Introducing: Maurice Ballerstedt
Maurice Ballerstedt had a strong season last year as a second-year junior. The 1...
Michel Hessmann is one of the four foreign riders for the upcoming season in Development Team Jumbo-Visma. The 18-year-old German recently finished fifth in the world Junior time trial championship in Yorkshire. Earlier this year, he won the general classification of Le Trophée Center Morbihan, part of the Nations Cup U19. Time to get to know the young German better.
When you are not on a bicycle, what do you do?
“I finished my A levels last summer. I’m currently studying economics at the university. I am not present during the lectures, but I do a lot at home. This allows me to better focus on cycling.”
What is your favourite pro race?
“I think it’s the Tour de France. It’s great to see how everyone is in optimal condition and performs at the top of their abilities. Certainly this year I thought it was a great edition with exciting stages. In addition, I think the Giro d’Italia is a great race. It is an unpredictable race. During that race the Italian way of cycling emerges: aggressive and with passion.”
What is the best moment you have experienced on a bicycle?
“The stage race in Morbihan, part of the UCI Nations Cup, was a very nice experience. Our super strong team in combination with the great atmosphere made it a perfect weekend.”
If you don’t watch cycling on TV, what do you like to watch?
“Like many riders, I often watch Netflix. I spend the majority of my time looking for a good series instead of watching one. All tips are welcome."
What is your favourite meal after a race?
“I don’t really have a favourite meal for after the race. I like food in general. Before a race, I often eat oatmeal with peanut butter and lots of fruit in the morning. In the afternoon I mainly eat pasta or rice, but a good sauce must come with it. If it’s just plain tomato sauce without herbs, I’d rather have some olive oil with salt on it instead.”
What is it like for a young rider to become part of a foreign team?
“It’s a great opportunity to gain new experiences. For me, the team doesn’t really feel like a foreign team as I live close to the Dutch border. During my training rides I sometimes ride through the Netherlands. It feels good to ride in one team with Finn, Archie and Maurice. This is how we provide an international twist in the team.”
What are your expectations for the upcoming season?
“I want to get to know myself better as a rider and I want to get to know my strengths and weaknesses. Of course I still have a lot to learn, but I hope I can prove myself in some races and see what is possible.”