The end of the racing season allows some of the cycling world’s vagabonds to get back to where they came from. Allan Peiper has been professionally involved in cycling for almost 40 years and it only takes a couple of minutes of discussion to realise that his passion for the sport is very much intact.
Peiper is in Australia for a few weeks to visit some riders, prepare for the upcoming ‘Summer of Cycling’, and even catch up with a few old friends.
He visited RIDE Media HQ on Tuesday morning 1 November and we duly asked if he would mind being part of our ‘Talking Cycling’ series of interviews.
At almost 30 minutes, this is not a short discussion but it continues the theme of a series that has been broadcast recently… interviews with an eclectic mix of people involved with cycling.
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Peiper raced as a professional for 10 years and retired in 1993. He took a long hiatus from cycling but remained in Belgium. He returned to the sport in 2005 when he was asked to become a directeur sportif of a Belgian team, Davitamon-Lotto.
Since then he has worked with a number of professional cycling teams in a management position: the Highroad formations (ie. Columbia, HTC etc) until Bob Stapleton withdrew his squad from the peloton, then Slipstream (ie. Garmin), then onward to BMC Racing where he was originally employed as a high performance manager.
The roles have changed but the passion remains. And Peiper is already considering what’s to come in the 2017 season.
He lives in Belgium and is married to a Belgian woman, Isabelle, but he retains a quintessential Australian attitude.
Peiper was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2015 and although it has impacted his life significantly, he hasn’t spoken much about the challenges he’s faced since the requisite surgery. He does explain some of this at the end of our interview and the outlook is bright.
Only two weeks ago he was given good news by specialists and he expects to continue working with BMC Racing for some time yet.
The interview begins with a query about his highlight of 2016 – Greg Van Avermaet’s win in the Olympic road race – and quickly goes on to consider some of the many elements of what is a long career in the cycling sphere.