15 Reasons Why Jens Voigt is the Best Cyclist on Planet Earth

Fri, Jul 19, 2013

You know cycling, you know Jens.

If you don’t, you’re probably, “Jens who? Never heard of him.”

Most non-rabid fans know Lance as about the only cyclist and maybe recall LeMond (yes, an American with a French name). Maybe you’ve heard of a few of the up and comers, the young guns like Taylor Phinney… or TJ Van..something or rather.

So, whom then is this Jens chap?

Well, let’s see… He’s to cycling what Lebron is to basketball…if Lebron were a decade and a half older and well, not as talented.

He’s sort of a like a cycling version of MJ, without the super-star talent, who plays cycling’s role of an offensive guard in football, with a personality that’s part Jerry Seinfeld, part Louis C.K.

Seriously, what kind of sport has as it’s most popular world-wide athlete a working man warrior who’s on the verge of 42 (a day older than Lance, who first retired a decade ago) who refuses to both give less than 200% and to take himself seriously?

A really f’n cool one if you ask me.

Here’s 10 (+5) reasons why Jens is the Bestest Baddest Cyclist on the Planet!

1.  Jens is a team player, a workhorse (In tour terminology, a super-domestique) who will never win a grand tour but rides every day with heart and desire that exceeds many tour champions.

2.  Jens is riding his 16th Tour de France, considered by many to be the toughest sporting event on earth. (only two men have done 17 tours) Out of 15 starts, he’s reached the finish in Paris intact 12 times.

3. Of the 20 men who have started The Tour past age 40, Jens is the oldest and chosen for the team for his strength of body not just his heart.

4.  Through the years, his physical fortitude – coupled with a relentlessly positive attitude – has helped turn him into cycling’s biggest cult hero.

5.  Jens contagious character and super-hero like feats has spawned tribute, “Chuck Norris” like website where fans contribute “Jens-isms.” (Does Lebron have that? (jensvoigtfacts.com/)

Enjoy classic like,” Jens Voigt doesn’t age, he simply drops every year that catches up to him.”

6.  Jens has 66 victories as a professional and was once the world’s top amateur but, even at his peak, he did not have the climbing capabilities to challenge for overall victory in the world’s biggest stage races.

7.  Jens has ridden over 510,000 miles since he began racing competitively. That is enough to cycle around the world 20 times and he is not planning to stop any time soon.

8.  Jens is what’s right about athletics: He rides not for money, nor fame but for the love of it. relishes every moment with gratitude, reverence and healthy sense of humor.

“It is the passion inside me that means I keep going,” Voigt added. “I love what I do and I think I am lucky to do it. When I am riding a quiet country road, I hear the birds singing and think ‘I am in my office now’.”

9. Still one of the most elite cyclists in the world, Jens continues to train in the cold winter months of Germany—rather than traveling to a warm climate like most, because he refuses to leave his six children and wife alone.

“I have a wife and six kids at home in Berlin and I cannot just say ‘hey honey, listen I am going somewhere warm for a month to train, you all stay here where it is minus 10′. I am a family man and I have to find my priorities. “

10. In the 2009 Tour Jens had an horrific crashes on a steep mountain descent, literally smashing face first into the asphalt and by sliding 20m down the road on his face. He was airlifted to the hospital with injury and at an age where most men would have retired, Jens simply healed, and returned to ride every tour since.

11. Jens was born in East Germany. It’s suspected by many that it was his fast, relentless riding that truly brought down the Berlin Wall.

12. Jens has coined one of the most widely used motivational phrases in cycling, “Shut Up Legs!” He actually is known to have this written on a part of his bike where he can see it.

“I tell my legs ‘just one more hairpin and then we will slow down’ but then I reach the next one and tell them the same again. Sometimes I am done – I would not be able to pull the skin off a custard – but my motto is to never give up.”

13. In 2010, Voigt had another crash that left him with blood flooding out of a hole in his elbow and smashed his bike. Refusing to abandon the race he borrowed a small yellow child’s bike which he says made him look like “a bear riding a circus bicycle”.

14. “I hope I am allowed to say that the reason I am popular is because of the way I am, the way I race and the way I talk. I am just the old-fashioned, reliable guy and people always know I am after one thing: ‘There is Jens. He will go in the breakaway’.

15. In the 4th stage of the 2012 USA Pro Cycling Challenge (Tour of Colorado) a nearly 41 year old Jens executed the unbelievable feat of a solo break-away on Independence pass, riding alone, in the rain, into a head wind, for over 100 km, most of the entire stage to a better than 3 minute victory in Beaver Creek. This was one of the most epic feats ever witnessed by one man on a bike.

Get to Know Jens

If you’ve tired of athletes, their egos, the doping… get to know Jens and get your faith in the human potential back. Jens is pretty much the opposite of everything that is wrong with professional sport. He’s a great athlete and an even better person who brings light and positive energy to his job every day.

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This post was written by:

- who has written 190 posts on Shawn Phillips | Start Strong Monday.

Author, speaker, sprinter, trainer, fitness guru and Integral philosopher...Shawn Phillips

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