HTC UK organized a HTC Participation ride with Erik Zabel and Tristan Hoffman around the Kralingse Plas in Rotterdam. It is a great location to cycle with lots of green, and honestly I didn’t have the feeling to be very close to a large city like Rotterdam.
Meet Erik Zabel, Tristan Hoffman and team HTC-Columbia
In this picture above you can see Erik Zabel, Tristan Hoffman and the participating HTC Columbia team-members lining up for the truck.
- Eric Zabel, Advisor;
“With over 200 professional wins Erik Zabel is considered by some one of the greatest German cyclists and best cycling sprinters of history. Zabel won a record nine points classifications in grands tours including wearing the final green jersey in the Tour de France a record six consecutive years between 1996 to 2001 and the points jersey at the Vuelta a España in 2002, 2003 and 2004. Zabel won the Milan-Sanremo four times and numerous six-day track events.”
- Tristan Hoffman, Sports Director;
“Tristan Hoffman, Sports Director, brings strong Classics racing experience to Team HTC-Columbia. He raced until 2004, was Dutch National Champion in 1992, and finished in the top five in Paris Roubaix three times.”
- Helge Riepenhof, M.D. Head Team Doctor;
- Luise Keller;
- Gert Dockx;
- Jan Ghyselinck;
In the list above you can follow the links to the HTC Columbia athletes, which brings you to their personal page with race wins and background information.
The ride around the Kralingse Plas
The ride itself wasn’t really difficult or hard to complete, since it were laps around the Kralingse Plas at an average speed. Of course the great part with the interaction with the riders, who were extremely easy going, open and approachable.
I had a nice conversation with Jan Ghyselinck about the Shimano Dura-Ace Di2, the intelligent Shimano electronic shifting group, which is mounted on the Scott Addict Team;
With Luise Keller I talked about women cycling, and the cycling programs for young riders now (compared to some years ago);
Helge Riepenhof was riding one of the Scott Project F01 bikes, so we discussed the improvements over the Scott Addict bikes. Furthermore we discussed topics like the SRM Training System – PowerMeter + PowerControl, the new HED wheels in the Scott Project F01 bike, and the technology leadership that HTC brings to the HTC Columbia team !
And last but not least there was time to ride side by side with Erik Zabel and Tristan Hoffman. I asked both of them about their current activities for the team, and was interested in their training programs since both Zabel and Hoffman really looked strong;
One of the unique characteristics of road cycling is that you can get very close to the riders. Remark for example the pictures of the mountain stages in Le Tour de France, where the walls of people split in two when the riders pass by.
Since we were just with a small number of people it was almost a private cycling clinic, that was extremely cool to experience (certainly if you are a hobby road cyclist yourself) and a lot of fun as well !!
HTC-Columbia Team Jersey signed for “Child Cancer Just Beat It”
A few weeks ago I wrote an article on this blog about the Child Cancer Just Beat It initiative, after one of my cycling friends, who is a product manager at Berner Benelux, asked me if I wanted to buy a blue “Just Beat It bracelet”.
Berner Benelux is going to support Child Cancer foundations in Belgium, The Netherlands and Luxembourg for 18 months, in the light of their corporate social responsibility programs.
“Renewed research on child cancer requires a specific approach that is geared toward specific genetic characteristics of child cancer. VZW Child Cancer Foundation in Belgium, Kika in The Netherlands and Kriibskrank Kanner Foundation in Luxembourg, are asking for extra support for these types of research.”
During the HTC participation ride I explained to team HTC-Columbia that I attended the HTC participation ride in a special role as goodwill ambassador for the “Child Cancer Just Beat It” foundation, and asked the team if it was possible to sign a HTC-Columbia jersey that will be auctioned for the fight against child cancer.
Erik Zabel, Tristan Hoffman and the rest of the team have been very supportive and were more than willing to contribute with a relative small thing like a signature ! In the picture above you can see me holding the team HTC-Columbia jersey, while Eric Zabel puts his signature on it !
Overall experiences of a great cycling event
My compliments to HTC UK, HTC Netherlands and team HTC-Columbia for the excellent organization and participation in such a great cycling event.
For me as a hobby cyclist it was awesome to ride with the HTC-Columbia team, dedicated professionals who are passionate about their sport with an impressive drive for succes and winning !!
The interaction with the riders was awesome, who were friendly, easy going, open and approachable. It really felt like I was riding with some good friends that you know for a 10 years. Foremost it was fun, with great sunny weather and a nice location with lots of green close to Le Grand Depart 2010 in Rotterdam.
Child Cancer – Just Beat It
Furthermore I attended the HTC participation ride in a special role as goodwill ambassador for the “Child Cancer Just Beat It” foundation ! I would like to thank the members of team HTC-Columbia for their willingness, contribution and support for the fight against child cancer.
The HTC-Columbia team-members signed a team jersey that will be auctioned, and on behalf of Berner Benelux and the Child Cancer Just Beat It foundation I’m really humble and greatfull for this gesture !!
It was a great day and let’s hope for some great results of team HTC-Columbia in Le Tour de France 2010 !