I’ve got a cracking episode for you this week, one I’ve been sitting on for a while and I am so excited to bring it to life. We needed to start at the very beginning with this one, because I know you want to hear as much as I do, the whole Jai Hindley story, and it’s such an epic one that you won’t want to miss a bit of it. I sat down with Jai earlier this year at TDU, because I just couldn’t miss the opportunity to record this episode in person.
He’s one of the great talents and great personalities of the pro peloton. He’s the Aussie kid made good, who grew up only ever wanting to become a pro cyclist. And at just 26 years of age, he has not only realised that dream but he’s also already become one of the greatest in our history. He is a true cycling purist, he loves everything about the sport - he loves vintage bikes, he was drawn to the Tour de France as a 6-year-old, there was really nothing else he ever wanted to do - he just loves cycling to the core. And this always comes across when you chat with Jai, his pure love of the sport. He loves the history of the sport and the classic era of cycling, and he was inspired by the Aussies in the European pro peloton in the early 2000s, which I loved chatting with him about. But most of all, he’s just a top bloke and his humble and unapologetic nature are a big part of what make him such a great champion.
We had an in-depth chat about how he got into cycling (as a 6-year-old no less), and we talked at length about his early time as an amateur racing in Italy. To say he has had an astronomical rise since then is, of course, an understatement. His breakthrough came when he won the Herald Sun Tour, followed by his infamous second spot in the 2020 Giro d’Italia, where he lost the pink to Tao Geoghegan Hart in heartbreaking fashion on the final stage (I’m sure I don’t need to remind you of that one). But most notably, last year, he came back to take an incredible Giro d'Italia victory, becoming the first Australian ever to do so, and only the second Australian ever to win a Grand Tour. Of course, I couldn’t interview Jai without also touching on the speculation and pressure that will accompany him into the Tour de France, where he’s learning to manage the expectations that inevitably now rest on his shoulders.
If you don’t know Jai too well, you’ll love getting to know him in this episode, where he is candid and utterly himself – a trait that cycling fans have come to know and love. I hope you enjoy the listen and getting to know this young Aussie legend as much as I enjoyed recording it!
We’re back this week with the Race Communiqué; getting the inside track on what is happening in the pro peloton with myself and my good mates Luke Durbridge and Tom Southam.
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