Interviews

Interview Martin Toft Madsen : « I hope to get the Danish hour record back »

Martin Toft Madsen est aujourd’hui l’une des références parmi les spécialistes du chrono. Triple champion du Danemark de contre la montre, double vainqueur du chrono des nations, le danois de 33 ans a notamment terminé dixième cette année du chrono des championnats du monde à Innsbruck. Découvrez ce coureur et ses ambitions à travers cette interview !

La traduction en français sera bientôt disponible.

Martin Toft Madsen is one of the best pure time trialists in the world. Triple time trial Danish champion, double winner of the Chrono des nations, the 33 years old Danish rider finished 10th at the world championships time trial this year. Meet him through this interview !

Cycling Times : So the first question : at what age did you start cycling and when did you get your first interesting results ?

Martin Madsen : I started to ride my bike for more than just commuting in 2002 I believe. It was just trips of 20-30 km on my city bike around where I lived. I got my first race bike in 2004 and started to do longer rides, but still just for fun on my own or with some friends. I started racing in 2008 and won the first TT I rode with just clip-ons on the handlebar. Got my first real TT bike in 2009 and continued to do very well in TT’s. If I recall correctly I had my first TT win in the highest national category in 2012, won the UCI Grand Fondo/amateur world championship final in TT in Slovenia in 2014, and then placed 6th in the national TT championship the same year, around 40 seconds from the podium. I think my progression has been quite steady in general. The 6th place was a couple of months before the UCI Grand Fondo in 2014 actually. I think that might have been when I really started to believe I could at least podium in the national championship.

CT : Ok… What is the victory you will always remember ?

MM : Most likely the first national TT victory in 2016. I knew myself I had a shot at winning, but would be happy with a podium. But almost everyone believed even the podium was a long shot, so I was really extremely happy to take that victory.

CT : You’re now three times in a row Danish TT champion and double winner of the Chrono des nations. But you also took a great 10th place at Innsbruck TT world championships, and it seems like you’ve never been so strong. What are your ambitions for the next seasons ?

MM : In general I hope to find a bit of gains both in my power and in aerodynamics for next season. I hope to be able to defend both the national TT championship and the Chrono des Nations win and crawl up a bit higher in the result list at the world TT championship. I don’t know if or where there will be a European championship, but a medal at that could be a goal – I think I would have been in top-5 this year without my crash. Finally I hope to get the Danish hour record back and hopefully do another shot at the world hour record, that I think is within reach.

CT : Great ambitions, and i wish you to achieve these goals… What do you think about the young Mikkel Bjerg ? Is he your principal rival now ?

MM : He is definitely getting stronger and has a very high level now. He has definitely been my biggest Danish competitor this year and the fiercest rival in a lot of the TT’s I’ve done – I think he has been number 2 in four of the races I have won this year. Even though it makes it harder for me to win e.g. the national TT championship I think the competition is good for both of us in the long run. If I want to take the last step up and be among the very best in the world I think it’s good to have some hard competition in your races.

CT : Of course it’s good for you ! Do you think you can win also in road races ? You’re a pure time trialist but maybe you’re not only ?

MM : I’ve won a few road races. The biggest one was UCI 1.2 Skive Løbet last year in Denmark. I’m more of a diesel engine, so I need races to be hard all the way for everyone to have a shot at winning. In flat Denmark it’s not often that hard to sit on the wheels.

CT : Yes of course it’s not easy… I guess you’re training all the year to become so strong. Can you describe your training and the difficulties you can have ? (only if you have ones of course)

MM : I’m training almost year round. My training mainly consist of rides at medium/endurance pace. Often two rides a day, one before and one after work at 1-2 hours each. Difficulty will mostly be during the winter time when motivation can be low in the cold and dark. Luckily I have been most spared from injuries so far.

CT : And it’s a very good thing to never get injured. You talked about work. Can you tell me a little about what kind of work it is ?

MM : I’m working as an engineer in a medical start-up company called Fluisense north of Copenhagen. We are developing a wearable automatic blood sampling device for hospital use. I’ve been working there since 2011 helping developing and designing the device and am currently most occupied with quality testing and assurance of the production we are setting up.

CT : I didn’t know you were so qualified in your studies ! The proof that a rider isn’t only a rider… I think I’m going to end with it : what kind of tips can you give to riders that want to improve their level ?

MM : Yes, and it’s probably healthy to have something besides cycling. That would probably be something as simple as keep on doing what you love (an old coach once said I didn’t need to improve my TT anymore, but I didn’t listen) and don’t be afraid to change things up a bit if you stop improving – but still remember things take time, you don’t become the world’s best in a month

CT : Ok that’s a precious word here from one of the best Danish riders… I’m so grateful for this nice moment and I won’t take your time longer. Thank you so much and maybe you’ll see your face on a post in the upcoming weeks. I wish you the best for next year and I’ll pay a particular attention to your results…

MM : Thank you and no problem. Looking forward to that post…

CT : Have a good rest and again thank you for all !

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