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August 2019

BLS interview 1km TT world champion Quentin Lafargue

Interview: Quentin Lafargue

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The 1km TT is undoubtably the toughest event in track cycling, you’ve got to start fast and finish even faster!  It’s also one of the events linked with the most controversy, not only about how to train for it or what makes a good kilo rider, but also since it was removed from the Olympic program after 2004, something that has angered and frustrated the track cycling community since.

Quentin Lafargue is the current world champion in this event, and we interview the French rider about his successes, perseverance, his training advise, and his future goals.

 

How did you get into track cycling?
I began cycling in 2003, and I tried track cycling a year later in 2004 when I was 13 years old.  I really liked to practice track cycling because of the speed, and also because I won one race quite early.  After one win, you want to win another, and you train more and more, to be better and better!!

 

How does it feel to be World Champion and wear the rainbow jersey?
It’s unbelievable!!  I dreamed of this moment many many times since I wore this jersey as a Junior.  It was a very long time!  I like this feeling!  I can wear this jersey every day for training, and I can’t wait to wear the world champ jersey in competition soon!
(Quentin wore this jersey a week after completing this interview at the French National Champs)

BLS interview 1km TT world champion Quentin Lafargue

BLS interview 1km TT world champion Quentin Lafargue

You are part of one of the most successful teams in track cycling, the French Team, how has the set-up and experienced riders helped you to your success?
There is a very big tradition in France of track cycling.  I myself have trained with many successful athletes since I was a junior, like Arnaud Tournant, Gregory Baugé, Kevin Sireau, and now with the young generation with Sebastien Vigier, Mathilde Gros, and Rayant Helal.
For me, that is the strength of the French Team!  We are many riders, so you have to train very hard to earn your place in this team.  It helps me to train my mind and never give up!  It’s not always good, but you have to keep training, and if you are serious, maybe once, you’ll get the opportunity to fight for a World Champion title!!

 

You were junior world champion in Cape Town in 2008, how do you stay motivated to win another title more than 10 years later?
Yes!!  It was a very important moment in my career!  Between 2008 and 2019, I continued to train and win some medals at the European and World Championships.  It helped me to stay motivated every day for 10 years.  And now, I know I have title to keep doing that!  And I can continue to do that, because there are a lot of goals to come this year!!

 

What would you say is your best characteristic for success?
I think it’s that I never give up.  I have one sentence that I say to myself very often “Works will always pay off one day, you just have to never stop to believing”
I trust in my team and I work very hard every day.  I think this determination helps me to stayed focused and keep working hard.

BLS interview 1km TT world champion Quentin Lafargue

BLS interview 1km TT world champion Quentin Lafargue

What would you say is the most important training technique?
For the 1km TT, the standing start is the most important part. You have to work a lot this part because you need be as efficient as possible.  Because after that, you still have 3 and a half laps to go!!  So, it’s very important to save as much of your energy as you can, even while going very fast at the same time.  The perfect technique will help you to do that.

 

Tell us what makes you such a good 1km TT rider?
I think I am a resilient sprinter since I was young.  I worked hard to stay resilient and to improve my start.  After that, you have to learn to master the entire effort.  You also need to manage your sprint to be able to finish the last lap as fast as you can!  That’s my strategy!

 

What gear do you normally use?
In track cycling this is secret!  My gear is not the same every time and I can’t tell you what is it.  Not too big because there is a standing start, and not to small because, you need to have good gear after one lap to accelerate again!

BLS interview 1km TT world champion Quentin Lafargue

BLS interview 1km TT world champion Quentin Lafargue

What advice would you give someone training for the 1km TT?  What is more important for you, the start of the last lap?
To be a good Kilo rider, you have to work on all parts of the race.  But I think the most important is your resilience.  And to work on that, it’s not the type of training that sprinters like, it’s lactic training!!

 

What is a typical day like for Quentin Lafargue?
I train twice a day.  I wake me up at 7h30am, I have my breakfast, I go to the velodrome to train at 9h30/10am.  I train for 2h or 2h30.  After that, I have lunch, a short nap, and then I go to train at 3pm to 6pm again.  After that, I go to the ice bath or massage or some recuperation and I can go back home at 7pm.

BLS interview 1km TT world champion Quentin Lafargue

BLS interview 1km TT world champion Quentin Lafargue

What are you interests outside of cycling?
Cycling is a big part of my life, I love that.  But I like to discover other disciplines.  I bought a new bike recently.  That’s a Gravel Bike!  I love this type of cycling.  It’s more Fun and good for my training sometimes.
Outside of cycling, I like to relax at home with Laurie Berthon, my girlfriend for 11years.
I am very passionate of sneakers too with my friend Melvin Landerneau!  Haha!  I buy some limited-edition pairs every year.

 

Where is your favorite place to train?  And what do you like about it?
Saint Quentin en Yvelines is a very good place to train!  The Track is amazing!  But for the weather, I think Hyères is also a good place to train in France.
I think Japan is also a very good place to train!  It’s a very nice country.  I spoke a lot with Francois Pervis and Mathlide Gros about this place and I hope so much to do the keirin in Japan one day!!

 

What is next for Quentin Lafargue?  What event will you be targeting since the 1km TT is not an Olympic event?   And what are your plans for life after cycling?
Next season will be very important to qualify to the Olympic Games.  This year, I was in the French team sprint, and we finished 2nd at the World Championships.  I will try to continue to be fast in the team sprint this year.
In individual event, I like the keirin, and I will try to qualify myself for the Olympics Games in Keirin too.
After Cycling, I don’t know yet what I will do.  But I think it will be in cycling as a manager or a coach to try to give my experience to the young riders

BLS interview 1km TT world champion Quentin Lafargue

BLS interview 1km TT world champion Quentin Lafargue

From your experience, what advice would you give to junior cyclists?
Believe in yourself and in your dream.  Try to surround yourself with the best people you can.  The people who will help you to become who you want to be.  And work and work again and again!!

 

Would you mind sharing some of your stats with us?
Best time Kilo: 59”845
Best time 200m: 9”76
Best time 3rd lap TS: 12”863

 

 

Please feel free to follow Quentin’s journey to the Olympic Games via his social media accounts:
Instagram: @quentinlafargue
Facebook: Quentin Lafargue Athlète

 

Interview by: Matthew de Freitas
Co-founder of BLS

BLS interview Maximilian Levy

Interview: Maximilian Levy

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He’s one of the most experienced riders you’re likely to find.  Having competed in 3 Olympic games with 3 medals, and on track for Tokyo 2020; a former World Champion, European Champion, German National Champion and the first German rider to go under 10 sec in the 200m – and to top it all off, one of the nicest people you’re likely to meet!

We interview Maximilian Levy.

How did you get into track cycling?
When I was young, I lived at Berlin and there my bike has been stolen a few times.  So I asked my parents again and again for a new one and so one day they stopped buying new bikes and sent me to a cycling club.  At the same time the Berlin Velodrome was opened and I was one of the first riders riding at this track.

 

What has been your biggest achievement to date?  Would you rate your Olympic medal, world championship title, or world record as higher?
It’s hard to bring them in line and tell you what’s more important.  All of them where hardly fought.  Even my last European title was very special after breaking my collarbone for the third time and because of this I almost retired, but I came back.  So every medal has its own story!

BLS interview Maximilian Levy

BLS interview Maximilian Levy

Your one of the most experienced riders around, how do you adapt to the continuous changes in track cycling?  And what would you say has changed the most in track cycling since you started? 
Well yes, everything changes but the most important things are still the same… the one with the fastest legs and the best psyche wins!  So, in fact gears are bigger than I could imagine 12 years ago.  My first Keirin World title I used 52:14. I am still very good on small gears; I can do a sub 10secs with 52:14 or 57:12.  As it’s a big range you need to train with all of them.
Crazy also equipment, at my first Olympics we still competed with normal helmets at sprint and Keirin, now everything about aero and socks until the knee.  People forget that you have to do step 1, 2 and 3 before you need to think about step 15, which could be the socks.
Rules? Yeah it’s the UCI, what do I need to say more about that?  🙂

 

You’ve been competing at the highest level for since a junior, how do you stay motivated?
I love what I do!
There are many hard moments in living as an athlete, leaving the kids alone for training camps, or injuries.
But still I feel it´s a unique life I live.  I was at every continent at this world. I met so many people on this road and as long as I feel I can improve, I feel good.

BLS interview Maximilian Levy

BLS interview Maximilian Levy

What would you say is your best characteristic for success?
I always want to improve and I think I always know realistic at which level I am.

 

What is your favorite event to compete in?
I like the Sprint and Keirin

 

What is a typical day like for Max Levy?
Not even one day is like the other!  I have three kids 🙂

BLS interview Maximilian Levy

BLS interview Maximilian Levy

What are you interests outside of cycling?
Well I watch a lot of road cycling and it was a secret desire coming true in riding the Road race at Rio Olympics.  Outside of cycling there is not too much time for other things.  It feels like even the life of my wife and kids are based on cycling and my life as a professional cyclist.

 

You have a wife and kids, how do you manage your family responsibilities and your life as a professional cyclist?
Well I do my best, but sometimes it feels like it’s not enough.  In winter time when we go race and training camps it’s the hard moments I described earlier.  I think about bringing the family to Cape Town next January… (for the annual German national team training camp)

 

You recently completed an Iron Man, tell us more about that experience?
For me it’s important to change my point of view.  So I did last year in getting vice national champion at team pursuit.  This time it was more extreme but I had the desire to do that and feel how you feel after 12 hours of competition.

BLS interview Maximilian Levy

BLS interview Maximilian Levy

What is something we wouldn’t know about you?
There are many things, but that’s why nobody knows 🙂

 

You come train in Cape Town every year, what do you like about it?
I like the conditions and the flair of Cape Town.  In Germany is winter at that time and it feels like a holiday where you ride your bike.  So I am always happy to there.  I also like wine. 🙂

 

What is next for Max Levy?  Your future goals, Tokyo 2020, and life after cycling?
Let´s see, I haven’t made too many long term decisions just yet.

BLS interview Maximilian Levy

BLS interview Maximilian Levy

From your vast experience, what advice would you give to junior cyclists? What’s the one thing you’d like younger riders to know when getting started?
Never do a standing start from the back straight!!!

 

Would you mind sharing some of your stats with us?
My best times :
200m flying: 9,563
1000m TT: 57,93
500m flying 25,38

 

Be sure to follow Maximilian Levy’s journey:
Website: https://www.maximilian-levy.de
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/maximilianlevy.de/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/maximilianlevy
Wiki page: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maximilian_Levy

 

Interview by Matthew de Freitas
Co-founder of BLS

BLS interview Maximilian Levy

BLS interview Maximilian Levy

BLS interview Maximilian Levy

BLS interview Maximilian Levy

BLS interview Maximilian Levy

BLS interview Maximilian Levy

BLS interview Maximilian Levy

BLS interview Maximilian Levy

BLS interview Maximilian Levy

BLS interview Maximilian Levy

BLS interview Maximilian Levy

BLS interview Maximilian Levy

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