Rider Diary

Rider diaries with Cees Bol


With training in full swing and the season opener for the team just around the corner, Cees Bol sat down after a training ride at our Team Sprint Camp and put pen to paper, talking about what he got up to in his off-season and at our Team Camps…

After my last race at Paris-Tours in the start of October, I had some time off the bike. Me and girlfriend went to Nikias’ [Arndt] wedding which was really nice and I got to see some of the guys there too which was cool and good to catch up with them; it was a nice day and party. We then continued our drive down to Lago Maggiore in Italy, where we spent some nice time just relaxing. We didn’t really do much but it was nice to switch off and spend quality time with her, relaxing beside the lake.

At the start of November I was back on the bike training, starting off more easily before slowly increasing the intensity with longer efforts and more hours on the bike. It’s always a bit weird returning back to training after a period off. Although the difference in numbers isn’t too big compared to when you’re in good shape, it feels like a shock because we live to cycle, so you’re a bit like “woah” but things soon get back towards a good level and it comes back pretty quickly. In the beginning it’s quite hard but from around the third week onwards it feels pretty normal, obviously you’re not in top-shape, but are back to being fit.

We also get the chance to do more gym training and work on things there in the off-season because naturally we’re at home more and the training is more steady, so every week there is time for two or three training sessions.

At the start of December I headed off to Training Camp with the guys which was good, and we had some nice rides in the Spanish sun.

Apart from that, I was pretty lucky with the weather in the Netherlands as it wasn’t too bad and if it was, then I just trained inside on the turbo or on the track. Speaking of which, I did the track nationals – scratch, points race and madison. In the madison I was together with Yoeri Havik and we managed to win it, which was super nice. It was a good way to head into the end of the year!

It was then nice to be at home and have Sinterklaas and Christmas with the family, although it was smaller than normal because of the COVID-19 restrictions. In our family at Sinterklaas we draw a name and then gift a present to that person, and I was lucky enough to get some games and a book – which helped keep us occupied over the winter. I also got some tickets for the national lottery but unfortunately I didn’t win anything!

After my time at home, the team headed to Calpe again for our traditional January Training Camp. It was good to be back again together with the guys and in some better weather; it’s so much easier to train here in Spain with the big group of us and with the structure the team provides.

It makes it more simple for us as riders, we just have to be here and do the training – that’s all there is to focus on. It was a nice camp, the atmosphere was really good and we did a lot of solid training together.

Now me and the rest of our sprint group are here in Spain again at our specific Team Sprint Camp. It’s a bit closer to the season now so the intensity in training has increased and I think it helps being here with everyone.

In sprint training you can really push each other harder compared to when you’re on your own, as it’s not the same as drag racing each other or doing an effort after being led-out by your teammates – like we’ve been doing here. It’s much more fun and efficient to train to like this together.

Also outside of our training rides, we take the time to talk about sprinting and different aspects of it, as well as just socialising with each other. We’ll all be working together with each other throughout the season so it’s good to already talk about those types of things and get to know each other better, both on and off the bike.

Looking ahead, I’m just looking forward to getting back to racing with the guys and get back into the rhythm of racing, it’s exciting to see where we are. I don’t really have any specific goals in terms of results, but just from the first race on it would be really good if we’re there in the final and can do a good lead-out but then also on the harder days to help the rest of the guys. Basically, it would be really good if we can be in the race together and are fighting for good results as a group.

I’m not putting a number on the results, but when we really have the feeling that we’re fighting for those wins, then it’s good. If we’re creating the opportunities, then we’re confident the results will come anyway.

Looking forward to seeing you out on the road,

Until next time,