Stay Home Stories: Archie Ryan

Stay Home Stories: Archie Ryan

In the column ‘Stay Home Stories’, the cyclists of Team Jumbo-Visma talk about their lives and current activities now there is no racing until further notice. This time we talk with Irishman Archie Ryan, rider of Jumbo-Visma Development Team.

How are you?
"Actually I am doing very well. I am currently staying at home in Ireland. It is not that bad in my home country. I am only allowed to train within a radius of two kilometres from my house. We can only move further away from home if, for example, we have to do some shopping. Fortunately, I have a nice environment very close to my house, which makes those short laps pleasant. I expect to be a good crit rider at the end of the season, haha. Still, I spend a lot of my time on my Tacx, because it is safer. Safety is of course very important these days."

How are you dealing with this situation?
"It is of course far from ideal and difficult to deal with, but you still have to keep thinking positively. I try to pick up things that I would have little or no time for otherwise. For example, I do strength exercises. Last winter I had some knee problems and these exercises help to strengthen it. If I was racing now, I would have less time for that. Picking up things like this makes it easier for me to pass the time. I also try to stay fit and maintain my basic condition."

How do you get on with your days?
"My school has an online learning program that allows me to take my classes from home. I am in the last year of secundary school and so I have to do an exam this year. They normally take place in June and the school says it’s all going to happen, but I have to see whether that will happen or not. Still, I prepare as I normally would and study as if the exams continue. The rest of the day I try to make myself useful and be productive, although I also like watching Netflix or turning on my PlayStation. Lately I’ve been watching The Walking Dead. It may not be the best series to watch during a pandemic, since it is about a pandemic. Still, I like it and it gets me through my time well."

How do you keep in touch with your teammates?
"We often play Fortnite on the PlayStation with some guys. The Van Dijke brothers, Lars Boven, Rick Pluimers and a few others. We have a nice group, but opinions are divided on who is the best player. I personally think I am the best, but others will not see it that way. In addition, we also have our own group app in which a lot of messages are sent. This way we keep in touch with each other."

How does your family deal with this situation?
"I have a brother and three sisters, so the house is packed. One sister lives away from home, but there are still enough left. Now that there is no racing, I spend time with them of course. Yet you notice that we are not used to sitting in a house together for such a long period. Then it’s nice if you can make some time for yourself. Everyone has a need for that."

What music do you listen to get through the day or on the Tacx?
"There are some good playlists on Spotify that I listen to a lot. Still, I don’t really have a particular taste in music or an artist I like. If it sounds nice I am already satisfied and I listen when I’m training."

Do you have to cook more often because you are more at home now?
"Now that we are all at home, we often eat together. It is no problem if I have to cook, but usually my parents do that. If I have to cook, then I like to make a salad with chicken. Besides this salad, I like to vary. The tips we get from our food coaches are very useful. In this period without competitions, food is also an aspect that I can delve more into, purely because I have more time for it."

What other sports do you like?
"To be honest, I am a real cyclist fan and I don’t really like other sports. Since there is no sport on TV now, I may be looking back at some retro editions of certain races. I think that gives me a motivation for my indoor training. As an Irishman I like to watch Daniel Martin in Liège-Bastogne-Liège or other classics. In addition, I may be checking out some old editions of the Giro d’Italia. In recent years, those were nice races. When I ride those races on the Tacx, you still imagine that you are racing and that kills time a bit."

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