Doug Ollerenshaw – nice guy, tough competitor, no drama

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Doug Ollerenshaw - (c) Ken Conley I caught up with Rock Racing’s Doug Ollerenshaw at the Mt Hood Cycling Classic. As a Portland native, Doug received some of the loudest cheers during the race. I could tell when he was on the attack during stage 1, the Mt Tabor Criterium in downtown Portland, as the screams of ‘Dougie’ could be heard all over the course.An all-around nice guy, the 29-year old is known to slay himself for his teammates and race aggressively trying to get into breaks. Oh and he’s also a mechanical engineer.
Doug at Tour de Georgia, Photo by Ken Conley

Lyne: What did it feel like to have your name yelled out loud during the Mt Tabor Criterium stage?
: It was great, I had a lot of friends out there, it was motivating, I had hoped for a bit more from myself in front of the home crowd but it’s a tough field, tough to do much against the field. I put in a hard attack early on, and it got loud, it was fun.

Lyne: There was a lot of drama surrounding the Rock Racing team early this year, how did it impact you in your training?
: The uncertainty was a little tough, I think a lot of it was a bit overblown, the riders we’re all normal people, it was a lot of the media attention. A lot of it was also cultivated by Michael Ball I believe, he was trying to create a buzz and he certainly did so but things have definitely settled down a bit. Everybody has a better idea of what to expect, things are going really smooth now, no problems at this point.

Lyne: You were pulled in last minute for the Tour of Georgia, how do you prepare mentally and physically for something like that?
: It was hard, I had actually been told that even if the team got in I was actually not racing so I got a call on Tuesday afternoon, saying that I’d be flying in a few days. I had assumed to I was going to Sea Otter and I knew I was training for something, but I wasn’t planning on training for a seven-day stage race but it worked out okay. I had some fitness and kind of rode into some fitness there as well, it went alright, it definitely set me up well for this well and for Philly week.

It is hard, it’s helpful to have distinct goals that I’m training for so the Georgia thing was tough but that was really our doing, yeah that made it difficult. But I’ve been looking at this race [Mt Hood] for a couple of months, I’ve been planning on doing this, there’s not too much uncertainty left this season, I know what to expect this time out.

Lyne: How would describe your role on the team?
: The only two races that I’ve done so far this year have been California and Georgia for the team, I’ve been really just a helper there, those aren’t really races where I can win so I’ve been just trying to take care of the guys, I can hang on pretty late in the stage. I was going getting bottles to Oscar [Sevilla] right at the base of Brasstown in Georgia, kind of a secondary role. It was a little different when I got on the team, I kind of had smaller ambitions and it sort of changed after I had signed on, but I’m still happy here, it’s a good place, it’s been amazing getting to race with those guys. I spent the week in Georgia rooming with Tyler Hamilton, I wouldn’t have seen that happening a couple of months ago.

Lyne: I’ve seen you turn yourself inside out working for your guys, what satisfaction does that give you?
Doug: To know that I have a teammate capable of winning, it definitely gives me motivation to do that, to work really hard to help them. I like going into every race with a goal, and if I’m not thinking about winning myself, I’m going to do everything possible to help a teammate. I really don’t like sitting in a race with indistinct goals, I remember at Tour of Georgia, in 2004, with Jelly Belly, we didn’t have a potential winner, we didn’t really have a potential stage winner so much, we were all kind of long shots, Ben Brooks was capable of it, but it was definitely a long shot back then. I remember just not really know what I was doing, I was sitting there and maybe sprinting for twentieth place at the end of the day. It’s a lot more motivating to help somebody else if I’m not going for it myself.

Lyne: What’s on you schedule after Mt Hood?
: CSC, then Philly week, and then Nature Valley. I’m planning on Qinghai Lake, China. The roster is not totally final for that yet but I think I’m going. Excited about it, I’d have to miss Cascades which is another home town race but it would be worth it, it would be something different, hopefully that works out.

Lyne: Personally, what would make 2008 a successful year for you?
: To see improvements, that’s what I go out for every year. I would like some personal results as well, I was really hopeful for something on Wednesday night [Mt Tabor Crit], and that didn’t work out, I tried. Look at Philly week, maybe get into a break there, we’ll see.

Lyne: Any particular areas that you are looking to improve?
: Just in general. I’ve always wanted to keep going in the sport as long as I keep seeing improvements in myself.

Lyne: Have you thought about the future post-cycling career?
: I’ve been taking year by year. I’m definitely having fun. Whenever I do choose to leave, it’s going to be hard decision to make. I could keep on going another decade if I wanted to. I doubt that, that won’t happen.

Lyne: Are you still king of scrabble?
: (laughs) yeah, my wife Adrienne and I play that every so often, we’re total nerds, scrabble and chess.

Doug Ollerenshaw is leading the Sprint competition at Mt Hood after 3 stages

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