Culture

Bobby & Jens: Juan Antonio Flecha on racing hard, making Jens vomit, and choosing a cobbles dream team

On the eve of this spring's monuments season, the Spanish breakaway artist shares his love for difficult days on rough roads.

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Death, taxes, and Juan Antonio Flecha. From 2000 to 2013, few things were more dependable than the sight of the dashing Argentine-born pro in the lead pack near the end of spring’s cobbled classics. Among his many memorable results, Flecha can count eight top-ten finishes at Paris-Roubaix during his 2000-2013 racing career.

In this week’s episode of the “Bobby & Jens” podcast, Flecha shares the secrets of his success as the rare Spanish rider who gravitated to the northern classics. The conversation takes listeners behind the scenes of his time on a series of superteams, from Banesto to Fasso Bartolo to Rabobank to Sky. He shares stories of emulating Miguel Indurain, finding his groove in Belgium, serving as a domestique on the Tour de France, and experiencing the heartbreak of close finishes won by icons like Tom Boonen and Fabian Cancellara.

Other highlights include:

The inside story of Paris-Nice 2005, in which Flecha inadvertently opened the door for Bobby to win the race by 8 seconds following a storming descent with Flecha and Cancellara on the penultimate stage.

A breakaway Flecha launched that left Jens vomiting in the gutter.

The origins of the famous Flecha celebration, a flourish that Julich describes as “the best victory salute on the planet, bar none”
A retirement full of surfing, gravel riding, parenting, and commentary for Eurosport

And stay tuned for this week’s “Shut Up, Legs!” winner and your opportunity to vote on next week’s contestants.

“Bobby & Jens” is a new podcast from VeloNews starring former pros Bobby Julich and Jens Voigt, and featuring conversations with top athletes, coaches, emerging stars, and other newsmakers from the wide world of cycling. A new episode drops every Friday. Subscribe now wherever you get your podcasts.

Send your questions and “Shut Up, Legs!” votes to BobbyandJens@VeloNews.com or @bobbyandjens.