“Pro cycling basically means living the dream for me” Captain Ide goes with the flow
In our latest interview, Ide Schelling talks about the past two years that he’s spent with BORA – hansgrohe, and why going with the flow is so important for his performance. He also explains how his boat has become an important part of his recovery from training and racing.
It’s your third year with BORA - hansgrohe now - what do you like about the team?
I really like the freedom that I get from the team. They listen to me as a rider and as a person, we can discuss things on a very professional level and we find solutions that everyone is happy with. I also appreciate the atmosphere in the team – on the one hand, it’s very professional hand, but on the other, it’s also like a family. In terms of how we work together, it’s all the small details like nutrition, bike tech and recovery that really have a big impact in the end.
How have the past two years been with BORA - hansgrohe?
Because I came from a small team, there were several things that changed for me. Suddenly I was racing on the world tour level, and everything became very professional. But it was also the surroundings at races that changed quite a lot. Huge amounts of fans at the races and media attention were some things that I wasn’t used to. What didn’t change a lot for me was my training and my approach to the sport, as I’ve always been very focused on my goals and serious about my training. It basically means living the dream for me!
How would you describe your personal development since you’ve joined the team?
I made some developments that I hadn’t expected of myself. Last year in particular was a completely new level for me and my bike racing. But honestly, I haven’t really found out why because I didn’t change a lot in my training and preparation. Taking part in the Tour de France and winning a bike race on the pro level may have just been a part of my wildest dreams, but I didn’t expect this to already happen last year.
What’s your approach to the 2022 season? You already had a win 2021 and more strong results, what’s next for Ide?
As I like to keep my expectations somewhat low, I think I’ll stick to that and so be even happier when things go really well. A good start to the season and really going with the flow is something that is important to me. I hope to perform really well in the Ardennes Classics, that’s definitely my first objective. Taking another win this season is also a goal and in general I just want to keep following the path that I’ve already been on for the past two years. I don’t expect huge steps but performing at least as well as last year will be the goal.
Did you change something in your preparation this year?
Very boring answer: No! I’ve just stuck to the path that I’ve been on for a couple years already.
Is there something you learned from the past two years that helps you to chase your goals? Physically and mentally?
I got to know my body a bit better, how my system works and how I react to certain things. I really know better when to panic and when to stay cool. On the mental side I figured out that the most important thing for me is to have fun and enjoy what I do, that’s when I can perform at my best level.
When will be your first peak in 2022?
For sure the Ardennes Classics in the beginning of April. Strade Bianche in March is a race that I haven’t done yet, but one I’m really looking forward to.
What’s most important for you in cycling? Why are you still motived?
Definitely the adventurous journey that is professional cycling. There are always new places, new races and new people you get to meet. It’s a journey that I really want to enjoy and soak up. That doesn’t mean I’m not working hard for my goals, but when your job, your passion and an exciting journey come together, you have to be aware that this is a very privileged life. Having this in mind really keeps me motivated.
Describe the importance of cycling in the Netherlands.
Everyone owns a bike here so the whole country knows how to ride a bike but apart from that, I don’t think it’s not the most fanatic country about bike racing or professional cycling.
What’s your favourite moment on a race day?
The moment before a crucial point in the race. You know you’re in the right position at the right time and you feel you’re just on it. It’s such a good feeling when you know you’re not just there to make it to the line but you’re there to shape the race and have an impact on how it develops or ends.
You bought and renovated a flat in Girona, how did that come about? Are you finished yet?
I really like Girona and have been going there for training camps for many years, and so I searched for an apartment on the internet and immediately found one that I liked a lot. I had an appointment to visit the flat and liked it from the very first moment. After a couple of talks with my girlfriend and family, I decided to buy it. Girona is a really good place for cyclists. Perfect roads for training, mostly nice weather, many other pros living there, so you can always have good company on your ride. Besides training - the old town of Girona is just a super nice place and it’s a special feeling to come home after a ride and roll through those beautiful streets. It’s hard to not love it!
What do you do when you need some time off the bike and cycling? What “frees” your mind or keeps you grounded?
Mostly spending time with my friends and my girlfriend. I’d say I have a good life outside cycling. At home in the Netherlands, I have a boat - that’s something I really enjoy. Floating around with friends and enjoying some quality time off the bike.
Where do you see yourself in 2 or 3 years as a cyclist? And where do you see yourself as a person 10 or 15 years from now?
In two to three years, I’ll hopefully have a couple more wins under the belt, but the most important thing for me is that I’m still really enjoying cycling in general and bike racing as my profession. In 10-15 years as a person - honestly I don’t really have an exact plan for that time yet. Hard to say if I’ll still be racing then or maybe I’ll have something completely different on my mind. For now, I want to stick to my path and grow as a professional cyclist, that’s what I know for sure!