Boswell, who grew up in the outdoors — fishing, camping and hunting with his brother — started cycling at a young age and rose through the pro ranks quickly, riding for Bissell in 2010 before moving to Trek-Livestrong and now Team Sky, which is widely regarded as the best cycling team in the world. He also has a number of top finishes under his belt, including two first place spots at the Nevada City Classic, plus a number of team wins with Team Sky, the most recent of which came at Paris-Nice, where Geraint Thomas took first place.
Boswell’s specialty is climbing, where he offers support to riders like Froome, Mikel Landa and Thomas, putting them in the position to take the finish line when it comes to the sprint. This season, Boswell hopes to offer more than just support in Italy’s Giro d’Italia where, if the opportunity presents itself, his eyes are on a solo stage win. In preparing for the Giro and the rest of the season this winter, Boswell and his teammates trained in Mallorca, Spain, on the winding coastal roads, where we first met Boswell and spent some time with Team Sky. We interviewed him after the Paris-Nice win, an exciting race that came down to a margin of only five seconds, and a stage being canceled due to large accumulations of snow.
There is always another goal and there are always more objectives. It turns out that G [Geraint Thomas] won the race by five seconds, and there was a stage when there was a time gap involved in the sprint and he was at the front because we put him there. So it really just makes you realize what we do and the fighting that we do every day — it pays off in the end. The first time I did Paris-Nice with Richie Porte in 2013 we won as well. So at some point in my career I’m sure I’ll look back on being on a team that won Paris-Nice two times. Thomas texted me the other day and just said, “Hey man, thanks for your help all weekend. Just soak it in and enjoy it because it’s a huge accomplishment. You just won one of the biggest and proudest bike races in the world and it’s something really special.”
“I think there’s no question for any young rider my age that Lance Armstrong was our idol.” – Ian Boswell
In Paris-Nice we were descending down off these mountains with a cliff on one side and we’re on the edge of the road. It had pretty poor surfaces but the road was still there, and you just put so much trust in everyone. I think that when the racing is on, it’s on, but I think there is still a lot of etiquette within the peloton of just having some sort of respect. You know, punching out potholes, punching out rocks. There’re times when it doesn’t happen. But at the end of the day we’re all racing for a living. It is interesting to see kind of the “kill” mentality that gets into riders in the heat of battle. People who are best friends are screaming and yelling at each other, taking each other to the side of the road. It really is war out there for us, not to make it sound dramatic.
Put the beer on ice, nachos under the broiler and get out your “Contador is #1” foam finger. It’s time to watch some cycling. Read this story.