With Belkin withdrawing from sponsoring the Dutch team at the end of this season, I talk to Daan Luijkx, general manager of Vacansoleil-DCM, who knows...
Daan Lujkx and cycling's broken business model
June 19, 2014
Marcel Kittel interview
July 15, 2014
Earlier this year I headed to Antwerp on behalf of The Cyclist magazine to interview Marcel Kittel. The full piece featured a couple of months ago, but here are a few timely snippets that didn’t make the cut…
Kittel on… mindset of a sprinter
Sprinters have a different mindset to someone like a climber. That said, all riders are fearless when facing descents of 90km/hr. For me personally I get a buzz out of those final sprints. But I don’t enjoy uphill finishes!
Kittel on… relationship with John Degenkolb
We have a very good relationship. We are friends and we know each other very well. I raced him first when I was 14 or 15 years old. Since then we’ve raced each other or been on the same team a lot.
Kittel on… training for sprints
I work heavily on sprints during my normal endurance rides. In the winter I’m really busy in the gym but I reduce that through the summer. I do a lot of squats and core training. Regarding the squats, it’s heavy weights and low reps in winter; as race season approaches, less weight and quicker reps because you want to stimulate fast muscle fibres. I lift about 120kg free squats. There are guys who are doing more.
Kittel on… nutrition
We have a nutritionist on the team but I don’t like to be pinned down too much. It’s not that I eat really unhealthy, eating French Fries every night or pizza. I would say I eat healthy. But because I’m more spontaneous, if I feel like eating a big piece of meat, I’ll have a big piece of meat.
Kittel on… his favourite meal
It’s always nice to have a great piece of steak. My mum’s lasagna is good, too. And at the Tour Down Under in January, I really enjoyed eating kangaroo. It was marinated and delicious. Beetroot shakes is a new trend but I’m not convinced. We have a foodbox in the hallway at breakfast and a protocol that our dietician worked out. So it’s filled with goodness. Unfortunately, Nutella’s not allowed in the box anymore. I can tell you there were some big discussions that took place. Sometimes a jar will appear in the box – I don’t know how.
Kittel on… brotherhood
I have a brother who is eight years younger. He cycles and has the talent but he needs the eye for certain situations. And I don’t want to put him under pressure. It’s completely fine if he wants to do something else.