What has changed in your life since the move to Team Sunweb?
On the whole, a lot has changed. The structures have become much more professional. I now have a coach, with whom I work, who compiles individual training plans for me. Even the racing program has changed almost completely through the change to the WorldTour. In general, everything is much bigger, more sophisticated and better organized than in the past.
What fascinates you about cycling?
The competition is the most appealing to me. These are always special and unique moments. In general, I like to ride a bike, but I prefer to race.
Cycling is an honest sport – even if it may be irritating for some if you look at history. It is a fight “man against man” – and in the end the stronger wins. Mostly.
Since when have you wanted to be a professional cyclist? Have you ever wanted to be anything else?
If I remember. I never had another job wish. It is only at the age of about 15 or 16 years, where you think about choosing your profession and at that time cycling was already going well for me. I am very lucky to be able to make my hobby a profession. And yet it feels funny for me to earn my money as a professional cyclist.
How do you feel about your team?
The atmosphere is great. Already from the first meeting we had a lot of fun together. We have a very well-balanced team with many young and also some experienced athletes, from whom I can still learn a lot. It is very interesting to listen when they share experiences and knowledge.
What do you want to achieve in cycling?
I have thought a lot about this question. Ultimately, I would be satisfied if I managed to get the maximum out of my individual potential. And I would like to ride the Tour de France. Everyone dreams of winning races. I am also very happy when a team colleague wins and I can help. And clearly, it remains a dream to play a part in the overall contention one day. And that may also be in important races. This is still very far away. In the next few years I will see which direction it goes for me.
What does family mean to you?
My family gives me strength and also peace in many situations – both professionally and privately.
Away from the sport, I try to spend as much time as possible with my family.
What are your strengths?
From an athletic point of view, I have my greatest strengths in the time trial. Besides, I am adaptive and a teamplayer. That is at least what people tell me.
What do you feel after a defeat?
Defeats are part of cycling. And they also belong to life. In the races about 200 riders compete. In the end, there is only one winner.
For me it is important that I learn from setbacks no matter how they look. To do better next time.
What do you think about the past of cycling and about its future?
To me, professional cycling seems to be on a good way since several years. In recent years, much has improved for the better. There could certainly be a lot of improvement in the youth classes. Here, from my point of view, there are catch-up requirements. Unfortunately, our sport often lacks the financial resources to offer excellent conditions to the youth. I wish ethics to operate cleanly, to become something like a virtue in cycling.
How can you switch off?
I like to play FIFA on the Playstation or watch movies. Even if it is hard to believe that: even on the bike I can relax very well and spend time here, even if I do not have to train.