Q & A: Abi Van Twisk (Drops Cycling)

Question and answer with a young rider at Drops Cycling who says she has had an amazing year with the team

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Q & A: Abi Van Twisk (Drops Cycling)

Question and answer with a young rider at Drops Cycling who says she has had an amazing year with the team

1. What was the highlight of the 2016 season for you?
Abi: The whole year has been amazing but I loved experiencing and racing in Europe for the majority of the season and riding amongst an international peloton.

Photo: Tom Oldham

At the end of the season, I did a huge block of racing in multiple countries (Norway, France, Italy etc) which was so cool as they were all different kind of races and terrains. It is faster racing, bigger pelotons and very challenging terrains, which immediately boosts us all to ride better and train harder.

Each race I went to had different highlights but the fun we had as a team was the same every time. I absolutely love all the ladies so meeting and racing with them all season was definitely a highlight.

2. What was your favourite race of 2016?
Abi: My favourite race was probably the Tour of Norway in August. It was a three day stage race and the terrain and style of racing really suited me.

Each stage finished with a short, fast finishing circuit which made it different from a normal stage race, but I love a bit of carnage so I did enjoy that. I got distracted by the beautiful scenery though and took a detour down a gravelly ditch at one point.

I also loved racing around the streets of London in the Prudential RideLondon. It was super fast but an amazing buzz, and a great experience riding in my first World Tour race of 2017.

3. What was the toughest race of 2016 for you?
Abi: The toughest race was probably the Tour of Ardeche. Each stage was mega long and normally started and finished in the mountains. I think all of us cracked at some point each day and the hardest bit was crawling to the finish line each day when your legs were burning from Km 10 in. Even though it’s one of the hardest things I’ve ever ridden, finishing a stage up Mont Ventoux was pretty epic and standing (/sitting) at the top looking down after we had just ridden up it was something I’ll never forget!

4. If there was one thing you learned most in 2016 to help you go faster/better, what was that?
Abi: Probably nailing the nutrition consumption in races. The races in 2016 were much longer than I was used to in previous years, and I was not the best at eating enough food or gels. I definitely improved on this throughout the season and seen the huge importance of it and the different it makes towards the end of races (especially in stage races). Annie Simpson is my go to gal for nutrition advice and what to carry in a race!

5. What is the piece of equipment/clothing that you are looking forward to most in 2017?
Abi: Defo the Trek Edmonda. By far the fastest, lightest and generally best bike I have ever ridden, so I can’t wait to get back on that steed in January

6. What is your warm up routine for races – rollers or turbo? Music or no music?
Abi: I usually use rollers and do the 20 minute warm up. I don’t listen to music, unless its the unavoidable Euro trash blaring out from the start line speakers.

Photo: Tom Oldham

7. What’s your favourite discipline on the road; road racing/crits/time trials and why?
Abi: Road racing. It just the real deal, I love the excitement and variety of the long stages/ races, all building up to the end. So much can happen in a road race, with moves you have to make or react to and there are constantly things you have to think about (the terrain, nutrition, position in the peloton etc).

I also love the huge team aspect of road racing, and how each person has a role which all contributes towards one aim. I do also enjoy a good crit because I love a fast corner and taking some risks, but I’m not a big fan of time trailing.

8. When will you start training for 2017 and what comes first – long steady miles or a mix of miles and efforts?
Abi: I’ve already started winter training and I generally do long miles with a mix of efforts in there. I am off to Calpe in a few days, where I will do mostly long miles for my endurance.

9. What are the goals for 2017?
Abi: I want to step my riding up to the next level and start to become more comfortable and competitive in the UCI and world tour races, and work with my teammates to get Drops results. Generally to continue to progress as a rider in the professional peloton.

10. Does winter training consist only of riding the bike or running/swimming/gym work (cross training)?
Abi: Lots of riding the bike but also gym work to improve my power, strength and stability on the bike. I do a lot of core at the gym, as well as legs.

11. What have you learnt over the years to best deal with the winter months on a bike!
Abi: Probably get s solid pair of gloves and overshoes (definitely recommend the Prendas ones… they are the best I’ve ever had) because morale hits rock bottom when your fingers and toes are ice cubes. Also, I would recommend exploring new routes and rides you could go on to keep the longer rides a bit more exciting!

12. What was the best thing about riding for Drops in 2016?
Abi: Oh man I couldn’t pick one thing. The races I got to ride were incredible and even got better towards the end of the season. All the people who were on and involved in the team are absolutely amazing and the kit and bike was so funky as well.




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