Sunday, February 4, 2024 at 8:30 am
interview Pim Rönehaar will ride for his second elite men's world championship on Sunday. Last year, he only finished 16th in Hoogerheide, and now he's really hoping to do even more in Tabor. “I will try to get the most out of it. If this is fifth place, I am satisfied with it,” says Ronhaar in a conversation with him. Cycling.
The young Dutchman has had a good season. He won two World Cup rounds, finished on the podium three more times in the World Cup and became vice-champion of the Netherlands. It makes him one of the World Series favorites in Tabor.
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I went to train for a third place finish at Hoogerheide. How would that go?
“Good. You trained a lot and the weather was good. When you come home again and the weather is bad, you realize why you went to Spain. It was a good ten days with Lars van der Haar, Joris Nieuwenhuis and David Haverdings. We worked long hours. It was also The last minute of the season when this was still possible. We also did some more intense blocks, which is usually difficult to do during the week.
Do you still have to recover before the World Cup?
“No, that's actually not too bad. All you do in training is train for four hours a day. You lie in bed for the rest of the day. So you can actually recover pretty well.”
What will you do in the week before the World Cup?
“Not much actually. I'm basically trying to be as relaxed as possible. I'll also avoid some contact with crowded places and things like that. Because yes, there's a risk of getting sick. Of course you can't use that at the World Cup. For the rest, be as relaxed as possible and then Enjoy your time on Sunday.
Your previous results on Tabor do not necessarily tell you whether this tour is right for you. How do you see it yourself?
“Oh my God, it's a completely different time of year now. Usually the World Cup in Tabor is at the beginning of the season. So I don't really know what the surface is going to be like. It's a very tough Tour anyway. I also don't think I've ever ridden in Tabor in the condition Which I am now. So it is difficult to say whether I will succeed or not. But if I am realistic and look at the past weeks, I have good qualifications for a good result. Then I am talking about theatre.
On Sunday she will be a compatriot and teammate of Mathieu van der Poel. On the other hand, he is also your competitor. Do you see him as a teammate or a competitor?
“Last year, during the World Cup discussions in Hoogerheide, we discussed that we shouldn't get in each other's way. That's the essence. We're all riding in an orange jersey. If Matteo can do what he wants, he'll walk away immediately. So I “I'm not going to Tabor to help. But he doesn't need that either.”
In Koksijde we saw you trying to close the gap to Van der Poel. Thibaut Ness tried the same thing in Benidorm and Hoogerheide. Are you going to try it again this weekend, or don't you want to risk it in light of the medals?
“I always ride to win the race and ride as much as I can. I had a very good day in Koksijde, so I just gave it a try. I didn't stop. If I felt like I was having a bad day on Sunday, I wouldn't try to follow it up. But if I had another good day, why not?
Who are the riders that come to mind when you look at the course?
“Michael Vanthornhout. That would be very good. Eli Iserbyt would also be very good in principle in such a Tour. Lars was also there very well. And yes Matteo of course. I can actually name three or four more. I think only the riders are They always ride in front, although I'll give Michael Vanthourenot some extra chances.
You have this bullish bar with the bars. Is this really the bar where it always happens?
“Yes, absolutely. Usually there are these World Cup boards and they are great for jumping. But I saw that there are now other rays in there, the ones from a few years ago. They are much higher and harder to jump on. So, yes, Michael Vanthornhout is one of the best “Our jump. And of course in Tabor. There he will find a training course designed especially for him.”
“After the pack he goes further. Normally that will make a difference as well this year. It's generally a crossover where you'll see longer efforts rather than short accelerations. That's something I have to like for sure.”
I just spoke from the stage. Is this the only result that will please you on Sunday?
“I've won two World Cups and haven't been outside the top four in recent weeks, except for Benidorm. So, yes, on a good day, I should do it… No, I don't have to do anything. With a good one I might be able to finish Racing for the podium. But I'll just try to make the most of it. If this is a podium, I'm very satisfied with it. But if this is fifth, I'm also very satisfied with that.
Are you someone who feels nervous in the run-up to this World Cup? I have a hard time appreciating you.
“I'm not really nervous, but I'm feeling healthy nervous. Although I'm often looking for some confirmation of the cross. Especially if it's a fast spin, because that's something I'm not good at. Then I get a little more worried about myself. You always have to be busy with centering in “Like this cycle and that's what makes me nervous. But if it's a cross where you have to use your strength, I'm not that nervous.”
And in tournaments? Is nervousness becoming more noticeable?
“At the national championships I noticed that I was a little more nervous. Then I am also a little closer to my entourage, because then I really want to do everything right in preparation. On those days you really realize that the hour is coming when everything has to happen. And with “That, as a rider, you have to be able to deal with that, and I've gotten better at that over the years. Hopefully it won't be too bad on Sunday.”
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