Marcel Kittel is a house hold name when it comes to the big bunch sprints today. He has won stages in all 3 Grand Tours, La Vuelta Espana, Giro d’Italia and the Tour de France. But it is not so well known that when he first singed as a professional with Skil-Shimano in 2011, he was signed primarily as a time-trialist who might be able to pull a good lead out for the sprinters. Things soon changed. He and I were teammates 2011 and it was nice to be there at the beginning of his stella career, and to now get the chance to discuss what has happened since those early days.
We all worry about the physical training that needs to take place in order for us to perform on a given race day. But I think not enough attention is payed to the mental training that should take place to have us ready psychologically to tackle the big race days. It can literally be the difference between the winners and the losers, having that right mind set. I was lucky enough to have the time to meet Craig Appaneal in my offseason this year and we discussed some situations that I have encountered through out my career, where things went well and where things didn’t go so well. We then try and decipher what was happening in my head on those given days. Craig has a background in organisational psychology which not only looks at a individual, but also how a individual acts and works within a team and then how that team works in a organisation. I think he is a person we can all benefit from in not only the performance side of cycling but in all aspects of our lives.