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At the kitchen table with Ramon Sinkeldam
Dutch road race champion
Ramon Sinkeldam is in a good mood. His supersonic coffee maker is running smoothly and he frequently asks us what we think of his coffee. On the kitchen table lies a brand new aerodynamic helmet in the colours of his new French team, Française des Jeux. But before we talk about that, what about his remarkable win at last year’s national road race championships?
“Well, I hadn’t really focused on it specifically. I was mainly busy preparing for the Tour, which would start a week later. A few people had said the course would suit me and my legs were good that day. I was very confident in advance, which I normally never am. It was a long race, just over 250 kilometres, and I had been riding near the front of the pack all day. In the end, I kicked off way too early, but luckily everyone was exhausted. Wippert and I crossed the finish line side by side, he was already cheering. But the photo showed that I had won.
Contrary to what you hear a lot about the other French teams, FDJ is very well structured. Their approach suits me and they have a lot of ideas about what can be improved. That’s very nice to experience. There’s still a bit of a language barrier, but I’ll work on that in time. Fortunately, the other guys on the team don’t leave me to figure it out all on my own and help me where possible. One-on-one it’s not too bad, but when they all start talking quickly in a group, I have to get better at that.
My strength is that I have a strong sprint and can prepare well for that sprint. That’s also what they hired me for at FDJ, so that I can be Démare’s wingman along with a number of other guys. BBB Cycling is our team sponsor for the helmets, but I’ve also been able to strike a private deal for the glasses. I like the fact that it’s a Dutch company and that I can partner with them like this. I’m now in the middle of my career, but am still making steps every year. And I’m quite useful to a team because I can be a very good helper. You know, a lot of guys with my qualities want to sprint themselves, win themselves. But I don’t mind working for a leader.
The sport glasses of Ramon SinkeldamA ride without any boundaries
In the winter I ride a lot on my mountain bike, through the towns of Heemskerk or Wijk aan Zee and into the forest. A tour around Schoorl and then back across the beach. But if the weather is like it is today, with that storm, I’ll do a few hours on the bike trainer before I pick my little ones up from school. And in the summer I like to ride across the locks of IJmuiden to Bloemendaal, that’s the only climb in the area where I can get rid of my energy.
The helmet of Ramon SinkeldamFree speed
I still ride regularly with some of my friends. First, I go all-out on my own for a few hours and then ride with them for a few hours. We ride about 31 kilometres per hour so that they can easily keep up as well. I also do clinics in Schoorl, which is great fun. I still have to get used it, though, when newcomers at my club DTS come up to me and ask me how I felt when I crossed the finish line in such and such a race. I’m not that interesting of a person, I’m no Justin Bieber.”
This article is part of the BBB BreakAway Magazine, summer edition 2018. In this edition you'll for instance find an interview with Dutch national champion road cycling Ramon Sinkeldam, we ride the Aosta Trail with downhill rider James Shirley and one of our product developers gives an insight on how he works on new BBB products.