Boulder, CO based coach Neal Henderson is a very busy man and among his flock of athletes are Cameron Dye, Flora Duffy and Taylor Phinney. We were able to pin him down in between trips around the world.
Slowtwitch: Good to chat with you Neal.
Neal: Thanks, great to finally catch up. Sometimes getting a hold of me is like trying to nail jello to a wall. It only took about 2 years, right?
ST: No worries, we were not counting.
Neal: Hopefully the wait is worth it.
ST: Does it feel good to be home?
Neal: It’s always good to be home. I’m lucky to be able to travel to some amazing places around the world - just in 2012 alone I’ve been to Mallorca, Melbourne, London, Italy, San Diego, LA, and more but Boulder, CO is still my favorite place of all of them. We have true changes in season here – sometime all 4 seasons in just one day! This week it was 80 degrees on Wednesday and today I woke up to a dusting of snow and it’s 35 degrees. I guess I like a little bit of unpredictability.
ST: It would appear that the LA Triathlon result found you well.
Neal: Yes, I was already in LA for the USA Cycling track cycling elite national championships – so killing two birds with one stone while I was out there was nice. It was really great to see Cameron Dye step up and defend his title from last year in a big race with a really solid field. Cam is clearly coming into his own, and is going to be a force within the sport for some time. It was also nice to have Flora Duffy make a successful transition (pun intended) into non-drafting racing and post the fastest run split of the event. She’s got a great pedigree in ITU racing (silver medal as a junior, two-time Olympian, winner of a continental cup & a world cup, top 10 at Commonwealth games, etc.), and is also a very strong cyclist. She has competed in some pro cycling races, but is better at mass start racing (road racing & criterium) than in time trialing. She had a bit of a disappointment in London due to a crash on the bike, and though she was ready to run like she did in LA, it just didn’t come together in London. I’m still trying to convince her to keep on the path to Rio in 2016. They say it often takes 3 Olympics to get it right.