September 02, 2016 0 Comments
Being Australian has limited benefits when it comes to professional cycling in Europe; however, one of them is that I have an endless summer. While the Europeans are preparing for next season with cross-country skiing, riding a ‘cyclocross’ bike or relocating to Southern Spain in search of the sun, I am back in Australia training in the summer. Then, just as sunrise starts to take a little longer and the nights begin to get chilly, I head back to Europe for the Spring races.
As a result of this, I have never seen snow. I mean, I have seen the leftovers of it on the ground, but I have never actually seen snow falling from the sky. To be honest, I’m not entirely sure what I am supposed to be looking out for. Most people from Europe don’t believe me when I tell them, but where I live, the lowest temperatures on a winter’s day are in the mid-20’s Celsius. I never even owned a puffy jacket.
Every year, the team equips me with all the cycling kit that I could possibly need. This includes near endless amounts of winter warmers, jackets, gloves and rain gear. I think this is all thrown in to accommodate the Dutchies with all their complaining about how cold it is training in the Netherlands. The first time I even open my winter kit is at the first European training camp of the season. Before this, I beg for more summer kits.
When it rains in Australia, a rain jacket is redundant. If you put a jacket on during rain in summer, you will end up wetter than if you didn’t because you will be sweating so heavily. Rain is a welcome relief because it cools you down. Even then, the temperature barely drops below 30°C. In Europe, it is a totally different story. If it rains, it gets cold…typically really, really cold.
I honestly don’t know how the European riders train during the winter or when it’s raining. Most guys say they use a trainer. Personally, I couldn’t think of anything more boring. This year, I have spent a grand total of two hours on a trainer. That’s less time than what most pros do in a single session.
I cannot stand putting on heaps of extra layers just so I can ride outside. I feel like the Michelin Man. Unfortunately, I have a feeling that this week I am going to need my rain bag. I am in Bergen, Norway, for the Tour des Fjords where it rains more often than it doesn’t. It is supposed to be summertime, but I am walking around in a warm jacket. It’s cold, it’s wet, and it will be like this all week. I spent an hour on the trainer today while other teams braved the weather and went riding outside. Maybe I need to forego my endless summer this year and try to ‘toughen up’ during the winter. Then again... No thanks!
Chris Williams rides for Team Novo Nordisk - the world's first all-diabetes professional cycling team.
April 30, 2021 0 Comments
Mark Cavendish’s welcome return to victory has led to calls for the Briton to be selected for the Tour de France, including the #CavToTheTour push on Twitter. There is a considerable emotional appeal to him taking part, but is it practical?
April 23, 2021 0 Comments
Earlier this week l’Equipe reported that last year’s Tour runner-up Primož Roglič would have a two month break from racing prior to the French event. That approach goes against the trend of all recent Tour winners, yet Jumbo-Visma believes that this route is the best one to take. Is the team right?
April 16, 2021 0 Comments
The Richard Freeman investigation may have concluded, but there is a sense that questions about British Cycling may only be multiplying. As WADA begins to delve into the federation’s past, Conquista speaks to one whistleblower about his ongoing concerns and where he believes previous enquiries have fallen short.