I first met Toby Stanton at a mountain bike race in 1991. He was coaching a team that included future cyclocross supahstah (this was in Massachusetts, mind you) Jonathan Page and their kits were white with red, yellow and blue dots, signifying their sponsorship by Wonder Bread.
A year or two later I sent him my Canadian-built Miele frame to be repainted and to have a second set of bottle bosses added. I would go on to ride in his VW Vanagon helping him provide neutral support at some races in New England, gradually getting to know the intense builder, painter and coach. For as long as I’ve known him his life has revolved around cycling: building frames, painting them and shaping some of the finest young riders the U.S. has produced.
For anyone who has done serious time in national-caliber juniors racing, the Hot Tubes name is as respected as it is feared. With 115 national championships to the team’s credit, Toby Stanton is the most successful coach in U.S. history. It’s a distinction of such superlative achievement, I can’t find another coach who has even five years of coaching juniors; Stanton has been doing it for 29 years and he’s been operating Hot Tubes for just as long.
Because our conversation went on for two hours, I’ve split the interview in two halves, one that deals with his business and one that deals with his team. The start is a little unconventional because when he picked up the phone we were immediately into old friend catchup mode and I never really had a chance to do the traditional intro before we were off and talking about his business. Oh, and be forewarned, there is plenty of salty language in this interview.
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