National Day of Listening 2012: Tim Johnson talks U.S. ’cross, Red Bull

The veteran American ’crosser talks unfiltered about U.S. cyclocross and bailing on work at REI as an 18-year-old to race

Tim Johnson (Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld) is six-time U.S. cyclocross champion and was the first American to finish on the podium at ’cross worlds, as a U23 in 1999. Johnson is a member of the Cyclocross Committee for USA Cycling and on Sunday he won the main event at the Jingle Cross Rock in Iowa.

Johnson is in line to make the worlds team for the U.S. and will be a local crowd favorite when the worlds rolls into Louisville, Kentucky, in February.

Johnson spoke with us as part of our special project for Storycorps’ National Day of Listening. His interview, during which he discusses the broadcast shortcomings of U.S. cyclocross, the craziness that is being a Red Bull athlete, and his first ’cross race, appears below.