Manual for Speed really loves Jens Voigt. We've been lucky enough to photograph him all over the Pro Cycling World, and at this year's recent Tour of Utah managed to talk to him. In celebration of his victory (100% Jens-style, solo, off the front for 90 miles) in Stage 4 of the ongoing USA Pro Challenge, here's what he had to say about being the most-loved dude in the Peloton, iPhone apps, and trying to be the next Jens.
I don't know, it's an effect that nobody can foresee, and nobody really understands. Like a movie in the cinemas, people say, 'Oh, that's an average movie,' and suddenly it hits the right moment and becomes big–
You're not an average movie, Jens. You are definitely an above-average movie.
It's like sometimes you have to be at the right spot at the right moment, say the right words, and it becomes self-developing. I can't really tell you. I hope that at least the foundation of it is might Hard Work. Hard Work, many years in the sport, being solid, being reliable. And I mean since you guys um, do a cycling web page, you know that our sport has taken a few turns—to the better and to the worse. And I think what people like is that I was always at my spot. I never turned left or right or up and down I was always at my spot, hopefully people see some certain stability. 'Whatever happens, Jens will be still Jens.' I think they like that.
We mention Portland, OR's Jens Voigt Army.
I don't know anything about that but apparently they do an app and they charge money for it. It costs a dollar. They do this Jens Voigt App, a soundboard I think it's called. And they charge a dollar for it. I actually think, some people say, 'Hey hey, you can earn some money and get a lawyer and contact them.' It's out there for like two years I suppose, the app. So I think now they earned their money so they should just stop it and make it for free. You had two years of your money and I ignored it because, 'Hey, whatever. If you're happy with it and you earn some money, whatever.' It doesn't hurt me but after a year, make it for free. Or maybe contact me and pay me a few cents of it. An app cannot cost hundreds of thousands of dollars to make.*
We ask Jens what the aspiring Pro needs to know if they want to make it.
OK. If you are a young rider and you wanna become a Pro in the Big League, you gotta have some serious self-belief. That's a really good starting point, have self-belief, self-confidence, without being arrogant of course, but believe in yourself beyond reason.
'I am gonna make it, I am gonna make it happen, I am good, and I'm gonna take my chance, and I'm gonna make it.' That's a good starting a point. You gotta focus on your goal, and aim. Aim high. Why not? You only have one life. Stop wasting with second-guessing and doubting. Go big and say, 'I wanna do this, and I wanna make it, and I wanna make it happen.' It will.
*Rest assured, the Jens Voigt Soundboard is now free