Cycling, a sport that inspires me

Dani Pedrosa is not only a great MotoGP rider. Like many of Spain’s sports enthusiasts, he is also an avid cycling fan. This is the first of posts that we will publish throughout the season, in which we discuss different topics relating to our MotoGP riders. In this opening post on the Repsol Team Blog, Dani writes all about a sport he thoroughly enjoys both watching and taking part in.

A love of cycling

I discovered my passion for bicycles when I was very young. Before getting on a motorbike, I had already tried it all on my bicycle. For me, it was as if my bicycle were a motorbike! I started riding motorbikes from a very young age, but at that time I thought that if it didn’t work out, I wanted to be a cyclist.

Now I only go cycling to stay in shape and enjoy myself. I love cycling up mountain passes and I get a kick out of beating my times whenever I do the same route again. I have to keep myself in check so that I don’t go overboard and get carried away. It’s not a good idea to go flat out every day. You have to be smart when training and know when to take a break for a few days. Even though I don’t cycle professionally, I take it seriously and get annoyed when I see that my times are off and when my pace is not as good as the last time.

Another thing I like about cycling is that you can adapt it to your own fitness level. For example, during winter I remove the outer chainring as I barely use it. When my legs feel stronger, I look for the best way to improve, adding the chainring or really upping my cadence.

The best part is cycling as a group. The time and distance fly by when you are in good company, and it is also a way of getting better quality training. I still enjoy the days that I cycle alone though as it’s a different approach; I have to look for motivation from within.

Bicycle collector

The bicycle itself plays a big role and I use a Pinarello Dogma F10 fitted with Shimano. The key to choosing a bicycle is to find one that fits just right, that weighs very little, and that has a high quality carbon frame, not forgetting about the look of the bike.

Years ago, I decided to start a collection of all of my bikes because of all the unforgettable memories and experiences I’ve had on them. Many of my sporting accomplishments have been achieved when using cycling for training. I have fond memories of those tough times that I faced, pedalling with all my strength on a steep climb.

I now have a wonderful collection of Pinarellos. It is a selection of bikes that represents the changing times and fashions and when you look at them all together, you can see the differences in technology and colours used over the years.

A passion for professional cycling

Purito was my favourite cyclist because of his explosive power, but now that he is retired, I have my eye on other Spanish cyclists, like Alejandro Valverde and Alberto Contador. I’m also looking forward to seeing who will be the next rising star to keep us entertained. In recent years, Froome, Quintana, Nibali and Alberto Contador are the cyclists we’ve seen competing for the big titles. So who knows who might surprise us this year.

If I had to choose my favourite cycling stage it would definitely be the Alps. I’ve had a great time cycling there myself and it’s the best area. The Dolomites stages are really tough and I’ve suffered cycling up those passes, but it feels amazing when you finally reach the top.

When watching cycling on TV, I prefer to watch the bigger tours. I tend to watch them more often, although it is easy to get hooked on the classics with the exciting shows they put on.

My experience cycling

I have taken part in a tour cycling race before, and I know that in this sport it’s difficult to position yourself, to know if the group got broken up, or if you’re at the front. That is why it’s vital to wear an earpiece because it helps a lot in this regard. There has been a lot of talk about whether using an earpiece disrupts the competition, but nobody can deny that it increases rivalry between the cyclists and makes for a better show.

I’ve sometimes thought about taking part in Paris-Roubaix, but when I consider how tough it is, it puts me off. My brother has cycled in it. He has told me what it’s like and to be honest, it looks way easier on TV than it is in real life. I don’t think it would be my favourite race if I ever did cycle in it.

I hope you’ve enjoyed hearing about my passion for cycling. As always, thanks to all Box Repsol followers for reading and for your unconditional support. See you at the track!

Dani Pedrosa