Sébastien Reichenbach is not only Thibaut Pinot’s noble assistant, he has also advanced to become the most successful Swiss Grand Tour rider in the past two seasons. In our TdS winter series Sébastien Reichenbach tells us how he feels his way back to his best form after his injury and what he is looking forward to most during the Christmas season.
Tour de Suisse: First of all: how are you doing after your accident on the Tre Valli Varesine in autumn?
Sébastien Reichenbach: I’m fine, thanks. After a month of training I am finally allowed to train outside again. My rehabilitation is not quite finished yet, but I am on a good path.
TdS: Good to hear. How do you get back into top form after your injury? And what is your time horizon for this?
S.R.: I do physiotherapy and fitness every day. I started weight training as soon as I was allowed to, that is five days after my operation. I also train regularly on the home trainer. If you want to get back in good shape, you just can’t be idle.
TdS: Do you find it difficult to motivate yourself for longer trips outside in winter? Or do you go on scooters or abroad?
S.R.: Not at all, I love the winter. Long journeys do not scare me, I find it great to feel the progress from week to week. Furthermore, in winter I alternate between different sports, such as cross-country skiing, skiing, fitness …
TdS: Does it help the motivation to climb your local mountain Col de la Forclaz and read your name every few hundred meters?
S.R.: (laughs) I drive the Col de la Forclaz not often, because there are many cars on this route, which are heading towards Chamonix. I prefer to climb passes where there are no cars.
TdS: Over all these years, have you developed a special trick against freezing feet?
S.R.: A pair of thick merino wool socks and warm overshoes – but these must be breathable, because as soon as you sweat, you are already lost. (laughs)
TdS: At the Grande Tours you are one of the most important helpers & companion of Thibaut Pinot. Do you train with him from time to time throughout the winter?
S.R.: Yes, we meet in December and January for ten days each in the training camp.
TdS: During the Christmas season you always run the risk of gaining a little weight. Do you occasionally treat yourself to some Christmas Guezli or a Raclete?
S.R.: Luckily, I don’t like sweet things. That’s why I’m not a big fan of biscuits and cake. What I like, on the other hand, is good meat, and the holidays are the perfect opportunity to eat a fine piece of meat more often.
TdS: And what is your first season goal 2018 – which one are you working towards?
S.R.: My most important goal for 2018 is to regain 100 percent of my form and to enjoy cycling – that’s what I work towards every day.
TdS: Many thanks to Sébastien. We wish you much success & happy holidays.