The Knowledge: Ian Boswell, tractor boy

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A career change rather than retirement, Ian Boswell recently announced he would not be returning to the World Tour in 2020, and will instead be spending more time off the road. He’s already got the wheels for it…

Photographs: Benedict Campbell
Ian Boswell



It has always been a dream of mine to live a rural lifestyle. My fiancée Gretchen and I made that a reality in 2017 and bought a ten-acre dairy farm in Vermont. We have an old barn, an apple orchard, maple trees, a greenhouse. It’s an old farmhouse built in 1785, which for the US is about as old as they come.

Obviously I spend my seasons in Europe racing, but we are slowly chipping away at little projects. I’ve got a little tractor – a 1984 Kubota. It’s only a small one, 24 horsepower, but it’s fun, moving earth and wood, and it saves my back.

Living more of a self-sufficient life has always been something that’s appealed to me. Living this fast-paced exciting existence in cycling is thrilling, but knowing that I have this waiting for me at the end of my career is something to look forward to. 

My brother and I got into hunting and fishing around the ages of 13 or 14. Being outdoors, camping – and this involved cycling as well – became a passion of mine, alongside country and western music. Nice, where I live during the season, is the complete opposite. A different world.

I will need to upgrade on the tractor in the near future. I look at them on Craigslist already. I think people fail to realise how expensive they are – you can easily drop €100,000 plus the attachments on a nice one. So I need to get the hours out of my little Kubota first. A classic 1952 John Deere would be my dream ride. 

Read more: The Knowledge

The article first appeared in Rouleur 19.3


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