Blog: Every small detail counts

Theo Bos

Theo Bos is BEAT Cycling Clubs’s top level member. He still has many goals as a track cyclist. In this blog Theo will keep his club mates up to date.

The qualification races for the World Championships were, of course, a big success. I knew I was in shape, but I hadn’t expected to win every discipline I competed in. And in doing so, I made history: these were the first victories for BEAT Cycling Club. It gave the weekend an extra special touch: for the club, but also for me as an ambassador.

But we’re not there yet. Of course, our main aim is the World Championships in Hong Kong, which will be held in two week’s time. There we can win the real medals. Until then, we’re focused on training and preparing every last detail. 

As I wrote last time: in track cycling it comes down to hundredths, sometimes even thousandths, of a second. Every small detail needs to be perfect. So I did a so-called aero-test in Alkmaar.

The very best track cycling countries develop their own equipment and make sure it doesn’t get into the hands of other countries. For example, there’s a brand of equipment just for Germany and the Australians have their own cranks that aren’t for sale. The British have a completely self-designed bike, that is not available anywhere else. 

As a rider from another country, you have to see what is commercially available. Together with the guys from Aero Pro, I’m researching what is currently for sale on the market and I’m testing it to find the fastest bike. 

It’s an investment that can give you a lot of valuable data. For the short term, but definitely for the long term. By doing a lot of tests, I can build up a database of which equipment is fastest for me. There’s a lot of good and fast equipment available on the market, it’s just a case of finding out what works best for me. It’s a continuous process, because new products are introduced on the market constantly. 

In Alkmaar we spent hours measuring and experimenting. New adjustments to the bike, different wheels and helmets. Anything to be as aerodynamic as possible in Hong Kong. Really every thousandth of a second can count, and can mean the difference between gold and silver, or maybe going home empty handed. 

It’s not just about equipment, as a rider I need to prepare myself in the best way possible. Not just during the training. It’s a matter of finding the right balance between exercise and rest, and eating the right things. Especially on race day itself.

In 2016, I raced in a lot of keirin tournaments in Japan. I did two or three three-day tournaments a month. This meant I could experiment  with race preparation on race day. What warming-up protocol should I follow? Do I go for a ride in the morning or better not? And if I do, do I do starts or flying sprints? And what should I eat?

It gave me the opportunity to quietly experiment. That’s a different way of collecting data: not just about equipment, but about myself. Of course, I hope this can be of use in Hong Kong.

With perfect equipment and perfect preparations the right conditions are met. In that case it comes down to my own shape and my legs. And they feel great right now! 

Follow my #RoadToBEAT to Hong Kong and join our adventure now as my clubmate 

Photo by Renata Jansen