Really interesting perspective on how a professional cyclist, who is terrified of flying, copes with the demands of the WorldTour circuit. Lotto Soudal rider Adam Hansen discusses his phobia.
“…Hansen is far from the only sportsperson to suffer from aviataphobia. There were European football matches that legendary Arsenal player Dennis Bergkamp simply wouldn’t attend if he couldn’t reasonably get there by car or train; Muhammad Ali also claimed that flying terrified him. Olympic shot putter Geoff Capes even travelled to the 1976 Montreal Olympics by land and sea…”
Thankfully here in the Tarn region of the South West France we have easy transport networks to us as an alternative to flying. Many athletes and coaches are used to using ferry crossings or Eurotunnel and Eurostar, trains and of course cars. However, for coaches/athletes able to cope with flying, Toulouse (Blagnac), Carcasonne, Rodez and Bergerac airports are all within 2 hours reach for pick-ups. Easyjet and Ryannair are the most often used by UK-based guests, but of course there are other airlines arriving here.
Very interesting article recounting an interview between Gran Fondo magazine Editor Hannah Troop and Ex-Pro Cyclist Christian Meier. The fast pace, high intensity of being in the peloton mixed with the real risks of potential crashes each day.
You can’t beat a fine day out to test the body and mind in the mountains. It’s all about finding that right balance between testing your physical limits and pushing yourself outside your comfort zone – both metaphorically and literally!
Learning from these experiences is the key to progression and understanding what your body is capable of. Self-reflection aids performance by making you more self-aware of how you feel before, during and after a training ride or race. Evaluating your strategies and how you executed your decisions in a ride are important and unpicking what you learnt from a ride is invaluable – good or bad. For example, it could be from the choice of clothes you were wearing, the planning and organisation for the ride, and down to the execution of how you climbed up the hill on a particular gear, to the skills on a fast descent.
Whatever your method for self-reflection and when you do it, make it work for you.