- by rc
- Published: 11 March 2011
Patrick Jonker (41) has represented Australia twice on the bike and his professional career spanned eleven years and before finishing in 2004 he had spells with legendary pro teams including ONCE, Rabobank and US Postal Service.
RC of Bicycles Network Australia (BNA) took some time with the Dutch born Ex Pro to speak about his cycling background, the Tour Down Under and young Australian cyclists breaking into the professional peloton. He is passionate about cycling though is also extremely concise and gets straight to the point in true ‘question and answer’ fashion for this interview.
BNA: Can you tell us a bit about your cycling career, what you achieved and your level of involvement now?
Jonker: I raced as an amateur between 1989 and 1992 and as a professional between 1993 and 2004. I represented Australia twice in the 1992 and 1996 Olympic Games. Finished the Tour de France five times and finishing 12th in 1996. I competed in the Vuelta -Giro and all the Classics except the Roubaix
BNA: Which is your favorite race?
Jonker: No question, the Tour de France
BNA: Who gets your vote for the greatest cyclist of all time?
Jonker: Too easy, the Cannibal EDDY Merckx. No doubt!
BNA: What about the greatest Australian cyclist?
Jonker: Cadel Evans
BNA: Who’s the toughest rider you ever had to race against?
Jonker: Stuey O’Grady from the planet Hurt!!
BNA: What was the greatest feat, race effort you ever saw?
Jonker: Miguel Indurain during his TT efforts at Le Tour.
BNA: Where do you see Australian cycling in 10 years from now?
Jonker: A multiple TDF winner & Two Pro Tour teams.
BNA: You’ve seen cycling evolve in Australia, what is the single biggest change you’ve witnessed in our sport.
Jonker: Australia producing a Australian Tour de France team in Green Edge cycling.
BNA: How do you rate the Tour Down Under against races in Europe?
Jonker: Highly, one of the best races on the circuit!
BNA: The Tour Down Under is a sprinters race, what are your thoughts on having a mountain-top finish? Maybe take it to Victoria and finish in Adelaide?
Jonker: It won’t be a sprinters race for long, Mike Turter is working on that as we speak?
Yep I recommended to have the finish line drawn on top of Willunga Hill.
BNA: What did you think of Cameron Meyers win at the Tour Down under?
Jonker: He is an amazing athlete part of the next golden generation of super stars from OZ.
BNA: A number of top riders in the world are coming from Australia, Goss, Porte, Sulzbergers, Clark, Meyers what do you see as the main reason for this?
Jonker: Yeah good question we have around 10 freaks of nature including Michael Mathews and Bobridge. Where did they come from? From planet VO2 is my guess!!
BNA: Who do you see in the current Australian riders that can one day win the Tour de France?
Jonker: Cadel and Ritchie Porte.
BNA: Any riders that have the potential to go on and win a World Championship or a Grand Tour?
Jonker: Mathews World PRO Champ soon -Ritchie Grand TOUR winner.
BNA: What is it going to take for Cadel win the Tour de France?
Jonker: His year he has the best ever chance now or never.
Thank you Patrick for your time.
Photo ? Shark