What's Cool In Road Cycling

PEZ Talk: Columbia’s Martin Velits

The last time we spoke to Slovakian champion Martin Velits was during the Vuelta; since then, Martin and brother – ex-under 23 world champion – Peter, have moved from Milram to Columbia. We caught up with Martin at the recent (cold) Columbia camp on Mallorca.

PEZ: How’s the weather in Mallorca?
I would say it’s just good enough to do all the training needed.

PEZ: Have you and Peter always been on the same teams?
Yes, from the start of our careers

PEZ: What do you like best about training camps?
That you can really focus only on your training; the food is there; your washing is done; you get your massage – and of course leaving for home when it’s done and you have a good feeling of a job well done.

PEZ: What do you like least about training camps?
If the weather doesn’t play along and you can’t get the training you’re supposed to.

PEZ: Where are you and Peter based during the season?
We’re based in Belgium, but only ‘til May this year, than we moving back home to Slovakia.

PEZ: What are the biggest differences between Milram and Columbia, so far?
Columbia pay more attention to details like, proper bike position, nutrition, equipment and the training is harder

PEZ: Did all the pressure in the team about ‘lack of wins’ in Milram last year have anything to do with your going?
No, it has nothing to do with it.

PEZ: What was your best performance of 2009?
The Ruta del Sol and Het Volk.

PEZ: You were 4th in the Ruta del Sol in 2009; will you be trying to improve on that?
I’m not starting this year there, but I like that race and hopefully in the future I will be able to improve my result there

PEZ: What’s your programme for 2010?
Qatar, Oman, Het Volk, Kuurne, Eroica, then a little rest and the Flanders and Ardennes classics.

PEZ: You’re Slovakian road race champion – is that a target for 2010?
Yes, I would like to repeat this result again.

PEZ: What’s your favourite type of race?
Flanders classics

PEZ: You’ve ridden the Vuelta the last two seasons – would you like to ride the Giro or Tour, this year?
Not the Giro, it’s just too close to the end of classics season, and I think it would be too much.

The Tour is of course a dream – and I’m hoping to ride the Vuelta again this year.

PEZ: Is there anything that you’ve been working on over the winter?
Core muscle strengthening.

PEZ: Are you a traditional (kilometres) or hi-tech (SRM and so on) trainer?
I use SRM by my training, especially doing intervals or power training; but I find the traditional long rides training important as well.

PEZ: How does your form compare to last year at this time?
I would say it’s pretty much the same.

PEZ: How does the Scott compare to the Focus? How do you ensure your position is exactly right, on the new bike?
We all got professional bike setup, so to find the most efficient position was not a problem. Both bike makes are well – only the attention to details like correct choice of wheels for certain races can make the difference.

PEZ: Are you really ‘into’ your bike – or happy to ride exactly what you get?
I like getting a new bike every season, but I’m not to technical type either. I trust the mechanics, but I’m sure I would manage some small repairs too.

PEZ: What will your role be in the team?
I want to enter the season with good form. I want to do a good job in the lead outs for Mark (Cavendish) and Andre (Greipel), and of course the classics are the highlight of my year.

PEZ: 86 wins in 2009 – will Columbia top that in 2010?
Why not? But I’m sure it’s not the target; the target is to have wins, but quality wins – and have fun doing it !

With thanks to Martin for his time and wishing him and Peter all the best with their new team.

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