Rider Diary

Rider diaries with Tobias Lund Andresen

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Coming towards the end of his first year with Development Team DSM, Tobias Lund Andresen sat down and penned his thoughts on his transition from juniors to U23/Elite level, riding with our Men’s program and that incredible week of racing for the team in Tour de Bretagne…

It’s a big difference coming from the juniors last year. All of the work around the events then were organised by everyone’s parents basically and I would go to the races with them and the coach, who in his spare time works as an electrician. Everyone here in Team DSM is an expert in their field, we have someone for everything. I also see that in training. It’s different from what I was doing before and is more structured which is really helpful. I really like the way we work together, especially with my coach with Jelle.

Racing wise the difference is also really big too. You used to think that a 120 kilometre race was pretty long and now this year I’ve down a few races and stages that are almost 220 kilometres, so that makes a big difference.

I really like how we’ve been racing as a team this year. 

There are always attacks in the start where you can get in the breakaway. After that it gets a bit quieter and you find the rest of the team and ride together; kind of organise yourself to get the plan in order and get ready for the final. The step has been crazily big: everyone here is really strong, where in juniors you had some people riding who weren’t really even training.

To ride with the Men’s program on a few occasions has also been pretty crazy. That was one of the reasons why I wanted to join Team DSM, because I knew that I could get the chance to race and learn a lot from them.

Antwerp Port Epic was a really big race for me; to be able to ride with some of the guys in our team who I’ve been looking up to for a long time, and to also race against the likes of Mathieu van der Poel and be in the group with him, it was pretty surreal. 

It really meant a lot to me that race because after a crash I had at Tour of Denmark, I felt like I was back on a good level again and it really gave me a confidence boost going into the Tour de Bretagne. 

The first stage there was pretty bad from us to be honest, and we all knew it. A big group got away but we were all a bit asleep and we missed it. After the stage we had a really good team meeting where our coach Bennie [Lambregts] handled it well. I was maybe a bit scared that we would just be slaughtered by him for it, but we did it in a really good way and sat down and talked through things.

He motivated and inspired us to fight back on the next stages and ride an offensive race, which is exactly what we did; it was a really uplifting mood.

I was so happy that Leo won on stage two, and for me to get second on that day was so cool. I also felt like I kind of won the race too. It was also a great feeling to know that I could do a sprint from a group like that, and that I could do something when the team put their trust in me.

On stage six when I got second again after spending the whole day in the breakaway it almost felt like I won that too. I think we did a really good race that day but there was just one guy stronger at the finish. Of course, I had the feeling of ‘so close’ but in the team we were confident that we could also go for something on that final day.

We wanted to try and go for the GC with Leo but for that to happen he had to attack from far out so he could get the gap going into the laps, otherwise it wouldn’t have been possible to take the time on the circuit. He went away exactly like the plan, and it was good for all of us in the bunch as we could sit in while other teams used up riders to chase. In the end us trying to go for GC with him was also a really big part of my victory. We had talked in the team meeting that if Leo did get caught, then the guys would support me for the finish. During the stage I told the guys that I felt really good so they were super motivated and helped keep me near the front on the laps.

I managed to getaway on the descent and behind the guys did an amazing job to kind of block the road and police the moves to make sure no one was able to bridge to us. As always it was an amazing team effort, it wouldn’t have been possible alone.

Going into the last corner I was about 20 metres behind the guy in front and I never thought I would catch him but I thought ‘this is the last stage, let’s go all the way to the finish line’ and I sprinted for as long as I could.

After the finish line I was so happy! I found our soigneurs and just started screaming with happiness, it was crazy. It was an amazing feeling of relief that I had it in me to win at this level. It was also emotions from all of our teamwork throughout the week. We’d rode really well and were super offensive.

Everything went according to plan, it couldn’t have been better and I was super proud to be able to finish it off for the guys.

I hope you all enjoy watching the final races of the season,

Until next time,
Tobias!