Trust in the Things you love.
A conversation with Roy Eefting about his last world championships, Madison ambitions and speed skating.
In 2023, the Maloja Pushbikers will once again be a UCI Continental team and ride road races in the Europe Tour. We will also move closer to track cycling in the coming year. A new face will help us do this: from January 2023, Dutchman Roy Eefting will be part of the Maloja Pushbikers. He is an experienced track cycling professional, multiple national champion in the Omnium and Scratch, third in the Scratch at the European Championships in Munich and he has won three medals at World Championships so far. With Roy, Liam Bertazzo and also Pippo Fortin, we are building on our deep passion for track cycling and are already reconnecting with major track events in Europe as well as Australia and Tasmania in the coming winter months. Let the good times rule!
Hello Roy, you come to our Tam freshly decorated with a bronze medal from the recent track world championships. Can you describe briefly how you felt about your participation in Paris?
The World Cup is the biggest race of the year for me – a race you work towards for a long time. Nervousness builds up. Only to be over again in 15 minutes. This year I was very happy that I could stick to my plan, I didn’t make any big mistakes. And in the end, the bronze medal in the scratch was the result. You always hope for more, but this year I could live well with 3rd place. The scratch race is the most important discipline for me, it suits my strengths the most. I also really like Madison, but I haven’t really mastered it yet. That’s one of the things I’m working on – who knows, maybe I’ll make it to Nations League races or more in Madison.
You are also one of the top international track riders competing in the UCI Track Champions League with six events in Mallorca, Paris, Berlin and London. In a way, the Track League is the continuation of the Revolution Cycling Series, which the Pushbikers have won in the past.
The Track League is where the best track riders compete – and it’s always good to compete and fight in such a big event. Also, with live TV coverage via Eurosport and other TV channels broadcasting each of the five rounds, it’s a very good way to show myself to the world! From a management point of view, it is a challenge to do well in the big races like the European Championships and the World Championships and in the Track League, but I will do my best.
My overall impression of the last Track League 2021 was great – they made it a spectacular show, with crazy light shows and really fast racing. Personally, I underestimated the competition a bit at the beginning. On paper, it should have been a race that exactly matched my strengths – but in the first few laps, the legs didn’t want to do what the head had in mind. I was then happy to be able to get some good results in the last races to put my stamp on the competition.
So track cycling is your biggest passion and your strength – what is the importance of road cycling for you?
On the track I can fight with the world’s best riders, there I can race for medals at the World Championships. And that gives me a lot of motivation and pressure. With the road I have a more relaxed approach: road cycling gives me the opportunity to see the world and pursue my hobby on the road. But that doesn’t mean I don’t pursue results. I also like to win on the road – for myself and for the team.
What are your greatest sporting successes on the road?
My two stage wins at the Tour of Quinghai Lake. And I am also very proud of my 2nd place overall in the Tour of China (cat. 2.1).
A quick look back: when did cycling really become important to you?
When I was twelve, I was a speed skater – and I did cycling as training. Then I quickly realised that I was better on the bike and also had more fun with cycling than with speed skating. At first I just did my laps on my own, but relatively quickly I joined the local cycling club and trained there.
And how did it go from there, did you foresee your cycling career early on?
Until I was about 22, I was a pretty good rider in the national peloton – I could already win races, but I wasn’t a real pro yet. That’s when I tried track cycling for the first time, and in my first year I became national champion in the Omnium and second in the U23 European Championship in the Omnium. That’s how I became part of the Dutch national team.
Cycling is always a team sport. How important is team spirit for you?
In my years as a cyclist, I always had the greatest successes when I was on the road with a team of friends. Where everyone is ready to give everything for each other. So I can say that team spirit is hugely important to me. Looking at the track, I also really enjoyed the time when we were still active in the team pursuit with the Dutch national team. Even if we didn’t fight for the medals, the pursuit races we took part in and the togetherness were a great experience.
What else do you like to do besides cycling?
I like food and coffee. Finding good restaurants and coffee places to hang out. Or even cooking and brewing good coffee myself.
You are no longer one of the very young riders in the professional environment. How do you see your role in relation to young riders, the Dutch national team and beyond?
I know that I don’t have 15 years left in my career. But right now I’m still very happy to be cycling and full of energy. I also have no plans to end my career yet. I hope that I can continue to teach the youngsters and help them with my experience. The most important lesson is to have a lot of joy in what you do.
Three words that describe you?
Straightforward, relaxed and maybe (slightly) lazy
Welcome to the Pushbikers family!
Photos | Arne Mill/ Frontalvision | privat | Track Champions League | Tour of Quinghai Lake I