Friday, October 22, 2021
HomeInterviewsTom Peterson - a Stage Win at the Tour is the Goal

Tom Peterson – a Stage Win at the Tour is the Goal


Tom Peterson
US rider Tom Peterson.

One of the more interesting transfers over the winter was that of Garmin’s US rider Tom Peterson to Dutch team Argos-Shimano. The 26 year-old from North Bend, Washington has been with Jonathan Vaughters’ outfit since the TiAA-CREF days back in 2006.

But for season 2013 has decided that he’s played the ‘loyal team man’ for long enough.

Peterson was US Junior Road Race Champion back in 2004, joining Vaughters in 2006. His biggest results to date are a stage win in the Tour of California in 2009 and a fourth place in the Presidential Tour of Turkey in 2011; but along the way he’s also ridden two Vueltas and a Giro.

And if you look closely at his stage results in some of the big races he’s ridden, they tell a story.

Despite his domestique role, last season he took 13th on the Genting Highlands stage of the Tour of Langkawi and 17th on the brutal Bola del Mundo stage of the Vuelta – two of the hardest parcours imaginable.

VeloVeritas caught up with Peterson as he prepared for his Argos debut in the GP Marseillaise and Etoile des Besseges.

Seven years with JV, Tom – moving must be a shock to the system?

“It’s a shock to move from any team – you get to know the riders, the staff …

“It’s a big change but what’s welcome is that the team’s language is English and the guys are easy to get along with.

“I had a choice in where I went; it’s not quite the same as when we merged with Cervélo – but there are still a lot of big riders in Garmin and it’s easy to get pigeon holed as a domestique. I have no problem doing that job, but I’d like to take a few chances of my own.

“Argos wants me to develop, that’s a fundamental of my joining the team.”

Tom Peterson
Tom enjoyed a spell with the Cervelo Test Team.

You have some very promising results on tough mountain stages – Genting and Bola, for example.

“I’ve always known that I can be up there, if I’m given the opportunity.

“That’s what it’s about at Argos, focussing on being the best rider I can be. My agent, Martijn Berkhout of SEC Cycling had been talking to Argos for a while before I signed with them on a two year deal at the Vuelta.”

And Gerona in Catalunya is home?

“Yeah, it’s nice, the weather is warm, the folks are friendly and it’s pretty much recession proof.”

Last season was a long one for you; did you take a break right after the Vuelta?

“Yes, I took a month off after the Vuelta, I played a little basketball but we also had to find a new apartment during that time.

“Once we’d done that we spent time back in the US over the autumn and winter.”

How was the work load at the Argos training camps?

“We did a lot of different stuff; some days we’d train twice with just about every ride having intervals in there – five minutes ‘on’ or low cadence, big gear work, for example.

“We also did core and weight work in the gym. And we did ‘no sugar’ training to encourage the body to burn fats.

“I’m pretty happy with how my fitness is progressing.”

Tom Peterson
Gaining a ride in the Argos Tour de France team is one goal for this season.

How much difference is there between a Garmin camp and an Argos one?

“There’s not as many staff around and the mix of riders is far more cosmopolitan – even though the predominant language is English.

“But the truth is that there’s not really that much difference.”

How does the programme look?

“I have the GP Marseillaise (DNF) and Etoile des Besseges (36th) then in March we’re in Italy followed by the Tours of Catalunya and the Basque Country, leading in to the Giro.”

And no more domestique role?

“I’ll have much more freedom in the transition and mountain stages; we’re a young team and there will be shared leadership – if you have the legs then go, but if you don’t then say so!

“We have multiple riders capable of good results but I won’t be there to go for bottles, I’ll be looking to stick with the big guys and to cover good breaks.”

In John Degenkolb and Marcel Kittel you have two of the fastest men in the peloton . . .

“Depending on the situation I may be part of their train – although I certainly won’t be one of the last guys in it – and I have no problem with that.”

You’ve ridden the Giro, the Vuelta – is the Tour on the agenda?

“I’m definitely hoping to do it this year – I think I may be doing the Giro, too.

“For Grand Tours selection goes down to the wire – but Tour participation was one of the first things we talked about with Argos when we were negotiating with them.”

Tom Peterson
As a long time rider for Jonathan Vaughters, Tom will be totally familiar with the previous era and it’s drug issues.

What’s your take on ‘Mondialisation?’

“I’m not against it, you would say; ‘the more global races the better’ but generally, the best races are in Europe. If you look at the big US races like Colorado then I have the feeling that the European riders don’t seem to be taking it quite as seriously as they would a major European race.

“If you race in China, the flights are huge, there’s the jet lag aspect and the infra-structure is missing because they’re still learning the system. If the World Tour continues to grow I guess there’ll be more effort goes into it – but at the moment there are still issues like not being able to take all of the team staff with you and your phone not working, so you can’t communicate with home.”

And the inevitable ‘Lance question?’

“It’s an interesting situation, everyone’s eyes are on it but no one is sure how it will all end up.

“The trouble is that to anyone who’s not a cyclist it’s all they know of the sport.

“Currently it has no effect upon me, but I do get folks asking me questions about Lance being on the Oprah show.”

The ‘to do’ list for 2013?

“I’d like to win stages and get to the top of GC rankings – that’s the goal.”

Ed Hood
Ed's been involved in cycling for over 45 years. In that time he's been a successful time triallist, team manager, and sponsor of several teams and clubs. He's also a respected and successful coach, and during the winter months can often be found working in the cabins at the Six Days. Ed remains a massive fan of the sport and couples his extensive contacts with an inexhaustable enthusiasm for the minutiae and the history of our sport.

Related Articles

At Random

A Lotto Lottery Ticket?

Lotto Lottery Ticket... There are three definite bunch sprints forthcoming in the Tour: the traditional Champs Elysee final stage, and the stages directly before and after the Alps. Today's relatively short stage may also be a bunchie. It's a very lumpy part of the world: virtually no flat, and no straight stretches of road make it an exhausting, but beautiful, area to drive through (let alone ride).

Gent-Gent & Kuurne Brussels Kuurne – Day 3

Another beautiful day; I like the drive to Kuurne Brussels Kuurne, if the weather is nice. The fields, the canals, the rows of poplars, the old brick farm houses, counter posed by flat roof modernist houses. The routine is well rehearsed at Kuurne - check the 'B' team car park at the sports centre, then up to the 'A' team car park at the start...

Are Cycling Kit Designers on Strike or What?

It's that time of year; the teams all have their riders signed and gathered at camp (or, "rosters filled" as our North American chums would say), and presentations to the press abound, giving us the chance to see the stars in their new kit for the first time. We've brought together some of the more controversial, recently announced team kits, which are dividing opinion up and down the land, and asking the question: Cycling Kit Designers - what are they thinking?

Scottish National Road Race Championships 2012

After years of trying, James McCallum (Rapha Condor Sharp) finally took his win in theScottish National Road Race in Balfron today, edging out good friend Evan Oliphant (Raleigh) in the uphill sprint after a hard-fought race, with Vanilla Bikes' Alistair Rutherford a lone third a handful of seconds behind.

The Giro d’Italia 2010: Good Times Bad Times

Good Times Bad Times - CIAO! The Giro d’Italia version 2010 has begun. We started racing up in Amsterdam (which, while not technically* part of Italy, was a cool place to start racing from) with a time trial, followed by two road stages. The start of a Grand Tour is always cool — the whole team starts to find extra gears, and the organisation is singing by start time.

David Gibson – Five Decades of Winning

David Gibson is one of those guys that seems to never have stopped, although in reality it's been few years since he last raced. To be fair it seems reasonable for him to at last ease up a bit although he takes full advantage of the early morning drop-in sessions at the Sir Chris Hoy velodrome to keep himself in shape.