Interview: Two Australians “racing” in the Netherlands
Before the start of the season Amalia Langham and Elizabeth Nuspan jumped on a plane to the Netherlands to start their first cycling season in Europe. Things turned out to be quite different for the two U23-cyclists of Talent Cycling. Time to ask them some questions:
What made you decide to come to the Netherlands?
Amalia Langham: “I came to the Europe because I wanted to be able to do more racing. The flat roads made me choose for the Netherlands, because that suits me a lot better than for instance racing in Italy or Spain.
Elizabeth Nuspan: “Coming here to race in the Netherlands was a big opportunity. I was – and still am – very eager to see on what level I would be in an European peloton, since we never have the chance to race against them in Australia.”
What ere you expectations about the races here?
AL: “I came to Europe because I wanted to experience the European racing season as well as the lifestyle. But I specifically chose the Netherlands because it was a good chance to get as much experience in an area of the world where the racing would suit me really well as opposed to places like Italy or Spain.”
EN: “Racing here is very different. The pelotons are a lot bigger, which makes tactics more important. In these races it’s more important to work as a team, what I really hope to learn at Talent Cycling. Also, there are a lot more races on the raceschedule in Australia, so I expected to do a lot of races here.”
The Coronavirus changed the situation a lot. How does this effect you?
AL: “Obviously there is no racing at the moment which was the main reason why we came over here, and it’s also disappointing that we’re not able to see as much of the country as I hoped to. However, it has given me more time to prepare and make sure that I am actually ready for the races when the season resumes and I’ve still been able to explore the beautiful old towns and countryside on my bike which are some positives I have been able to take out of the situation.”
EN: “It’s sad that we’re not able to race, but I also try to see the positive side. I had a bad crash at the trainingcamp in February and this gives me the time to build up to good shape on the road. We are still able to ride outside, so it could be a lot worse.”
Racing stopped for quite a while. Did you ever consider going home?
AL: “Originally the plan was to stay here and just enjoy the warm weather and the training until racing started again but since making the announcement that there will be no racing until September 1st my family and I made the decision and thought the best option was to come home now. By going home now it also gives me the chance to come back again next year if given the opportunity by the team.”
EN: “I haven’t considered going back home at all. I really love the European lifestyle and I’m enjoying my stay here. The Netherlands hasn’t been hit that hard by the Coronavirus, so it’s a good opportunity to get some training done.”
How are you going through this time now?
AL: “We have a lot of time to do the training we need to do and make sure that we rest well enough from the trainingsessions. Next tot hat I’ve been doing more strenght training and have going one a walk through the area. Every Thursday evening we do a Zwift race with the whole team, so that we are still able to compete in some way.”
EN: “The ability to use Zwift makes it a lot better. It’s a good way to still be able to train with your teammates and it really keeps the racing spirit high. In Australia I’ve trained a lot of time on the track, but here in the Netherlands I’m focussing a lot more on the road. That’s also why I’m doing a lot more hours now than before. I still got to get used to training on the bikepaths though.”
Is this a one time opportunity or are you planning to come back again in 2021?
AL: “I’m definitely planning on coming back to experience a proper season but when that will be will depend on a number of factors. I would also like to try out the American scene sometime in the future.”
EN: “The original plan was already to come back again in 2021. If you want to become a world class cyclist, this is the place to be. So yes, I want to come back next year and the years after. Not only for the cycling, but also because it will be a great life experience.”