Hot Seat: Interview with Astana Pro Michael Valgren – Part 2

Join us as we sit down with the riders, trainers and more behind some of cycling’s greatest teams. Astana pro cyclist Michael Valgren talks about his favorite devices and training secrets in this interview. Missed the first interview? Catch up on it here.

Vuelta al Pais Vasco 2017 – 6th stage Eibar – Eibar 27 km – 08/04/2017 – Michael Valgren (DEN – Astana Pro Team) – photo Luis Angel Gomez/BettiniPhoto©2017

What is the best advice coaches or trainers have given you throughout your career?

“In cycling is all about suffer. So, suffer, suffer and suffer and you will succeed” and “You have to believe in yourself and your forces” – I was told by my brother-in-law for many times. He is my mental coach. 

What inspires you when you’re competing?

Winning. I want to win, what is the reason I am racing. That feeling you go on the line is unbelievable. For me, when I win, I always try to win spectacular. I am never just sitting on the wheel or whatever, I always try to do it spectacular. And this motivates me. It is impossible to explain this feeling of win, it is different for every rider, but this inspires me the most.

What’s your favorite Connect IQ app?

 I use Training Peaks.

What do you have to have with you or what gear do you use while you train?

In the training I have a standard gear and I don’t change it, but that’s normal, I think.

What do you have to have with you/what gear do you use while you compete?

Of course, it depends of many things and first of all of the type of the race, so it is impossible to say exactly, what gear I am using. 

What steps do you take to ensure safety while riding? 

Of course, I always wear a helmet and just follow the rules. Also, in training I don’t take any risk on the descent. Ok, when you are in the race and the traffic is closed, you can go full gas on the descent. But on training when you are using the roads with open traffic I never risk on the downhills.

How has technology changed your cycling – racing or training?

Now, all these stats changed the training and even races a lot. With the watts you can see how hard you are pushing. When I was young, we were based on the speed, now it is more about the watts. I like it but sometimes I hate it because in some moments I’d like to ride just basing on the feelings. But now, the powe rmeter helps a lot, this is a very good instrument, it helps to see your limits and control your efforts. It changed cycling and it changed me, because for now without power meter I would loose some data on my training peaks, the information about my trainings, if I tired or in a good shape… so now I am addicted to it…

How do you manage your weight and how important is it to monitor?

I am using the Garmin scales to see if I am good or bad. In the races we have a doctor who always is checking our fat percent. Sometimes I am too serious to this matter, but anyway, now I am using the scales and monitor my condition with the doctor on the races.

Photos by Bettiniphoto.