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“I am back in the gym and I think that will help make me more explosive. I’m now over 30 years old and my hip is completely back. I am more powerful, stronger and smarter than I have ever been before.”

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Team Novo Nordisk (Photo by Lars Ronbog / FrontZoneSport via Getty Images)

TEAM NOVO NORDISK

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22.02.2016 @ 09:00 Posted by Joseph Doherty

2015 was a breakthrough season for Team Novo Nordisk’s star rider Martijn Verschoor. The Dutchman took top ten finishes in sprint stages at the Dubai Tour, Amgen Tour of California, Tour of Hainan and Tour of Taihu Lake, as well as fifth on GC at the Tour of Estonia.

 

Already he was looking good in Dubai when he was just outside the top ten on stages 1 and 2 and he has just finished a difficult Volta ao Algarve. He took time to speak to CyclingQuotes about his career and his aims for the season.

 

“2015 was a rollercoaster with good points and challenging points. When I went to Tour de San Luis, I was still in training mode, but by the time I arrived at the Dubai Tour, I was ready to race. That race went well and I earned two top-10 finishes,” Verschoor told CyclingQuotes exclusively at Team Novo Nordisk’s winter camp.

 

“At the beginning of March, I crashed pretty hard at my hometown race in Drenthe and had problems with my knee for over a month and a half. That meant I missed out on Milan-San Remo, which really gutted me. I took fifth overall at the Tour of Estonia at the end of May and finally felt like I was 100% back by the end of July after spending nearly a month in Italy doing altitude training. Then on the last day of the Post Danmark Rundt, I had the worst crash of my career. I was out for eight weeks. It wasn’t until the end of the season in Asia that I started really racing well again. I spent the whole day in the breakaway at Japan Cup, at the Tour of Hainan I had four top tens and ended my season at Tour of Taihu Lake with two more top tens.” 

 

He revealed his calendar for the year, which features lots of high quality races, including Milan-Sanremo and Tour de Pologne. After missing Sanremo last year, he says he is really looking forward to the event and he has great knowledge of the parcours.

 

“Next up for me are several one-day Italian races. One of my biggest goals is Milan-San Remo. I raced there years ago, but now I live in that area and I’m a much more experienced rider. Once a week, I train on that parcours and I’m excited to race there again.  I think I’m much stronger than I was last time I raced there, which gives me so much more confidence.”

 

According to Pro Cycling Stats, this is his provisional calendar until August: GP Lugano, Strade Bianche, Ronde van Drenthe, Milan-Sanremo, GP Indurain, Vuelta a la Rioja, Brabantse Pijl, Tour of Turkey, Tour of California, Tour of Estonia, Philadelphia Cycling Classic and Tour de Pologne.

 

Turning to goals for the season, he hopes to win a race, as well as perform strongly at his home race in Drenthe. Testing himself in a WorldTour stage race with his team is also important, after the Tour de Pologne organsiers invited Team Novo Nordisk to their first WorldTour stage race.

 

“First, I hope this year is better than 2015 and that I have more luck. I am very driven to win again. It has been a few years since I stood on the top of the podium and I want that again. Drenthe is always a big race for me. I have trained a lot on those roads, so the race is a dream for me. Looking at the calendar, I would like to be on the roster for the Tour de Pologne, which is Team Novo Nordisk’s first appearance at a World Tour Stage Race. I’m also excited to inspire more people around the world with diabetes.”

 

Verschoor explains that he can challenge in the sprints more as he has had surgery on his hip, which allows him to put more power down. Secondly, he has changed the types of sprints he wants to contest.

 

“I had hip surgery about a year and a half ago and I didn’t do any strength training until recently. I am now back in the gym and I think that will help make me more explosive. I have really focused my training on sprinting, especially on uphill sprints. I’m now over 30 years old and my hip is completely back. I am more powerful, stronger and smarter than I have ever been before.”

 

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