THE STORY OF THE BELGIAN PROMISE FIGHTING FOR A PLACE AMONG THE BIG ONES
World champion: tall, blond with blue eyes, degree in architecture, part-time worker and student in the evening to become also a trainer. Maxim Pirard, a 22-year-old Belgian, is certainly not one who likes to stand with his hands in his hands and strives to fulfill his dream of professional cycling. Elegant on a bike and with gentle manners once you get off the saddle. His power data also impressed the Belgian CT Rik Verbrugghe: 427 watts on 20′, 505 watts on 5′ and 812 watts in 1 minute. But let’s go with order. The Pirard smart guy is not exactly an unknown in the world of 2 wheels, he has in fact played a dozen races among professionals in the jersey of Bahrain Merida (he participated in the Tour of Germany pulling for hundreds of kilometers). A young boy of 183 cm and weighing 70 kg in 2019, he also distinguished himself in the Gran Fondo, in Poland, where he won the world title in specialties. He also has an important curriculum in the youth categories. “It’s true,” he tells us during a ride in the heart of Flanders organized by Sportful, “my great passion is cycling and I have always achieved good results. For various reasons I have not yet fulfilled the dream of professionalism.” He explains that he was close to us several times, but he always had to leave the place to others. For example, the formation of Prince Nasser bin Hamad Al Khalifa had to hire 3 Asian riders and the Belgian talent remained in the wind. Pirard is not a springing guy. He hasgathered around him a pool of sponsors, who accompany him into the present, and shows clear ideas about his future. He reveals this interesting combination of the activity of Under 23 and granfondista. “I like hard runs. Cycling is hard. Personally, I have given myself one more year to pass, since from 2020 I will be Elite, and I will do my best to highlight myself”. Before saying goodbye, Pirard tells us about another episode he hasn’t digested yet. “In the Paris Roubaix won by Ganna I was in the run of the top 10, but a break of the saddle put me out of the game. It still burns me.”
RETIREES, ONLY 29 YEARS, TAYLOR PHINNEY, UNVOICED TALENT
Quit at 29, after a nine-year career at the highest level. Although, it must be said, it has been a long time since we have seen that beautiful promise that dazzled us Italians, and not only, with a sparkling pink jersey of the 2012 Giro. The American Taylor Phinney passed Prof with Radioshack, it seems an eternity passed, and then immediately came to light at BMC where he played for 5 years before wearing the Cannondale shirts and then Education First. He has competed everywhere from the Olympics to the Tour de France to the cobblestones of Roubaix. He won numerous junior titles on the track and took part in the individual test at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, finished fourth in the road race and time trial at the 2012 London Olympics four years later. Last season he finished eighth in Paris-Roubaix, his favorite race. His career was penalized by an injury in 2014 that during a time trial saw him crashing into a guard rail with a fracture of the tibia and fibula and causing a knee injury. At that time, he began to meditate on a life outside of professional racing… focusing on art and music, “Let’s say it was my body that sent me clear signals” – explains the American who added: “This decision was something that I struggled with for a long time, and for a long time I mean a couple of years, and in the end, I feel like the my body had made this choice for me. I’ve been hurt longer than I was hurt as a professional athlete. And I felt it was a good time to click and change my trusts and get out of the casino.” Obviously Phinney thanked the whole cycling environment and the teams he played for.
UCI WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP: WE ARE: FAVORITIS AND QUOTE
We’re finally there and the professional cycling world championships are about to start. After the 2018 edition of Innsbruck that made the climbers happy, and in particular the Spanish winner Valverde (who defends very well even in the flat), the one that will be held on Sunday in Yorkshire, Gran Brittany, will be a race for men specializing in the great classics. 285 km from Leeds to Harrogate, with the last 97 km to be covered on a circuit not without the harshness and with a slightly sloping finish. Slovak Peter Sagan, who was knocked out by the hardness of the course last year after a historic three-game winning streak, is back among the favorites. For analysts of betting companies, Sagan’s fourth seal is played at 5.50. However, the Slovak is not the number one candidate to win: this role belongs to Mathieu Van der Poel, whose come back rush at the last Amstel Gold Race is now in the history of recent cycling. The 24-year-old Dutchman’s success is at 3.50. On the third step of the podium of the favorites, at 7.50, is the French Julian Alaphilippe, who by winning the World Championship would crown a prodigious season, in which he put in the palmares Strade Bianche, Milan-San Remo, Arrow Vallone, in addition to two stages and fifth place in the Tour de France. If we talk about the course from the classics, among the most expected can not miss the Belgian Philippe Gilbert, fourth choice at 12.
YOUNG, BEAUTIFUL, STRONG AND WINNERS
The new generations that are advancing in cycling are very exuberant and certainly people like them very much. Well, in addition to Alejandro Valvederde, who stoically resists with his 38 years and his world champions t-shirt, there’s a lot of excitement. Behind him, in fact, there is a generation of baby phenomena that don’t ask permission, but they’ve already been able to show off themselves. What’s surprising? Everything! From the speed with they’re coming, to the explosive force they’re showing. The last in order of time is Tadej Pogacar, a pure talent of only 20 years, discovered by Giuseppe Saronni in times not suspicious. The Slovenian has already been in the youth tank of UAE for 2 years. But let’s also look at the rest of the incoming baby phenomena. Mike Teunissen, who won the Tour de France thanks to his victory and the resulting yellow t-shirt on the day that his captain, Dylan Gronewegen, died. But also, in that day, Mike beat a champion like Peter Sagan. There are two elements to underline. First of all, that he is a rider who comes from cyclocross, then a multi-purpose; also, he has played in minor formations of continental level. In practice, he has supported an alternative youth route, before arriving at the cycling that matters. Who else is in this terrible generation? Starting again from cyclocross, we have the explosive pair composed by Wout Van Aert and Mathieu Van Der Poel, born in 1995. These athletes, thanks to their very open mentalities and far from the stereotype of a cyclist dedicated exclusively and obsessively to a single discipline, are very different from the athletes of the past. The future, not just the sporting one, is theirs! Around Van Der Poel a great project is being born that goes far beyond the Corendon Circus team where he now competes. In fact, Canyon bikes and Alpecin have already fixed their exit from the Katusha team to return to the side of the Dutch talent who in 2020 will aim, just to confirm the eclecticism, at the Tokyo Olympics, on mountain bikes. We certainly don’t stop here with our talents, because Egan Bernal, now favorite for the Tour, and Remco Evenpoel, not yet 19 years old, already have a lot of successes. The future is them and their dazzling smiles! Finally, there is the young Colombian Marcel Higuita, who won the 18th stage of the Vuelta España with arrival in Becerril de la Sierra. Download and try SportPlusHealth to train at your best and achieve unexpected results!
TRAIN IN POWER. WHY?
The question a cyclist asks is: why have you been training in power for a few years? The use of watts is not a prerogative reserved for a well-defined sports elite, but it is an advantage for all cyclists and not only. Training with watts means relying on a scientific data that does not undergo subjective variables that intervene when training for example based on heart beats. What can these variables be? High temperature, a psychological stress condition (personal reasons, disappointments, work concerns) and substances such as caffeine that can have a major impact on heart activity and thus provide unreliable indications. For this reason, you use a tool like the FSA Power Box power meter, which helps you in some important steps. First of all, it allows you to avoid the mistake of training at intensity considered non-training or even counterproductive for the athlete. A nice advantage, right? The other key aspect is to have a control over the planned training. Thanks to monitoring through the values expressed by the powerbox we are able to perform in the correct way the repetitions that require physical and mental effort. The motivation, during the repetition, may drop. The moment we see our wattage fall below the limit; we will immediately be led to push harder. Next episode follows… In the meantime, download Sport Plus Health
TIM COOK: CYCLING IS TECHNOLOGY! AND SPH IS ALREADY THERE
A few days ago, Apple’s CEO, Tim Cook, has tweeted talking about technology in the world of cycling, which is now close to F1. They are used by almost all World Tour teams and they benefit greatly from them. What’s this about? Real-time data transmission during races, evaluation of the athlete’s parameters, heartbeats and expressed power and post-race analysis. Sometimes it is enough to have these details to preserve an athlete during a stage. “His beats don’t go up, he’s tired”, or “He’s not releasing all his power, we’re undercover”. Just as the exact opposite happens, “He’s fine, and we’ll send him on the attack”. Transmission is via SIM card and it can be read by the top-of-the-line, where there are coaches and sports directors. The reality is that from anywhere in the world, I might be able to visualize this data. All you need is a smartphone or a tablet. In addition, we talk about apps and news the collection that allows you to keep track of runners throughout the whole day. It goes from the app that manages and calculates the food (for example, you can have a slice of cake but you have to give up something else), calories, proteins and so on, to the triangulation of Google Maps and Street View road data with the information that the staff, which precedes the trip, send directly to the operations center. Well, SPH does all these things and makes them available to sportsmen and women, as in the case of Team Bahrain Merida. SPH can also do other, as the physical evaluation test and the analysis of the form index… a great advantage for a tool that you can carry in your pocket, inside your smartphone. Congrats to @WoutvanAert and @JumboVismaRoad on an incredible Tour de France stage win! Enjoy that well-deserved rest day! #TDF2019 🚲 https://t.co/0WeZ4YOIgQ — Tim Cook (@tim_cook) July 16, 2019
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