2.27.2015

In Short: Bauke Mollema about Balance: "We are living on the edge"

Photo Sabine Jacob/Cor Vos © 2015
He started writing a diary for Cyclingnews and in his first entry there is an interesting part about that. Read it all here.

Bauke Mollema: 
"As riders, I think it's important for us to find a good balance between our top form and not getting sick. We train hard everyday, it's common to ride for four or five hours, and sometimes six or seven hours too, even during these winter months where we train and race in the cold weather. There's also bad weather sometimes in the races and so our resistance to becoming sick can become low, and if you have bad luck you can get really sick.
Especially for me, as a climber, I have a naturally very low fat percentage. In December, for example, we did a check with the team doctors and my fat percentage was only 4.2 per cent. I think it was the lowest on the team. I didn't do anything to achieve a low percentage of body fat. I've always been skinny. I remember during the holidays when I was a kid, my friend's mum approached my parents to ask if they thought I was too skinny. She could almost count my ribs. I have never had to watch what I eat at Christmas!
It's also maybe an advantage. The reason why I'm a climber is because I don't have to take so much weight up the climbs. It's also the reason that I get sick maybe a little bit more because I don't have too much fat, so sometimes my resistance for getting sick is a little bit lower.
It's really important for all professional riders to find a balance between the right amount of training, staying healthy and feeling good, and riding your bike. I think riding your bike is really healthy and a good thing, but being a professional bike racer… I don't think it's really that healthy. I think we are really looking for our limits, we're living on the edge sometimes between training so hard and racing so hard in the rain and the cold, especially at this time of the season when we have a lot of changes in the weather conditions. We travel from Australia and Qatar, where it's very warm, to Europe in the rain and the cold. That's all really hard on our bodies. And I'm not even talking about all the crashes, so professional cycling is not really that healthy.
It's also hard to stay healthy for long stretches of time during the season. For example, right now it's only February but the main goal is in July. In the winter we don't train with too much intensity, of course, now we start racing in January more and more, but generally the wintertime is good for building the foundation for the whole season. We train for a lot of hours during the winter and so it's very important that we listen to our bodies. If you feel like you are weak and have a cold then it's always better to take it easy for a few days instead of training for a few hours more because then you can get really sick and lose a whole week of training."

I can't agree more! 
Next races for Mollema:  Classic Sud Ardèche on Saturday and La Drôme Classic on Sunday. First real goal: Tirreno-Adriatico in March, 

Good luck Bauke!

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