Welcome to the off season. We’ve rounded up an assortment of ORICA-GreenEDGE and ORICA-AIS riders to tell you about how they spend the ever-diminishing months without races. Jens Keukeleire is back to tell you, in his own words, about his Egyptian vacation.
This year, I planned a holiday with my girlfriend and with Dutch pro cyclist, Boy Van Poppel, and his girlfriend Taba. The four of us chose Egypt as our destination.
Weeks like this are always important for me because on holiday I am almost never confronted with the bike or the cyclist lifestyle. In this way, a holiday gives the opportunity to really relax and to do a lot of other things I’m unable to do during the race season.
We chose Egypt because the weather is good and, of course, the hotels are great. Most days, we enjoyed the sunshine and hung around the swimming pool or by the beach. For me, one week of doing nothing gets a bit boring, so we also planned some activities. We went on a 'jeep safari', rode on a dromedary, played some golf and tennis, and snorkeled – so it's not that we didn't do anything that week, but the things we did were a lot of fun and very relaxed.
It could be possible to go away on holidays for more than one week, but for me, one week is enough. As a bike racer, I am already a long time away from home, and I really enjoy just being home for more than a short period of time. I like to be able to do whatever I want when I’m home without having to think about training or the next race.
My holiday in Egypt marked the second week of my off-season. Following a holiday, I generally take one or two more weeks off the bike. The amount of time varies from rider to rider. I almost always take a full three weeks and sometimes a month before I get back to the bike.