Meet Quinten Hermans
All photos courtesey of Balint Hamvas CyclePhotos.co.uk
Young Telenet Fidea Cycling Team is a force to be reckoned with in the cyclocross U23 men’s category. Often sweeping the podium in the Superprestige and BPost Bank Trophy series, the membership of this powerhouse team includes U23 European Cyclocross Champion, Quinten Hermans. The multi-talented 20-year-old Belgian rider is one to keep an eye on not only for ‘cross, but for World Cup Cross Country mountain bike racing as well.
Hermans is having his best season yet, including most recently a win at the BPost Bank Trophy race in Essen. We caught up with Quinten during his team camp in Spain as he prepared for the upcoming UCI Cyclocross World Championships.
How did you get started in cyclocross? Where there other disciplines within cycling that interested you before you started racing cyclocross?
My dad started sponsoring a team with his printing company 12 years ago when Bart Wellens became UCI Cyclocross World Champion in Monopoli. When I saw Bart win, that made me decide I wanted to become a cyclocross racer!
I started with cyclocross, so I was never really interested in other disciplines prior to racing cyclocross. But over the last two years I’ve tried to ride as many World Cup Mountain Bike Cross Country races I can without upsetting my cyclocross preparations. I really want to get selected to race the XCO Worlds in Nove Mesto for 2016.
What was it like to win the U23 European Cyclocross Championship? Was that your primary goal this season? Did you make any special preparations for that race?
It was unbelievable! I was working really hard for that race and when it paid off with a win I couldn't believe it. It wasn't my primary goal this season, but it was one of the goals I’ve set. I'm really working now to be my best for Worlds this year because it's only 15km from where I live. I’ve made some special preparations for the race. I trained a lot on a similar track in Huybergen and I'm mentally a lot stronger now with already winning a jersey.
You are having a great year. Why do you feel you’ve done so well?
I'm happy with the season so far, but it's also far from over. I'm not really the man who is in the best shape every weekend, but I have a couple of goals in the winter where I work really hard to be in the best shape. Sometimes I train so hard during the week that it affects my fitness for the weekend, but it's all to be in the best shape to achieve my primary goals.
What are your goals for the rest of the season?
My main goals are the National Championships and Cyclocross Worlds. The tracks there really suit me, so I'm working really hard with the team in Spain now to be at my best there.
Why did you choose to ride hydraulic disc brakes?
SRAM gave us the opportunity last April to ride hydraulic disc brakes in each category including the Pros, U23, and Women. As usual, cyclocrossers are really difficult with changes on the bike, but I saw Jeremy Powers riding them in Vegas and heard some really good things about them, so I told the team I wanted to ride them for the winter and I’m really happy about that decision. Now I can’t race without them. I'm riding so relaxed on the downhills now because of all the brake power and control.
Tell us about your 1x gearing setup. Do you change your gearing much depending on the course?
I’m really happy with the Force 1 groupset for cyclocross. It's a huge advantage to just have one chainring and have a great range of choices for cassettes. Personally, I always ride an 11-32. With the 32 I can quickly get up short climbs and with the 44 in the front, I'm fast enough with the 11 to ride the descents and have a good start and finish sprint when needed.
I always use the 11-32 cassette in back and the 44-tooth chainring in front. Some guys like to change often, but I'm happy with this range of gears and I don't like to change a lot on the bike just before a race. Although, I'm thinking of riding a 46 in front at the Cyclocross World Championships in Zolder, because of the higher speeds on that course, but that’s a decision for later this season.
We’ll be rooting for you.
Cheers!Quinten salutes the crowd as he wins the Essen round of the BPost Bank Trophy series.