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by Mark Zalewski
November 22, 2016
In today’s CyclingTips Daily News Digest: WADA Foundation Board approves recommendations, re-elects president; IOC proposes WADA code amendment banning serious offences; Wiggins talks future plans in odd interviews at Ghent Six Day; Grassroots racing on the UCI Continental Tours; Cancellara inducted into Laureus Academy; How Luke Rowe spends the off-season; Mathew Hayman given special edition bike for Roubaix win; Behind the scenes of NBC’s Tour de France coverage; Mathieu van der Poel rode home after cancelled Koksijde; Wout van Aert fits in a sand skills section; Amateur riding the Tour de France ahead of the pros; Michele Scarponi’s off-season training partner; Cavendish shows off his dance moves.
Cycling is a demanding sport at the professional level, particularly in how long the season runs, with the WorldTour now kicking off in January and the final event in October. While pros now often have racing schedules where mid-season breaks of a week or two that are built into their plans, everyone looks forward to the real off-season, where they can enjoy the longest time away from the bike. Team Sky’s Luke Rowe gives a glimpse into how he spends this short but well-deserved rest.
“The first week or so after the end of the season you just wake up and naturally think: what have I got to do now? Then you remember you have not got to go on your bike and you feel a bit lost. But after about a week you switch off and I am always finding other things to do.”
Of course eating is a big part of the off-season, and Rowe is no exception. “I can put on ten kilos in the off-season. I can put it on in a month and it takes six months to get rid of it. You wonder why you do it to yourself. You think: I won’t put on that much next year. But you still do. I think it’s mental as much as anything. You are training full gas for 10-11 months of the year so you need to switch off mentally and physically and eat, drink and be merry. Pastries are my weakness. I have put on a fair bit of timber already and there are still a couple of weeks more damage to come. You resist those things for 11 months then cram it in. It’s been pretty epic so far.”
While mid-season breaks still involve training, the off-season for Rowe is a complete bike shutdown. “The month I have off is literally a month off. I don’t even look at a bike or an exercise mat. I completely switch off.”
“When we get riding again it is very relaxed and any cycling we do is stress-free. My coach Rod Ellingworth is big into his social riding. We have a lot of stress all year so at this time he likes us to remember the simpler things: just being a group of lads out on their bikes enjoying themselves. I will sometimes ride with my dad and my brother and chill out a little bit. From mid-November we are just riding base miles in a group and then by mid-December we do big hours and good rides.”
Click through to read more at The Telegraph.