|ESPN.com: 2012||[Print without images]|
You won "Best Male Athlete" four times. What did it mean to you as a cyclist to win an award that covered all of sports?
It was pretty special for me to win an award in a sport that historically does not have a huge following in the U.S. My only regret was that I could never attend in person; since it was in July, I was a bit busy.
Your first ESPY came in 2000, for "Best Comeback Athlete," following your win at the 1999 Tour de France. How did that year change your career?
From where I was a few years before, it didn't seem possible that I would even ride a bike, so to be celebrating that win, everything changed from that July in '99.
Who was your favorite ESPYS host, aside from yourself?
Think (executive producer) Maura (Mandt) and her staff had some great ones but, I would probably go with Samuel L. Jackson.
What advice would you give to Rob Riggle, who's hosting this year's ESPYS?
Unlike me, Rob is a talented and funny guy, so not sure what wisdom I can give him. For me it was surrounding myself with some great writers and let them make me look funny.
Which is harder to train for: the Tour de France or hosting the ESPYS?
I can tell you that I was way more nervous when that curtain was about to go up than any tour stage.
During your retirement from cycling, you ran marathons and now you're training for the World Ironman Championship. How important is staying active to you?
Well if you ask anyone around me, they will tell you that I need to be active or I get to be in a pretty bad mood. Guys who are cyclists live such a disciplined life that once they retire, they totally let themselves go. I swore that I would not be one of those guys, so I try to do something every day.