The Un­bear­able Bike­ness of Be­ing Dan Craven

Bicycling (South Africa) - - FRONT PAGE -


31, Namibia


Pro rider: Team Europ­car, Grand Tour rider, for­mer African cy­cling cham­pion, cover model


AFTER MANY YEARS RAC­ING ON CON­TI­NEN­TAL TEAMS, YOU FI­NALLY GOT A CALL-UP TO RACE THE VUELTA A ES­PAÑA FOR THE EUROP­CAR PRO TEAM – WERE YOU SUR­PRISED? It’s been a com­pletely in­sane year. Hear­ing I was on the Vuelta squad was pretty fright­en­ing, to be hon­est. It’s been such a long and hard jour­ney to get here, and I’d vir­tu­ally given up (on mak­ing it to the top) at some point. Then in the last year I sorted out some nig­gling is­sues, and sud­denly ev­ery­thing changed around. @BI­CY­CLING_SA SO, AFTER RID­ING THE VUELTA, ARE YOU IN WITH A CHANCE AT RID­ING THE TOUR DE FRANCE NEXT YEAR? I’m ac­tu­ally more keen on do­ing the Giro first! It’s been on my to- do list since com­ing to Europe in 2005, and I think it’s ac­tu­ally a much cooler and harder race than the Tour – even if it doesn’t have the hype be­hind it. So to be there is one of many goals for next year. Be­ing the op­ti­mistic type, I’d say chances are close enough to 50/50. @BI­CY­CLING_SA BE­ING A PRO RIDER SEEMS SO RO­MAN­TIC… It’s only ro­man­tic from the out­side. Very of­ten peo­ple are jeal­ous of my job – un­til I start ex­plain­ing the in­tri­ca­cies of it, and their opin­ions of­ten change quickly. That said, I’m not com­plain­ing, I love what I do. It just takes a spe­cial kind of stupid per­son to want to do it for a liv­ing. @BI­CY­CLING_SA WHERE’S YOUR FAVOURITE PLACE TO RIDE? There are so many! Im­pos­si­ble to re­duce it to one an­swer. Cor­sica, where I met @col­ly­na­hart, is pretty spe­cial. Around the Ital­ian lakes can be traf­fic-logged, but when not – ab­so­lutely stun­ning! But I al­ways love re­turn­ing home. MTB around our farm near Omaruru in Namibia means so much to me! At the end of the day, the best rid­ing takes place when you are with good friends and have open roads, wher­ever that may be. @BI­CY­CLING_SA ARE YOU ALSO THE OWNER OF THE TWIT­TER HAN­DLE @DAN­CRAVENS­BEARD? No. I have my sus­pi­cions as to who it is, but as yet they’re un­con­firmed. @BI­CY­CLING_SA SOME CALL YOU A HIP­STER. HOW DO YOU SEE YOUR­SELF? I’m very amused by be­ing called a hip­ster. In no way do I think of my­self as fash­ion­able or a hip­ster. Then again, I don’t re­ally feel like a pro (even after be­ing Con­ti­nen­tal­level for so long). I sup­pose I ac­tu­ally just still feel like that lit­tle bakoor- laaitie from Omaruru that I used to be. @BI­CY­CLING_SA HOW FA­MOUS ARE YOU IN YOUR HOME COUN­TRY OF NAMIBIA? HAVE YOU MET YOUR PRES­I­DENT YET? I’m very up­set to have never met our pres­i­dent! This has to change! The Namib­ian press is a small world, so I get a fair share of the press. The thing that amuses me most is when I hear that I’ve been talked about on the Oshi­wambo-lan­guage ra­dio sta­tion! @BI­CY­CLING_SA TO BEARD OR NOT TO BEARD? Mostly to beard! It works for me; I shave once in a blue moon, just to mix things up. But gen­er­ally, beard is good. @BI­CY­CLING_SA DE­SCRIBE YOUR­SELF IN FOUR WORDS Man, this is a hard one... Namib­ian. Mis­chievous. Thought­ful. Op­ti­mistic. Al­ter­na­tive. @AmyMostert What’s your diet phi­los­o­phy? I’m a very big fan of Pa­leo (and ba­con, and but­ter), but it’s im­pos­si­ble to fol­low that 100%. What I do is try to cut out sugar. I also try mak­ing my carb in­take more spe­cific and re­duced, not just all the time, or at ran­dom. All of that goes right out the win­dow dur­ing my (cur­rent) off­sea­son though! :) @Alana_ Jane What keeps you mo­ti­vated? Stu­pid­ity? :) Rid­ing and rac­ing is my pas­sion, and there’s noth­ing else I would want to be do­ing in­stead. That’s kind of a big bar­rier that has kept me in the sport this long. But also, the fact that I have some long-term ideas ( goals?) in the sport; and the longer I ride now, the more doors will be open in the fu­ture to chase those goals, as un­de­fined as they might be. Also, com­ing from Namibia and know­ing how for­tu­nate/ lucky I am – that thought helps a lot. @way­definch What’s your best ad­vice for young rid­ers? En­joy your­self! Def­i­nitely en­joy your­self! Cy­cling is too hard a sport to do well at if you don’t do it for your­self first. And al­ways be will­ing to learn and grow, even if it hurts. @amy_ebz So, I’m a girl who likes a guy with a beard. What’s the se­cret to good growth? Ha ha! I sup­pose peo­ple are ei­ther lucky to have a good beard or not. Be­sides wash­ing it like I wash my hair, I don’t re­ally do much. The big thing is just ex­per­i­ment­ing with how the beard looks. Not to be afraid of ex­per­i­ment­ing and trim­ming!


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