Christian Vande Velde
Date of Birth: May 22, 1976
Weight: 150 lbs./68 kg./10.7 st.
Place of Birth: Hinsdale, Illinois
Hometown: Lemont, Illinois
Residence: Girona, Spain and Lemont, Illinois
Education: Lemont High School
Teams: Garmin-Barracuda; Garmin Cervélo; Garmin Slipstream; CSC; Liberty Seguros; US Postal Service
Olympic Experience/UCI World Championships Results
- Olympic Games, 2000, Track (12th, men's individual pursuit), Sydney, Australia
- Olympic Games, 2008, Road (17th place), Beijing, China
- 1994 Junior Track World Championships
National championship Results
- Five-time USA Cycling National Track Champion, 1994 (national points race); 1996 and 1997 (team pursuit); 1997 (individual pursuit, Madison)
- 2008 USA Cycling Professional Tour Champion
- 2nd place — 2011 USA Pro Cycling Challenge, Colorado, General Classification, Prologue and Stage 3
- 6th place — 2011 Tour of Utah, Utah, General Classification
- 4th place — 2011 Amgen Tour of California, California, General classification
- 2008 Giro d'Italia, held maglia rosa from Stages 1-2, Italy
- 2005 Pan Am champion, team pursuit, Mar del Plata, Argentina
- 1st place — 2009 Paris–Nice, Stage 4 (Vichy > Saint-Étienne), France
- 1st place — 2008 Giro d'Italia, Stage 1 TTT, Palermo, Italy
- 1st place — 2008 Tour of Missouri, stages 3-7 and overall,
- 1st place — 2008 Tour de Georgia, Stage 4 TTT, Tyrone, Georgia
- 1st place — 2007 Eindhoven Team Time Trial, Eindhoven, Netherlands
- 1st place — 2006 Tour de Luxembourg, overall
- 1st place — 2005 Eneco Tour of Benelux, mountains classification
- In the 2008 Giro d'Italia, Vande Velde became the first American to wear the Maglia rosa since Andy Hampsten in 1988.
- Christian teamed with Mariano Friedick, Zach Conrad, Adam Laurent, and Carl Sundquist to win the gold medal at the 1995 Pan Am Games in a record time of 4:19:25.
- A prolific and multitalented racer, Christian's main objective each season is the General Classification in the Tour de France.
- In Christian's words, "Stupid or Genius, I prefer the latter."
PersonalChristian Vande Velde has competed in almost every important cycling event from the World Cup to all three of the Grand Tours. Talented both on the road and the track, Christian rode for the 2000 U.S. Olympic Track Team in Sydney and for the 2008 U.S. Olympic Road Team in Beijing.
Christian grew up in the suburbs of Chicago and graduated from Lemont High School in 1994 where he competed in golf and wrestling. He was named Most Valuable Player in golf and the Most Improved in wrestling.
Cycling was a natural part of his life when Christian began riding at age 16. His father, John, was a competitive cyclist and represented the U.S. on the track at both the 1968 and 1972 Olympics. At a time when few Americans were competing in Europe, John Vande Velde was one of the first to make the jump from U.S. domestic racing to compete in the European ranks. Christian qualified for the Junior Track World Championships in 1994, which was also the automatic qualifier for the Pan American Games. From that point on, he rode for the U.S. National Team. Although he was enrolled in a small college in Indianapolis in 1995, Christian decided instead to attend a national training camp in Australia. In 1996, he was a resident athlete of the U.S. Olympic Training Center, and in 1997 was named USA Cycling Male Athlete of the Year and USCF Senior Male Athlete of the Year. He was the overall winner on the track in Individual Pursuit that year, and won three National Championships. All of his success resulted in a contract with the US Postal Service Pro Cycling Team. As a member of USPS, Christian twice rode on the Tour de France team that brought Lance Armstrong to victory in 1999 and 2001.
Christian finished just off the podium in fourth place in the 2008 edition of the Tour de France and eighth in the 2009 race. 2010 proved a less-than-glamorous season for Vande Velde, who crashed in the early stages of both the Giro d'Italia and the Tour de France. He was reported to have broken his clavicle in the Giro and he sustained two broken ribs in the Tour.
Christian, his wife, Leah, and their two children split their time each year between Lemont and Girona, Spain. Leah, a trained chef, has leveraged her skills to orient food and meals around Christian's performance, which means she has designed low-gluten dishes to reduce symptoms of inflammation that Christian was suffering from. When he's not training, racing, or resting, he tries his best to be a father to Uma and Madeline.