Marty Nothstein: From Goodwill to the road

By Sharon Payne, Cyclingnews correspondent

Marty Nothstein from Trexlertown Pennsylvania started in cycling at 16 and two years later won the Junior National Championship in the match sprint. Since then Nothstein's name has been synonymous with sprinting and speed. After missing out in Atlanta, Nothstein finally attained his much sought after gold at the Olympics in Sydney. Since Sydney, Nothstein has been working on a major change of career direction: he has lost 20 pounds, and has spent most of this season on the road.

Goodwill Games reports on Cyclingnews:
Day 1; Day 2

Nothstein is currently in Australia for the track events at the Goodwill Games where he won bronze medals in the 10km Scratch and Elimination. Cyclingnews caught up with Marty Nothstein on Sunday 2 September, at the Chandler Velodrome, Brisbane.
Click for larger image
Bottom, in the match sprint heats
Photo: © Tim Francis

CN: Marty, yesterday you had an interesting day. How were today's two races?

MN: I was tired after yesterday, it seemed like I never got off the track but I'm in good shape. If I can't make it through a competition like this I don't deserve to be here. Today I was a bit disappointed in the Keirin in the call the officials made. It was probably one of the worst calls I've ever received in my life. It's unfortunate because I was very excited and anxious to race the Keirin. I felt like I could win it.

CN: Will you get another chance to ride the Keirin before the World Championships?

MN: No, that'll be it. I'll just go back home to Pennsylvania, spend some time preparing. Then I'll get back onto the road circuit again. I've been doing all road work this year, all road racing and criterium racing in the States. I've had a very, very limited track racing season this year so I'm going to go home and get some much needed time on the track.

CN: Your career is having a big change now; which way do you see it going in the next couple of years?

MN: I'd like to concentrate more on the endurance side of it. I've accomplished everything there is to accomplish in the world of sprinting. I've the World Champion and Olympic Champion so there's nothing else I really need to accomplish to prove to anyone in the world of sprinting. I've come from an endurance background, got involved in sprinting, sprinted for the last couple of years and now I'm kind of anxious to get back to the road side and endurance side.

CN: What do you see as your goals over the next four years?

MN: I have every intention of going back to the [Olympic] Games in 2004. Right now I do not know what discipline it will be in. But one thing I do not lack is confidence and whatever I decide I want to concentrate on I'm sure I'll go there ready to win it.

CN: How has the Goodwill Games been for you?

Click for larger image
Left, in the sprint finals
Photo: © Tim Francis
MN: The event has been awesome. We have a lot of appreciative fans in the stands which we love to race in front of. I've been to Australia a couple of times and every time I come down here we get a warm welcome. I enjoy coming here and racing and showcasing the talents I have. Although they weren't that great these last two days, I was giving it a go. Again a bit disappointed with the Keirin call. You know it's bad when the riders you supposedly did the relegation against are wondering why you're relegated. Very disappointed in that call. Wish I could get out there and do it over again.

It's been a great experience for me. The games have been what I'd call a success. I got two medals, they're not the colours I wanted. But we came in here more as a team wanting to win the team overall knowing we were going to have a tough fight against the Aussies. So long as we can save face and get on that podium for the team competition we should all be smiling when we leave.

CN: Yesterday you scored a $100 (US) fine did that concern you?[1]

MN: No it didn't concern me at all — a tax write off.

CN: You were fined yesterday and relegated today is there anything you or the officials need to change?

Click for larger image
Nothstein, right. Big.
Photo: © Tim Francis
MN: Everyone in cycling knows a bad call so I'm not going to really touch it any more than that but it's a bad call. I've been doing this long enough and you know when you do something wrong and when you don't; there was nothing wrong there. The three strongest guys made it through that round. But that's their verdict and I've just got to live with it. No sense in getting upset over it 'cause I couldn't change anyone's mind. Everyone in the infield and all the cyclists are guessing why. Again you just gotta live with it. The fine yesterday… you know, that's bicycle racing. I mean, crashes happen. There was nothing intentional done. We were coming to the last kilometre in the race and if someone put a camera on your bike you guys would be amazed at what is really happening out there. Unfortunately somebody crashed and I was the one who hit them. I have a bigger upper body, the problem is people hit me — I'm not the one that falls down; they usually fall down.

CN: Now you're 30 years of age how long can we expect to see you in the competitive arena?

MN: Well you know, I'm getting stronger and faster as I get older. There's no sense in jumping off the ship now. Again, it goes back to what do I need to accomplish in the sport. I've won everything I ever wanted to win. But I have a desire to keep on winning. Every time I put on my helmet and pin on the number I'm a competitor, a bicycle racer. That's what I live for that's what I get paid for. I'd like to go at least another four or five years.

CN: How has this American team been going at the Goodwill Games?

MN: We've got a pretty strong team here. Again we thought we'd ride a little bit better. We've had some disappointing results and some riders rode not so good and we had other people step up. So like a typical team race you can't predict the outcome. We thought we came here prepared the best we could but some other teams were more prepared.

[1] Nothstein was fined $100 and $500 after crashes in the 10km Scratch and Elimination respectively, and relegated to last place in the first round of the Keirin.

Other Talking Cycling Interviews