Training, nutrition and recovery
Van Baarle's season is currently in full swing. It is now time to peak and harvest. Everything revolves around adequate rest, form maintenance, and preservation. "In this period, there is little time to train next to cycling. It's mostly resting until Milan San Remo starts. You have to imagine that in the Paris-Nice course, for example, we spent 31.5 hours on the bike. That is hugely intensive and any left over time is used to recover. That's why I do pay a lot of attention to the number of carbohydrates I absorb with lunch. These carbohydrates replenish energy stores and provide physical recovery. In past years I have not always done this well, but now I notice a big difference when I am on the bike. Nutrition and energy balance are essential in the world of cycling. This also applies to my strength training. To get my workouts in the gym as explosive as possible, I use FIRST. The gum gives me just a little extra to feel sharper."
Cycling tips and tricks
Cycling is extremely popular. Every year during the Tour de France, some 10 million people stand on the roadside and when the major cycling tours are held, you see large and small cycling groups popping up all over the Netherlands. Cycling fans in tight cycling suits, from fat to thin, from old to young, from beginner to advanced. Van Baarle, too, has a huge fan base that follows him closely. His most important tip: "Don't start fast and don't underestimate the role of nutrition. Eat well and sufficiently right from the start. Take a gel or energy bar every 20 minutes. And of course don't forget the FIRST just before the finale ;). Focus is essential in the finale of a big race. The hectic pace is great and everyone is deep in the red. At that moment, I cycle mainly on instinct. I don't have a plan as that is difficult in such races. You really just have to be in the right place at the right time and wait for your chance in the last 40 kilometers."
Van Baarle's big goal
For Van Baarle, the transfer to Team Sky is a dream coming true. He has been hugely goal-oriented all his life. "Of course, as a little boy I wanted to be world champion one day and ride in that rainbow jersey one day. Right now, I would really like to win one big classic race. That dream is getting more and more intense and I'm riding better and better in the classics."" Van Baarle is satisfied when he looks back on his preseason at the end of April and finds himself on the podium of a classic. "That would be really great!