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. Last week, Gijs Leemreize kicked off this series, now it is Hidde van Veenendaal’s turn. Van Veenendaal will start at the U19 World Championships in Yorkshire next week. A nice end to a strong season. The 18-year-old WV de Jonge Renner rider has won several races this year, including the junior edition of Paris-Roubaix and the Omloop der Vlaamse Gewesten.
When you are not riding a bicycle, what do you do?
“I am currently in the last grade of a Sport & Business course. I am taking this course at the Johan Cruijff College in Roosendaal, where I am sharing the classroom with several top athletes. I do not yet know what I will do after this study. I still have some time to think about that.”
What is your favourite pro race?
“There are actually two. Paris-Roubaix and the Tour de France. For me, Roubaix is a very special race. The cobblestones and the atmosphere during the race make it very beautiful. This year, I won the junior’s race. In addition, the Tour is another favourite of mine, because it is the largest race in the world. If you have raced it, you’ve earned respect in the cycling world.”
What is the best moment you have experienced on a bicycle?
“Last winter, I went on a vacation to the United States. The bike went along of course and during a training I rode among alligators in Everglades National Park, near Miami. That was a super cool experience.”
Which rider do you see as an example?
“Mathieu van der Poel. I really look up to that kind of rider. How he trains, how he races. I think I’m a different type of rider, compared to Mathieu. While he does CX, MTB and road cycling, I just stick to road cycling.”
What music do you prefer to listen to during a time trial warm-up?
“I don’t listen to music during a warm-up. I’ve always done it without music and I like that.”
When you don’t watch cycling on TV, what do you like to watch?
“I like to watch series. I am currently watching Mindhunter. I also like sports-related films and series and documentaries. Last Chance U is one of those. It’s about American college football.”
What are your expectations for the upcoming season?
“It will be hard getting used to it. The distances are longer than for the juniors and we also ride with guys who are a lot older. In junior races, you can go all-in from the first kilometre, but that will be a lot harder from next year on. I do not expect any top results yet. Above all, I hope to learn a lot.”