Most people ask me “how is it to be back in professional cycling” and my answer is always the same – ‘just wonderful’. To be a professional cyclist is one of the hardest jobs, but still I love it and it is much better than sitting in an office behind a computer and run a Online-Shop which is what I did last year.
Now I have 3 races in my legs already after 1 year off the bike, but to get to the first race was a long and hard way back. I started my preparation for this season already in October when the team told me they wanted me.
First of all I had to build a base, which takes a lot of time and long hours. This took from October until December including a nice training camp for 3 weeks in South Africa.
In January it was even harder because of the cold weather conditions in Germany, but in total I did a lot of treadmill and gym training to bring the power back. Then there was again a training camp in Lucca to do the fine-tuning.
The speed in the peloton is still very high, but with the really nice equipment of the team with Trek Bikes, Zipp Wheels and SRAM components it was a bit easier to come back to this level. In my opinion I think I am able to race on the highest level of cycling again, but I still have to improve a lot to come back to the shape of 2009.
I’m really confident that I will be back to the level of 2009 quick, I just need more races in my legs now and then it’s possible.
From race to race I feel better and better, for example in Trofeo Laigueglia I was suffering after 150km and one week later already I finished one hard Belgium classic (Het Nieuwsblad) and in Le Samyn. I was in the first group and I finished 40th. I think everybody can see an improvement so far. Or not? Haha.
Back to main races at the moment, the classics. We are a group of experienced and young guys, but we show that we can play the game in the races. The young guys like Youcef, Ferekalsi and Johann want to learn and they improve from race to race. It’s really nice as a young guy like me to give these guys my experience.
See you at the races.