Introducing: Maurice Ballerstedt
Maurice Ballerstedt had a strong season last year as a second-year junior. The 1...
In the upcoming weeks, all riders from Development Team Jumbo-Visma will be introduced here. We kick off with Gijs Leemreize. The 19-year-old rider from the Dutch Achterhoek region is riding a strong season in his second year U23. This year, he won the Topcompetitie uphill time trial and he conquered the mountain jersey in the Carpathian Couriers Race.
When you are not riding a bicycle, what do you do?
“I am still in school, where I attend a course Industrial Design. I’m in the last grade. I hope to finish school this year and then concentrate on cycling.”
What is your favourite pro course?
“I think the Tour de France. I don’t really know why I prefer it over the Giro, for example, but I like the attention around it. It is the biggest race of the year.”
What is the best moment you have experienced on a bicycle?
“I’m tempted to say the uphill time trial of the Topcompetitie. Off the bike, it was a great joy, but on the bike I was mainly suffering. So I’ll go for the second stage of the Carpathian Couriers Race, a stage race in Poland. I was part of the breakaway all day long and I took the mountain jersey. Eventually, I also won the polka dot jersey. For me, that was a nice day on the bike.”
Which rider do you see as an example?
“I don’t have one in particular, but I like to watch attacking riders. I liked how Thibaut Pinot rode during the last Tour. I like to race in that manner.”
What music do you prefer to listen to during a time trial warm-up?
“I don’t actually do that. I don’t need music to concentrate on a pending time trial. For me, the focus is really on the warm-up.”
When you don’t watch cycling on TV, what do you like to watch?
“If there is no cycling, I mainly watch Netflix. I have already seen several series. I think La Casa de Papel was a nice one. I saw all three seasons. In winter I also like to switch on the television for a cyclocross race.”
What are your expectations for the upcoming season?
“I especially want to get better in the stage races. I would like to be able to go for the GC. I am a climber. For me, flat races are more troublesome. Certainly in the Netherlands there are many races with echelons in which I sometimes miss the right group. That is certainly a skill that needs to be improved.”