Moolman-Pasio learns from roommate Van der Breggen
It's the beginning of February The first month of the season is done, Team SD Worx's first month. We look back on this first month with Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio. One of our new riders this season. How did she experience the first training camp in Denia, Spain, with her new team?
"My first impression is very positive" responds the spontaneous South African. “The first days were super professional. The possibility to perform various aerodynamics tests on the cycling track in Valencia under the guidance of Specialized was something new for me. I've never had that with the previous teams I have joined”.
During the training camp, Moolman-Pasio had no big personal goals, except for a number of long training sessions and getting to know her teammates. “I felt very welcome in the team, and the location was perfectly made for a good teambuilding. In the team house we cooked together, with Shara Gillow who provides our riders with nutritional advice and prepares their food during the races and training camps, and had a lot of fun. There was a nice balance between a feeling you're at home and serious business”.
With this serious business Moolman-Pasio means the long training sessions that the riders make who, literally and figuratively, sometimes fall into the water due to the rain. “It was challenging sometimes, but it's like racing. Sometimes things don't go as planned or hoped for, which is a bit frustrating”.
She is 35 years young, but that certainly does not stop her from spending time with the youngest riders in the team, such as Niamh Fisher Black, Lonneke Uneken and Demi Vollering. On the contrary, it motivates her to teach the younger girls in the team something, especially the mental aspect. Why? "It's very interesting and the result is significant."
She also hopes to learn a lot within Team SD Worx over the next two years. From sports manager Danny Stam, but also from the other experienced riders. She shared a room with Anna van der Breggen for ten days. “She is an exceptional athlete, just because of her humanity. She is so humble, and helpful. We had so many conversations in which she shared some valuable information and taught me what I've done different in the races”.
“From the outside, it has always been clear that Danny has a good way of working with such a strong team. I saw the girls working for each other and that made me sure that everybody is well willed to help me too!”, Moolman-Pasio is already looking ahead to her first races in the Team SD Worx shirt.
Photo credit: Getty Sport