Multiple Tour de Suisse stage winner and spring classics specialist Michael Albasini tells us this month how he trains in winter and his trick against cold feet.
Tour de Suisse: What did you do after your last race? Is there even something like a off-season in today’s racing sport?
Michael Albasini: The off-season has shifted strongly into October for me. The Tour of Lombardy has been my last race on the calendar for a few years now. This fits perfectly with the beginning of my children’s autumn holidays. The very next day I flew with my whole family to Mallorca. We had rented a finca there.
Therefore I always enter November 1st as the official start of training.
This year I have not even touched my bike until then.
TdS: How do you train through the wet/cold winter months?
M.A.: As long as it’s dry, I drive on the road as normal. If it’s wet or snowy I switch to the Quervelo. That way I can get through till Christmas. Then it starts anyway with the team camps somewhere warm.
TdS: Do you find it difficult to motivate yourself for longer trips outside in winter? Or are you dodging the roll?
M.A.: No, not at all. I practically never use the roll, especially not for long trainings.
From time to time I go to Ticino for two training sessions.
TdS: Over all these years, have you developed a special trick against freezing feet?
TdS: Your teammates are scattered halfway around the world at home – who do you train with through the winter?
M.A.: In the past, I was usually out and about with Ralph Näf every day, but since he became team manager, I’m mostly on my own. But I have on WhatsApp the group ‘training group east’. There’s Küng, Schelling and Neff. Now and then we actually manage to train together.
TdS: Footballers have to be weighed by the team doctor after the Christmas holidays – what about you? Are you in danger of gaining some fighting weight over the holidays?
M.A.: The training as well as the weight management is my own responsibility. Nobody checks up there. I appreciate this freedom and can therefore keep Christmas well.
TdS: What is your first season goal 2018 which you are working towards?
M.A.: I want to be in top form at the Ardennes Classics.
TdS: Many thanks and we wish you good luck!