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Amber Neben has won everything from national championships to Pan American championships to world championships in her two-decade career, with three trips to the Olympics along the way, including most recently at Tokyo. But her life and career have been far from just collecting hardware.
After racing to an impressive fifth place in the time trial at Tokyo this summer—at age 46 no less—she had been preparing for another world championship appearance later this month to contest for her third time trial title. But she was served another setback in the many ups and downs that come with a lengthy career at the top level of sport when a collision with a car left her with a fractured pelvis.
Despite the crunched timeline the injury leaves her with, she’s a fighter and very much hopes to be in Flanders later this month to compete. “I think it’s in my DNA,” she says of her inclination to overcome whatever’s in her way. “I’m wired to go after big races. I’m wired not to stop.”
Her hunger to win has remained high in the later years of her career, but she has made some adjustments along the way. She discusses how her process and training have changed as an older athlete—it’s probably not in the way you think.
And in her career, what it takes to win has changed drastically, especially in the time trial, where it’s no longer just about being the strongest. She discusses how both the race of truth and road racing have changed in her time.
Now in the later years of her racing career, she’s finding different ways to inspire others and help people from all walks of life better themselves.
Listen to the latest episode of Bobby & Jens for the full conversation!
“Bobby & Jens” is a weekly VeloNews podcast brought to you by Zwift. It stars former pros Bobby Julich and Jens Voigt and features conversations with top athletes, coaches, emerging stars, and other newsmakers from the wide world of cycling. A new episode drops every Friday. Subscribe now wherever you get your podcasts.