It’s no secret that the Dutch have a method of creating excellent biking expertise. Mathieu van der Pol, Marianne Vos, Lars van der Haar, and Lucina Brand are only some of the nation’s profitable elites. So after we obtained the name to spend a day in the pits with the Dutch nationwide team, we jumped on the alternative.
The service course for the Dutch National Team was bustling, folks hustling from camper to storage unit, altering tires, discussing pressures and techniques with the sports activities team. The mechanics had been simply as busy, washing bikes, sneakers, wheels, and swapping out gear for the good trip.
The Dutch had many superstars of their service over the 2022 Cyclocross World Championships weekend. While Marianne Vos‘ famed Lotto Visma mechanic Marcel van Rossum was getting the now World Champ’s bike clear and lubed, A. Dugast proprietor Richard Nieuwhuis and American Ken Avery, (Vittorias’ SVP Product Development) had been washing bikes and speaking tires — the team was environment friendly.
We took time to soak in all the sports activities superstars and observed the calm, relaxed ambiance in the team camp. The Dutch team appeared poised for medals or wins in lots of races, particularly the U23 ladies, Elite Women, and Elite males’s races. Still, the employees and riders had been laughing, having a superb time, all the whereas staying prepped for battle towards the greatest in the world.
After the weekend’s racing and energy washing was completed, we obtained to take a seat down with a few of the team for a Q & A. Ken Avery, Richard Nieuwhuis, and Glen Lee; Managing director of Vittoria industries gave us their ideas about the days in the pit, correct tire stress and the new role A. Dugast will play in the US market — and if there are any new tires on the horizon.
BikeRumor: When you bought the name to assist the Dutch National Team at Worlds, what was your first thought? They had favorites to win in almost each race — had been you nervous?
Ken Avery: The alternative to attend the race and work for the Dutch team was an enormous privilege. Despite being round the race scene for 30 years, I nonetheless get excited to study from the expertise of others and translate them into alternatives to additional enhance merchandise. The Dutch team is all the time a powerhouse at these occasions, and this yr was no totally different. Given the quick course situations, I had a hunch that Vos and Pieterse would win, and they did!
BikeRumor: Tire selection and stress are all the time an enormous deal for cyclocross. Did you discover something totally different about how the Dutch Team selected tires, treads, widths for the day?
Avery: In any off-road class, tire selection comes right down to the terrain you’re driving, and this course was no totally different. The twist was that the grime in Fayetteville was a mixture of hardpack and unfastened clay-like soil. This meant that riders selected treads that rolled effectively however nonetheless had room to grip and clear. Richard at A. Dugast is a grasp in these situations and geared up the team effectively for achievement.
BikeRumor: You had been in the pits for the Dutch wins and podiums at Cyclocross Worlds; how do the riders and employees talk throughout the race?
Avery: Working the pits at World Championships is all the time hectic, particularly when working for riders which might be favored to do effectively. The pit is ready up so the riders can enter from two locations on the course, so we may talk with them twice per lap and monitor their progress on the display screen in between. The actual distinction was the team prep the Dutch team places into every race, taking suggestions from riders after follow laps, which finally dictated the tire selection and pressures. They have a system that clearly works. For these causes, it appeared one way or the other much less hectic… additionally, the dry situations meant that riders made fewer journeys by means of the pits (or, in some instances, none).
BikeRumor: I observed a greater diversity of tire widths for the European groups, extra 30, 32, and 33mm widths — many driving 32mm Typhoons. Most US riders are on 33mm tires — Is there velocity we’re leaving on the desk?
Richard Nieuwhuis: The cause a few of the riders are utilizing 32 and others are utilizing 33 is easy; 33 is extra snug, and 32 is lighter, which suggests in the junior classes, each gram of the bike issues extra. Plus, the velocity of the juniors will not be as excessive as the elite riders have.
BikeRumor: Vittoria acquired A. Dugast tires final yr and already launched a collaboration tire (L’Eroica). Will we see some mixed efforts for cyclocross or gravel?
Glenn Lee: Growing A. Dugast model consciousness in the United States will probably be a key technique going ahead. The purpose will probably be to supply simpler entry to the model through an elevated distribution community. We additionally wish to supply a excessive stage of technical-oriented communication so riders could make extra knowledgeable selections about their tire selection. A. Dugast is all the time trying to develop further cutting-edge race merchandise, so there will certainly be thrilling additions to the line in the future.
BikeRumor: The ambiance in the Dutch camp felt like a household, riders and employees chatting and making changes, serving to one another. Did this calm-cool assist produce the outcomes?
Avery: In my opinion, sure, the calm ambiance was an element of their success. Being careworn isn’t a technique, and with their group, there appeared to be little or no. Were they calm as a result of they had been assured, or assured as a result of they had been calm? Both. This may very well be an instance of preparation assembly expectations, however they got here to carry out, and the outcomes converse for themselves.
BikeRumor: 13 out of the 18 metals had been received on A. Dugast tires — the Typhoon to be actual. What makes this tire so quick, and why do the professionals attain for it when recordsdata may additionally work?
Nieuwhuis: Simple. The casing we’re utilizing is a reasonably excessive density or excessive TPI. Also, the glue and latex we use in our casing permit them to trip pretty low tire stress, even underneath 1 bar (14 psi) are potential whereas turning your bike round the 90-degree nook, and with out the tire rolling away. The tread sample of the hurricane is particular as a result of a radius management on either side, providing you with a line between the totally different knobs. This method you have got a superb efficiency in cornering. In the finish, cornering velocity will resolve between successful or not successful.
BikeRumor: You spent numerous time with professionals, each new and previous, over this Cyclocross Worlds journey. Are there any qualities they possess that make them a champion?
Avery: As with any high-level athlete, all are very pushed, and clearly possess some intangible high quality that offers them the skill to capitalize on their drive. This may very well be stated of just about any racer although. The true distinction (for my part) is their dedication off the bike. Quite merely, they stay it, each mentally and bodily. Things like scheduling their days round restoration, meals, hydration, and even sleep, are all items of the puzzle. Beyond that, all of them had the skill to channel any trace of nerves right into a constructive course, fairly than letting damaging ideas enter their minds. They had a plan, labored in the direction of it, and stayed centered.
BikeRumor: What was your favourite reminiscence out of your journey to Fayetteville with the Dutch crew?
Avery: My private favourite reminiscence was seeing how type everybody was on the Dutch team. Whether it was with followers, resort employees, or one another, everybody was so right down to earth, with no shred of vanity. Just a sense of household, and real assist. Honestly, it’s what makes the sport of biking so nice, and the Dutch team personifies this. I couldn’t consider a greater trait for World Champion athletes to have.