The Woman Behind the Mastermind - Part II

The Woman Behind the Mastermind - Part II

By Cathy Mehl

We know a lot about Johan from what we see and read in the media, but there's no one that knows him better than his lovely wife, Eva Perez.  From their lovely home outside of Madrid, Eva was kind enough to spend some time talking about her life and sharing stories about her two kids and husband.

Cathy: And you have little Christian, and he’s now six-months old. What kind of adjustment has this been for you, and for Victoria as well?

Eva: Christian is a very easy baby to take care of. Also Victoria just loves him and she does a lot of things to help me with him. Since Christian is so easy to take care of I still feel like I have plenty of time with Victoria. In reality he doesn’t take much time away from her. We haven’t noticed too much of a difference. My kids are my heart. To educate and take care of them is a privilege for me. This is something I really love to do. Johan has said to me before that he has never seen someone with as much patience as I have, with the kids. With the kids!! (She laughs and so does Johan.)

I might be strong-willed but with my kids I always have a soft touch, a soft spot in my heart for them. I love to play with them so we are always laughing and we have a favorite game of tickling. Johan’s travels are not so hard for me to deal with because I know this is his job. The only thing that I do think is a problem is that when he’s home he doesn’t disconnect from the job and enjoy himself. He doesn’t relax enough and step away from the work. Not all women are able to be with such a driven-man, and I will say it’s not always easy but I think my own independent character and the fact that I respect him makes it work for us.

Cathy: Plus you have two reminders at home all the time—your children both look like Johan!

Eva: Exactly! I feel like I’m always with him!

Being a mother certainly takes up most of your time, but can you share with us any other interests you might have outside of the home?

I am a curious woman. I like to learn news things and I try to keep up to date constantly. As much as I can I take advantage to read and remain active by studying. I’ve done a few courses - about finances, wine tasting, organizing events and social protocol. I’m also currently doing a master in family education. The next one I want to realize is graphic design and multimedia. Also, if there was time, I would like to travel more with Johan so I could support him more in his worries and his concerns.

It’s well-known that Johan and Lance have had a strong relationship over the past 10 years and Johan has had a clear influence on Lance, helping him win seven Tours plus many other victories along the way. What do you think Lance has done for Johan?

Lance gave Johan the opportunity to gain confidence in himself and in his profession. Johan has been able to grow next to Lance as a great professional. Through Lance Johan was able to develop his strategic talents. There is something else that is very important that I would like to highlight because I will always be thankful to Lance for this: He gave Johan the magical force that everyday he could wake up with the passion and motivation to try and be better everyday. That’s really from the bottom of my heart.

Johan has had amazing accomplishments, as a professional rider and director and general manager. Is there something that stands out in your mind as his best accomplishment?

Yes, I am most proud that he is a great father. Even when he’s busy he always is able to give the kids a smile and his time.

Let’s switch to Alberto Contador for a minute. He is from Spain too of course. Is it exciting to you as a sports fan as well as Johan’s wife to see this exciting new cycling star emerge from your home country?

I know Alberto a little bit. I’ve been able to meet with him a few times and we’ve been able to casually talk. For me he’s an amazing cyclist with great talent and is making his way into a world of success that requires a very steep learning curve. As a fellow Spaniard, I admire him.

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