Q & A: Elise Maes (Team WNT)

We quiz Elise Maes from Luxembourg who joins the new British UCI team, WNT for the 2017 season

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Q & A: Elise Maes (Team WNT)

Elise says “I’m really looking forward to my first season with the team. The warm welcome and the good team spirit confirmed to me that my decision to be part of WNT was a good one!”

1. How did you get into cycle racing?
Elise: As a triathlete, my favourite discipline was cycling and I loved going for rides together with my boyfriend who has been a cyclist since childhood. He showed me the beautiful sides of being a cyclist, so I quit triathlon and just did what I loved, cycling!

2. What’s your favourite discipline in cycling?
Elise: I like hilly stage races. I like to see how far I can push myself stage after stage. Besides, I like the special atmosphere of stage racing and the team bonding becomes stronger.

3. What is the best thing about bike racing?
Elise: By riding your bike, you get so many opportunities to discover the world, new people and learn also a lot about yourself.

4. What was the highlight of 2016 for you and why?
Elise: The big higlight of 2016 was my particaption at the Road World Championships in Doha. I have not been a cyclist for that long (3 years) and I already got the opportunity to start at such a big race. Standing at the start line with so many professional riders and secret idols was just an amazing feeling.

5. What was your favourite/most fun race of 2016
Elise: Emakumeen Bira was my first UCI stage race and I absolutely loved it! Each day we had to face new challenges.

6. What was the toughest race of 2016 for you and why?
Elise: The Thüringen Rundfahrt in Germany was the toughest race I’ve done so far. It was a few weeks before the Olympic road race and the field was very strong. Furthermore, with its changing weather – really hot and then pouring rain -, its climbs and some cobble sections, it made racing really hard.

7. If there was one thing you learned most in 2016 to help you go faster/better, what was that?
Elise: Rest days are as important as training days.
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8. What is the best piece of equipment (clothing/bike/gadget) to do with racing you are proud of most?
Elise: I can’t ride without my computer and my Rotor powermeter… I’m fixed on numbers and always like to know where I’m standing with my performance.

9. What is your warm up routine for races – rollers or turbo? Music or no music?
Elise: I always warm up on a turbo with loud music.

10. Will you stay at home to prepare for next season during the winter or get in a training camp or two abroad to get in some serious miles?
Elise: I stay in Luxembourg during the winter, because I have to do some work for university and finishing my master thesis. Besides, the weather is (mostly) not too bad here so I don’t have to train on the rollers every day.

11. When did you start training for 2017 and what comes first – long steady miles or a mix of miles and efforts?
Elise: I started training for 2017 in November, with some strength training and easy miles on the road. So basically after some long steady miles, I start with specific efforts at the end of winter/begin of spring.

12. What are the goals for 2017?
Elise: I would like to show the WNT jersey in breakaways and place high on GC in UCI stage races. Another goal is to qualify for the raod world championships in Norway.

13. Does winter training consist only of riding the bike or running/swimming/gym work (cross training)
Elise: During winter I do not just focus on riding my bike, but I do some work in the gym to get more strength and also do long walks with my dogs.

14. Finally, what have you learnt over the years to best deal with the winter months on a bike!
Elise: There is no such thing as bad weather, you just need the right clothes…and many layers of them!



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