Winter profile 2/4 – Sébastien Reichenbach
Tour de Suisse: First things first: how are you doing after your accident at the Tre Valli Varesine in autumn?
Sébastien Reichenbach: I’m doing well, thanks. After months on the exercise bike I can finally start training outside again. My rehabilitation isn’t quite complete yet, but I’m well on the road to recovery.
TdS: That’s good to hear. How are you getting back to top form again after your injury? And have you set yourself a specific time frame for recovery?
S.R.: I do physiotherapy and fitness training every day. I started doing weights again as soon as I was allowed, which was five days after my operation. I also ride my exercise bike regularly. If you want to get back to your best, the worst thing you can do is to sit around doing nothing.
TdS: Do you find it hard to motivate yourself to go outside for long rides in winter? Or do you switch to a bicycle trainer or maybe go abroad?
S.R.: Not at all, I love the winter! I’m not afraid of long rides. I love the feeling of making progress from one week to the next. Plus, I always alternate between different types of sports in winter, such as skiing, cross-country skiing, and fitness training.
TdS: Does it spur you on when you cycle up your local mountain, the Col de la Forclaz, and see your name every few hundred meters written on the streets?
S.R.: (laughs) I don’t cycle up the Col de la Forclaz very often, because there are usually a lot of cars on the route heading to Chamonix. I prefer tackling passes where I won’t encounter any traffic.
TdS: Have you developed any particular tricks for combatting ice-cold feet over all these years?
S.R.: A thick pair of socks made of Merino wool, and some warm overshoes. But they need to be breathable, because as soon as you start sweating, you’ve already lost. (laughs)
TdS: On the Grand Tours, you are one of Thibaut Pinot’s main domestiques and companions. Do you also train with him in winter sometimes?
S.R.: Yes, we meet up in December and in January to spend 10 days at a training camp.
TdS: There’s always the danger of gaining a few pounds over Christmas. Do you allow yourself the occasional sweet treat, or maybe some nice cheese?
S.R.: Fortunately, I don’t have a sweet tooth, so I’m not a big fan of cake or biscuits. But I do like good meat, and the festive period provides the perfect opportunity to eat more of it!
TdS: And what is the first goal you’re working towards in the 2018 season?
S.R.: My main goal for 2018 is to recapture my previous form and simply to enjoy the sport. That’s what I aim for every day.
TdS: Many thanks, Sébastien. We wish you all the best and a happy Christmas!