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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Monday, April 20, 2020

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2019 Tour de France | 2019 Giro d'Italia

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Jumbo-Visma rider Christoph Pfingsten talks about life during the lockdown

Jumbo-Visma posted this interview:

How are you?
I am doing well. So are my wife and son and the rest of our families. We are healthy. That is the most important thing right now. I get through the days perfectly with riding my bike, with my family and with keeping in touch with friends and colleagues. I’ve also been on the Tacx regularly lately. It is a nice initiative of the team to organise team races and social rides. That is really nice and lovely to do.

Christoph Pfingsten

Christoph Pfingsten

What do your workouts and training look like at the moment?
The last weeks I have trained a bit at my own discretion. Not according to a fixed training schedule. In Germany, we are lucky that we are still allowed to train outside. However, I do follow government guidelines and do my training alone. Though sometimes with my son in the bicycle trailer. We are also lucky that the weather has been nice lately. That also helps. I also do the necessary training on the Tacx and I also started to use Zwift more and more. For example, I participate in the team races and the Team Jumbo-Visma social rides. That is important for the team, so it is also important for me. It is a good alternative to get intensity in your training. You continuously ride full throttle and you can not really take some rest in between. It is very competitive and it is better then doing it all alone. This way you also maintain contact with your teammates in a fun way. That is good for the morale. It is also a nice alternative to get the exposure for the team sponsors. Normally they get the most exposure on TV. Now we can give them a little exposure by giving them the attention they deserve by doing this.

How do you get on with your days?
I am a real family man, so besides my training I mainly spend my time with my wife and our two-year-old son. My wife works a lot from home. When she works, I play a lot with our son. Normally I am away a lot and I don’t have time for that. Now I do. Time with my family is very important to me. Our son is at an age that he cannot yet play by himself. With this beautiful weather we therefore play a lot outisde in our backyard.

How do you motivate yourself?
I have no problem motivating myself. Although we can’t race, I just really enjoy riding my bike in general. I turned my hobby into my profession. It is now a matter of keeping fit and losing as little conditionally as possible so that ‘Pfingsti’ is ready to race as soon as the season restarts. My family fully supports me in all this and that is also very important to me. I want to continue racing professionally as long as possible and go for it as long as possible. It’s the most fun to do and the nicest job there is. That is why I hope that we can still race this year and that they can put a nice program together. I am very motivated and I want to show myself for the team. It is a great honour for me to be on Team Jumbo-Visma. The team has a lot of confidence in me. I am in good terms and spirit with my teammates and staff. So I would like to give them something back in return as a token of appreciation.

Which series or movies do you watch at the moment?
To be honest, I don’t have much time for that. Only when our son is sleeping my wife and I do watch a little bit of TV. Especially Netflix. I recently started watching Hawai Five-0. The series has been around for several years so there are still plenty of episodes to watch. I also talk a lot with my wife and I make a lot of phonecalls with family and friends. Especially video calling and WhatsApp. It is good to maintain your contacts, especially during this time.

Which songs do you play on your playlist by default?
When I listen to music, I mainly listen to the 80’s, 90’s, Nillies and the more recent music. Actually a mix of everything. I also like to listen to podcasts about the more serious things in life. Certainly no cycling podcasts. Now that we can’t go outside that much and there are less cars on the road, I also enjoy the nature and the ambient noise. Now you do hear that much better than usual. That is really enjoyable and it is kind of relaxing me. Especially during my training rides. Life is precious. So I also enjoy the little things in life.

Do you have any tips for people to stay fit?
The most important thing is to stay busy. Make sure that you do something that you enjoy and that you feel most comfortable with. That way you can last the longest. Focus and determination are very important in this. You can try anything. I do yoga exercises with my wife, but also core stability for training your neck, back and abdominal muscles is a good idea. The Tacx is also an option. You can join us in the Team Jumbo-Visma social rides. But also Zwift races are also a lot of fun to do. There are many ways to keep it interesting for yourself.

What is your favourite dish?
Spaghetti bolognaise. I really enjoy that. Pasta and Italian cuisine in general anyway. Also pancakes and applesauce are among my favourites.

What other sports do you like?
I do follow all sports a bit. From football to winter sports. I don’t follow it all very well nowadays, but when I have time, I like to watch it on TV.

What is your favourite game?
When we are at training camp I mainly play FIFA on the PlayStation with the boys and also with the staff. That is fun to do and also good for the atmosphere within the team. It is a kind of team bonding. When I get home, we regularly play games with the family. Then we first eat together and then we play Rummikub, a good card game or ‘Mens erger je niet’. Very nice and cozy.

Which apps on your phone are running in overtime?
There are quite a few. Of course WhatsApp, especially for video calling with family, friends and colleagues. The news app for the latest news, the sports app for the latest sports news and the weather app to look at the wind direction before I start my training. In addition, of course, also the Jumbo Food Coach app for the various recipes. That works really great. Finally, like many others, I also look a lot at the social media apps such as Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

What is your guilty pleasure?
Sweets! Lots of sweets. I really love chocolate and ice cream. That is really tempting for me and as a top athlete it is difficult to resist the temptation.

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