Klier celebrated his 35th birthday just over two weeks ago. The topic of retirement certainly does not seem to be a new one for Klier, but like everything Klier, he looks at it in a different way than you'd expect. I didn't just end up asking about retirement though, again, like everything Klier, we just ended up barreling down a completely different path than I originally expected.
Jered Gruber: Do you have a best friend or ally in the team or in the peloton?
Andreas Klier: I had. Servais Knaven, but he stopped, and he'll be a sport director next year for Team Sky.
JG: What's it like to see a friend go?
AK: I think he will love it when he passes me in the races or on a mountain. I have no enemies in the peloton, a lot of friends, but he's a very good friend. It will be strange not to have him there. He's 39 though, so it was time for him.
JG: What brought you together?
AK: We raced together my first year at Farm Frites. We were always roommates, then at T-Mobile, we raced together as well. He was a very good guy. He also lives in Belgium, close to the border of Holland.
JG: What are you thinking about in terms of life after cycling?
AK: I don't know how long I will stay in the sport. I really don't have any idea.
JG: You’ve shown without question that you’re a fantastic road captain. With that in mind, would you consider moving into a role as a director?
AK: I will never be a director.
JG: Why is that?
AK: Because I want to stay at home. It's very easy.
JG: So when you're done, you're done?
AK: When I'm racing, I'm still looking for a new job outside of cycling. I will not stop racing until I have a new job. When I have a new job, I'll stop racing. If I find a job where I think this is nice, this is good for me, then I'll stop. I won't stop before then, or of course, if I don't get a new contract, then I'll stop [almost smiles].
JG: Obviously, you're not going to be the IT guy.
AK: True. I don't know. I have no idea. I would like to stay in one spot. This year, I'm not thinking about this, because I want to sign a new contract.
JG: You're still young.
AK: [Laughs] Thank you, but not really. My dream job would be to take a job as a gardener in Mallorca. I want to make enough money to pay for everything as normal. I have a garden at home, and I love it. I'm just the gardener for cutting and trimming.
My idea is to work as a gardener and a guy that gets stuff done, because a lot of of rich people have really big holiday houses and gardens in Mallorca. I'll pick them up from the airport when they come on holiday, put a pineapple on the table, and set out some wine for them. Work in their gardens, make a little money, and at six o clock, I'm at home. I'll be outside all day, and if I don't want to work for a little bit, I can sit next to their pool for a little bit. No more stress anymore.
It's a good idea. Maybe it's also a lot of work, but it sounds good to me. It's one idea.
When talking to Andreas, you get the idea, the understanding, that he's a great guy, a simple guy, someone who doesn't need or ask for much. Back home in Mallorca, Klier has a home, but he noted that he’s currently building two more. It was a curious thing to mention, and it sounded like a bit much for a salt of the earth person like Klier. Ashley perked up at the mention and asked him why he was building two more houses.
"I'm building them for my two children. I want them to have a place to live when they grow older. I want them to be able to have a home and be able to do whatever they want. If they want to be a carpenter. Fine. I don't want them to have to work in a bank or somewhere they don't want to just so they can make rent or get by."