Next generation in cycling

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It's that time of the year again—the off-season—when riders like myself step out of the spotlight to recharge for the upcoming season. I usually treat myself to two weeks of complete rest. During this period, I do what brings me joy. These weeks are valuable, providing me with more time to meet up with friends and family. And, of course, a bit of shopping is a must. You'll often find me in Amsterdam, enjoying the freedom to do different things without any obligations, recharging for new challenges. Towards the end of the off-season, I often start missing cycling and occasionally take the bike out or go for a run.

To prepare for the new season, I usually travel to sunny Spain, where I can log my training hours. Winter also allows plenty of time for strength training. Additionally, the team plans two training camps, which I thoroughly enjoy as we get to train together and catch up.

I can't provide a detailed training program for the upcoming season at the moment, as it's still in the planning phase. In the lead-up to the season, I closely collaborate with my coach, Martijn. We've been working together for nearly 1,5 years, and it's been a great partnership. We regularly discuss my training and stay in touch between conversations to keep track of my progress. I have a lot of confidence in our training.

My goals for the upcoming season at AG Insurance-Soudal Quick-Step are focused on the spring classics. These races are beautiful, and I aim to be in top form when I line up. I'm also looking forward to competing in a Walloon classic. Naturally, I hope to maintain my good form and deliver strong performances in stage races and time trials throughout the season.

In my preparation for the new season, nutrition and recovery play a significant role. The balance between training, nutrition, and recovery is crucial. I pay close attention to this aspect during both winter and the competitive season. It ensures that I can give my best in training every day. Of course, there's room to enjoy life, go for a run, shop, or have a coffee, as it's all part of keeping things enjoyable.

After my rest period, I always feel recharged and highly motivated to work hard for a new season. I don't need any special preparations because I love cycling, and it's a great source of energy and motivation for me.

My expectations for the upcoming season are straightforward: to participate in many beautiful races, showcase my best performances, and achieve strong results alongside the team. I'm looking forward to the challenges ahead.

This year, my preparation will vary slightly from previous seasons because I'm getting a year older and have new goals in mind. I haven't had a conversation with Martijn yet, and I'm still in the middle of my off-season, which we'll finalize later.

As for my rituals, last year I spent the entire winter in Spain, which I thoroughly enjoyed. I plan to do it again. When I'm at home, I practice on the track and might consider participating in a beach race. I also love going for a mountain bike ride through the dunes. During the winter, I like to keep my training varied. The new season brings new opportunities, and I'm ready for it!