Bicycling Australia has been chatting with National Road Series athletes to get some tips on how we can all ride better and smarter. This edition, we speak with Joseph Cooper, of the Avanti Pro Cycling Team.
BICYCLING AUSTRLIA: Joseph, do you have a nickname?
JOE COOPER: “Coops”, “JC Driver”, “JC”, “Joe – Joseph”.
BA: How would people describe your personality in just a few words?
JC: Depends on how well they know me – either loud or quiet.
BA: What’s the name of your NRS team and what role do you play in it?
JC: Avanti Pro Cycling Team – punisher.
BA: When did you join it and how did that come about?
JC: I signed on in 2013 after many a years of trying to get in from the wild.
BA: What has your NRS experience been? I.e. which events have you contested and what have been your results?
JC: Tour of Perth winner, times two.
BA: Do you have a favourite NRS race?
JC: The Tour of Perth.
BA: What are your personal goals in the NRS?
JC: Try and win the NRS.
BA: What’s it like riding in NRS events?
JC: It’s like a washing machine.
BA: Do you think the NRS is important to Australian cyclists? Why?
JC: The NRS is very important to me and I am a Kiwi so I guess it’s similar to the Aussies!
BA: Any ideas on how the NRS could be better?
JC: It could have longer stages.
BA: Where are you now (for our interview), what are you doing (apart from reading these questions) and why?
JC: Sitting at home chilling out.
BA: Where do you call home? What is your home cycling club?
JC: Home is Wellington (New Zealand) and my home cycling club is Melbourne.
BA: Do you have a job other than ‘bike rider’?
JC: I have no other job; cycling is my life and takes up most of the day.
BA: Single, married or other?
JC: ‘In a relationship’.
BA: Do you consider yourself a sprinter or stayer? Or climber?
JC: Stayer for sure!
BA: If you have a personal coach as well as a team coach, how does that work? Who do you listen to when push comes to shove?
JC: I have had a personal coach now for about four years and it’s great! It takes the pressure off me for sure.
BA: Do you think it is important for a bike rider to have a coach, even juniors and masters who aren’t members of NRS or other teams but want to ride at their best?
JC: I think it’s best to have a coach just someone there to make sure you’re not over cooking the chicken.
BA: What’s your favourite riding discipline? Road, track, MTB?
JC: I only ride road.
BA: What are some of your favourite training or coffee rides?
JC: My favourite is Kinglake loop – a loop in New Zealand.
BA: What does a typical day of training look like for you?
JC: Many, many long hours in the saddle.
BA: Have you raced overseas?
JC: Yes I have raced three seasons overseas, in Europe and the USA.
BA: What’s your program for the year look like?
JC: Busy, very busy.
BA: What makes you (and the rest of us) a better rider? The gear, the training?
JC: The training. You only get out what you put in.
BA: How do you stay motivated, especially after injury or illness?
JC: The winning feeling.
BA: Where do you think cycling is at in Australia, especially compared to other countries?
JC: At a very high level.
BA: Have you ever crashed?
JC: Yes, many times with some interesting injuries.
BA: Do you have any plans for after cycling, or are you going to pedal off into the sunset?
JC: I am hoping to pedal off into the sunset.
BA: I know you are desperate for me to ask this question: who would be on your dinner guest list?
JC: My family and friends.
At a glance info
Gear sponsors – Avanti, Shimano, Giro, Mavic, Ceramic Speed, SRM, Torq.
First bike – Giant TCR (long, long time ago).
Best win – Stage Four Tour of Gippsland, after coming back from a fractured pelvis.
Vitals – 168cm tall, 28 years old, 70-80kg
Coach – Sills Cullen