed away to win by 15 seconds.
"I was satisfied with my ride."
Did you start to get offers after your fifth in Utah?
"I had some of interest but it was really a little early in the season for the pro teams to be talking 2013 deals – the real time for that is during and just after the Tour de France.
"But I was happy to show well in Utah against a lot of World Tour team riders."
Fifth in the Tour de l’Avenir was another strong result.
"It’s a race I target each year as a U23; there’s a premier field and it’s a mountainous parcours.
"But this year, a couple of the stages were shortened due to the weather; that didn’t really help my cause – the longer and more mountains the better for me!"
You rode Paris-Brussels as a stagiaire for Argos.
"Yes, I rode five races with them as a stagiaire between l’Avenir and the Worlds.
"It was interesting to see how a team like that functions.
"I’m used to bring in a situation where I’m the team leader and the other guys are riding for me – but this was a different role for me, working for their sprinter, Marcel Kittel."
But you decided not to go with Argos.
"They were really interested in having a US guy for the GC and it was a hard decision; but when I weighed it all up, I decided to go with Sky."
What was the highlight of your year?
"Liege-Bastogne-Liege was a big goal and a good result – but that was in the spring and it seems like a long time ago, now.
"Utah is my favourite race at home in the US and to be racing against the Pro Tour guys - and out-climbing them was pretty special."
What are you looking for from 2013?
"Year one is a development year – the team want me to get set up in Europe, adapt to the style of racing and the Sky system, get housing sorted out and fit in with the team – there are no real goals.
"I don’t have a firm race programme yet but tentatively we’ve spoken about Oman, Tirreno and the Criterium International – which is a top notch programme for a neo pro."
And, we have to ask – Lance?
"I’ve been reading through the transcripts of testimony and there are some shocking revelations.
"It’s good to see that guys have come out and admitted their wrong-doing, that has to make the sport better and helps ensure that riders of my generation are never faced with the choices that they were before.
"But the sport has changed a lot; the riders have more say and are treated with more respect than they were back then."
Let’s all hope so. Thanks to Ian for his time and we wish him ‘all the best for season 2013.’
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