FUTURUM Quality Gear interviewed
You probably know Maarten Tjallingii from his mountains jersey in the Giro d'Italia or his podium in the 2011 Paris-Roubaix. However, the roots of the born Leeuwarder lie in mountain biking. The latter plays the most important role in his #MYCHALLENGE for 2019: the Cape Epic. Together with former professional Erik Dekker they are aiming for the podium. We are speaking with Maarten during his preparation.
The mountain bike is no unknown territory for Tjallingii. ''I started my cycling career as a mountain biker. Soon I was allowed to participate in World Cup competitions and I made it to the top 20 of the world. After I just failed to qualify for the Olympic Games in Athens, I was looking for my salvation on the road." And that was not without success. A great podium place in Paris-Roubaix is the highlight of his career.
If the Tour de France is the pinnacle of cycling, then the Cape Epic is exactly that of the mountain bike world. ''You could compare it to the Tour de France. In both races you explore your body’s limit every day. At the moment I am trying to find my skills on the mountain bike again. Slowly the self-confidence in myself and the material comes back. That is purely a matter of making hours. During those hours on a mountain bike I always try to push my limits. Not only physically, but also technically. This is necessary to know how far you can go during the race." Besides exploring physical and technical limits, Tjallingii also enjoys the pleasure of cycling. "It is so bold to be a mountain biker. I remember why I once did this as a professional. It makes me feel positive towards the Cape Epic. When I see on Strava that I have ridden another PR during training, it gives me an incredible boost!”
Making hours on the mountain bike is the motto, but at the same time both former pro’s are also very focused on their training. We do specific block and endurance rides. ‘’I notice that I become stronger after each training. I know exactly how to prepare my body for an extreme goal, such as the Tour de France or the Cape Epic. Testing yourself is an important part of that. The Costa Blanca MTB challenge was therefore scheduled for the beginning of February. This was an important indicator for the training that will follow after. At the moment, we both train about 3 to 4 times a week."
Where Tjallingii especially needs his technique and vision, Dekker is more the man of the long breath and the one who will determine the pace uphill. ''This is an ideal combination, because both uphill and downhill you can win a lot of time. Communication is an important aspect of riding as a duo. We are already discussing signals so that we can let each other know what is going on with short, clear instructions. That can be a sharp turn on the course, but also an adjustment in the tempo."
When are both men satisfied? ''First, the goal is simply to make it an unforgettable journey. Of course we also want to do a solid performance. In our category, the podium is realistic. We are both super motivated to get the most out of this challenge and therefore leave nothing to chance."
That is why the #epicallies, as Tjallingii and Dekker call themselves on social media, only use the best material and clothing." Of course, the FUTURUM 4 SEASONS collection currently plays an important role. That way I can always train, regardless of the weather conditions. Especially when the temperature drops below 0 degrees, it is very important. The Face and Neck Warmer is also extremely pleasant when the wind is at it’s coldest."
In contrast to the relatively colder weather here, it will be very warm in South Africa during the Cape Epic. "We should indeed take this into account. Fortunately, we do not have to worry about the clothes we are going to wear because they are of the very best quality. It's nice to know that your FUTURUM JONA Bib Shorts are comfortable enough for the tough conditions of the Cape Epic. To promote physical recovery, the FUTURUM Recovery Lotion will also go in the suitcase. Recovery is essential at such an event, because you ask the maximum of your body every day. The FUTURUM Wind Vest is also included for the descents. It’s ideal, because you can quickly unfold and store it. Arm warmers will also save you a lot of energy. During the efforts you can easily roll them on and off if needed. This way you are prepared for all circumstances. The FUTURUM Sunglasses with Photochromic lenses complete the kit, so I will always have optimal visibility. No unnecessary luxury if you have to concentrate during one of the many technical descents."Follow the #epicallies on social media