Martijn Tusveld is a support rider at Team Sunweb who is currently recovering from a nasty early-season crash in 2019. We posed him The Five Prologue Questions, which we have asked several people in the cycling scene to answer.
1. What is your favourite cycling book?
The Rider, by Tim Krabbé. I remember well when I received the book. I was on holiday when I was 13 or 14 years old. I read it from beginning to end in one sitting!
2. What was your first racing bike?
A Decathlon, a very cheap one. My parents didn’t know if I was going to like bike racing, so they didn’t buy expensive stuff for me. And rightly so!
3. Who is/was your biggest cycling hero?
I don’t really have one. Is that ok?
4. What was your toughest day on the bike?
Difficult question. One ride which I often think about is a stage in the Vuelta Ciclista à Leon. It was during my first year at the Rabo Development Team. The stage didn’t look particularly impressive on paper in terms of profile. Our team leader thought the same, he thought that we should all finish in the leading group. We wanted to get into the breakaway. The first 50km was, as expected, relatively flat. But the racing was very fast, which made it tough from the start. After that there were a few “little hills”. These were, in fact, serious climbs. The final 100km was really hard. At the end of the day we were 16 minutes down on the eventual winner. The route profiles in Spain were apparently not very accurate…
5. What is the best cycling-related tip which you have ever received?
To be honest, I’ve never heard this, but I do want to pass it on. The most important thing is to keep enjoying your sport. Take, for example, many of the guys I raced with in the youth categories. Most of the really talented riders I knew at that time have stopped riding. What’s interesting is that many of the second tier riders of that time actually made it into the professional ranks. Perhaps those talented riders started to train too hard, too young and lost their passion for cycling. Or maybe the felt too much external pressure (parents?). Luckily, I’ve never experienced that. If you want to make it from the youth rankings of bike racing to become a professional, then all the motivation really has to come from yourself. You have to learn to enjoy all the suffering during training, and all the other sacrifices you make. Otherwise it’s really very tough indeed.