If there was a popularity contest in cycling, there would be little doubt in many people’s minds who would come out on top. No matter the country, no matter the age group, most people would be hard pressed to think of a more popular rider than Jens Voigt. The long-time professional has raced his career with aplomb and honour, never taking anything for granted, nor taking a victory he did not earn.
Being the oldest rider in the pro peloton, in 2012 the affable 41-year-old won in the queen stage of the USA Pro Challenge (Colorado, USA) as well as the KOM classification. His third place in stage ten of the Tour de France was greeted as if he had won it.
Jens started his athletic career mostly as a way to blow off youthful energy. But his talent and his capacity to suffer took him to the front ranks of the East German racing world in which he grew up. Jumping from East German to Western European race circuits, Voigt grew into a top rouleur who could power away from the peloton going at full speed. His natural enthusiasm means that he is a habitual attacker; he hates to sit and hide in the peloton for 250 kilometers only to race for the final 10. His penchant for impressive attacks and vivid quotes are just two of the things that mark him as a favourite among cycling fans and press.
Though he is approaching an age at which most cyclists often call it a day, Voigt shows no signs of slowing down, and so long as he can contribute to the race, he will probably race till he’s 50?