Ben King collects national jerseys. After winning the gold medal in the 2010 American U23 Road Race as well as the Criterium Championships, he won the USA Pro Road Race Championships in Greenville at the age of 21.
In the race he held an early race break to win on the 185km course and became the first rider under the age of 23 to win the event against some of the sport’s top pros.
In 2007, as a junior rider, he was already USA Road and Time Trial Champion. Ben King delivered his strongest performance of his solid 2011 debut season at the Tour of Beijing. His 12th place finish in China was enough to secure the white young rider jersey and gave the American’s morale a significant boost heading into the off-season, when he likes to go fishing, hunting, camping and snowboarding. Ben King enters 2012 with greater assurance of his own abilities.
Q & A
• Fun= Mountain bike • Vision= Occhiali- This week, my first living in Lucca, Italy, I learned that this is Italian for “glasses.” The pronunciation sounds a lot like Oakley. • Friend= wingman • Foe= giant • Greenhouse= Grapefruit • Gas= beans
When did you turn pro?
When I was 19 I raced for Kelly Benefits/Medifast, a continental team. 2011 is my first year in the ProTour.
What are the events, wins, memories that stand out most throughout your career so far?
Taking down goals, like target races, is how I measure my progress, but you can’t forget the lows. They remind you how to suffer. Also, some of my best sporting memories have been contributing to a teammate’s victory.
If there’s one thing that people in the industry would recognize you by, what would that be?
This year it would be the red, white and blue jersey. I also do some writing for a number of publications.
When did you first start riding? Where/why?
Age 14, with my dad. I was hooked after the first ride.
What drives you to be more awesome than everyone else?
Are these tan lines awesome? I’m a fan of the sport. I crashed out of a race last year and watched a few stages. It’s impressive on TV, but standing on the course I remember thinking, “wow, we look so cool.”
If you weren’t killing it on a bike, what kind of menial task would you want to do?
If you had to date one person who would it be: Pamela Anderson after Tommy Lee, Snookie from Jersey Shore or your mom in the past like Michael J. Fox from Back to the Future?
Hypothetically, my mom before she met my dad and gave birth to me. But that’s not possible so it’s totally perverted. Anyways, she’s an incredible woman.
If you had to share a bathroom with one Oakley athlete, who would it NOT be and why?
Guys never go to the bathroom in pairs. That’s a girl thing.
Tell me a funny story about an Oakley athlete you know...(We’ll never tell)
Taylor Phinney gave me my first pair of Oakley shades, when we were teammates on the Jr. National Team. After winning two Jr. National titles, I queried Oakley for sponsorship and got respectfully denied. Since then I’ve seen Oakley sponsorship as a major benchmark for success. Taylor is the first Oakley athlete I knew, and from his collection he can accessorize any style.
Talent…other than doing no handed pushups:
Living out of a suitcase
Your Favorite…(Start with your favorite music artist or something):
Movie: Cinderella Man Book: Bruchko- Bruce Olson Author: C.S. Lewis Holiday: Thanksgiving Meal: Breakfast
Best song to ride to:
Benzie Box- Danger Doom
First thing you do when you get back from a trip is…
Check the fridge.
Some athletes never get to go to Prom, did you go, who did you take or who would you ask if you could go today?
I went both years with Britt Beringer and had to rush home from a bike race to pick her up.
What is something that you wouldn't normally tell someone about yourself?
I don’t like to eat with big utensils.
Fist pumping? Head Banging? C-Walking? Or Funky Chicken? Which one? Or all of the above?
At the same time.
Dream vacation spot:
Since I spend so much time on the road, vacation is good ol’ VA.
Would you rather get punched in the gut by Mr. T. or super roundhouse kicked in the face by Chuck Norris?
Probably wouldn’t remember either.
If the most interesting man in the world wanted to take your significant other out would you let him?
Heck no! The more interesting, the more threatening.
People would be super surprised if they knew that you…
Were home schooled for four years until freshman year of high school.
You’ve been mistaken for…
The other Ben King (Australian)
Megan Fox or Diane Kruger?