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The title is probably one of the most recognisable catch-phrases in modern
road racing and an obvious choice for Jens “the Jensie” Voigt’s autobiography.
I was looking forward to reading it and it didn’t disappoint me. When he
appears on TV, Jens always reminds me of an enthusiastic puppy whatever
the subject under discussion – something that Chris Boardman remarked
on in his own autobiography when talking about the positive effect on his own
morale when Jens started at GAN and continued into Credit Agricole. In one
of the pieces contributed at the start of each chapter by people who know
Jen, Chris credits him with extending his own career by 2 years!

The book bounds along much like a long conversation with Jens himself – I
found it hard to put down and easy to pick up. It starts with his early years
in East Germany before the Berlin Wall came down and I found his account
of life in that environment, positives and negatives, very interesting. (The
lederhosen photos were a bit disturbing though – give me lycra or old school
wool every time! He was a product of the East German Sports Schools
system which clearly left its mark in terms of honing his mental toughness –
see separate article on Jensie and training! Jens, like Chris Boardman, is a
family man and there are a lot of references to his family (6 kids to date)
throughout. The section dealing with the trauma around the birth of his
youngest daughter, with the all-clear for after-effects only coming when she
was 7 years old, was quite moving.

As you’d expect, the action rattles around his racing career, with obvious
pride over his own victories but you can almost feel the satisfaction he gets
from helping team mates win. One thing that would have surprised me if I
hadn’t already read it in Chris Boardman’s autobiography was that Jens
rode some UK evening “10s” with Chris early in his career - any excuse to get
some race miles in.. (Don’t hold me to this but I think the course was
something like D19 (?) – it’s name-checked in Boardman’s book, but I don’t
have that to hand.) He was also present at Manchester velodrome for
Boardman’s final World Hour Record.

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