In the following interview we try to get to know "Francis" a little more.
He met the brand as a client more than 15 years ago and today he is one of the Roger Sport family.
Tell us about yourself. Where are you from? What's your job?
I am 52 years old and I work in a die shop in Zamudio. I live in Durango (Vizcaya) and what started as a sport to lose weight and stay in shape, has become my great hobby and escape valve for difficult times.
How do you combine work and sport?
At the present time and unfortunately being in ERTE, you have a lot of time and what you have left over is time for it.
In normal situations it is more complicated, but I always look for that moment. What's more, I've been going to work by bike for several years, leaving at 6 in the morning to cover 32 kilometers there and 32 kilometers back, reaching more than 5,000 kilometers a year going exclusively to work.
The key to looking for the moment is to always be ready and enjoy what you do, so it is not so difficult for you to go out at odd hours.
How many hours/week do you dedicate to sport?
I dedicate what I can and he leaves me day by day. In general, if we are not preparing a specific test, a minimum of 12 hours a week divided between 4 and 7 days a week.
What was your first test?
I imagine it would be the climb to Belatxikita, a local event in Amorebieta, organized by Extrem Zornotza.
Doing this test of 9 km uphill was "my challenge". Now I will do about 30 tests a year and no more because the economy does not allow it.
These are the tests in which I have managed to do Podium since 2013:
- Mame Marathon September 2013 — 3rd Master 40
- II march mtb Alesanco (La Rioja) August 2014. — 1st
- Mountain biking Picón Blanco (Burgos) — 1st Master 40
- III march mtb Alesanco (La Rioja) July 2015. — 1st
- IV march mtb Alesanco (La Rioja) July 2016. — 2nd
- Iñakiren bideak complete. September 4 and 5, 2018.
- Tierra Estella Epic (Navarra) October 6, 2018. — 3rd Master 50
- II March Ribadesella (Asturias) March 17, 2019. — 3rd Team.
- Badaia Bike marathon (Álava) 14 April 2019 — 2nd Master 50
- Gernikako btt Jaia (Bizkaia) May 12, 2019 — 2nd.
What test has been the hardest? Why?.
I think the 10,000 of Soplao de Btt (2012). Due to the weather there were many dropouts, I think that out of about 6,000 cyclists we finished about 1,000. On the other hand, something similar happened in 2019 and I also managed to finish.
Another one that seemed very hard to me and I was very scared was the Dolorosa in Huesca, I will never forget going alone in the mountains raining seas, thunder and lightning falling near you. Indescribable.
One of extreme cold is the Helios Challenge. It is a test that is usually done the last week of January and consists of a 125 km line stage from Belorado to Lerma and with a temperature of -10 degrees.
Although it is not a test as such, the queen in my opinion is the Iñakiren bideak.
Every year on the first weekend a lot of cyclists get together and go around Euskadi on mountain bike remembering the late Iñaki Lejarreta and out of respect for cyclists on the road. There are 9 non-stop relays where there is a guide who wears a bracelet and sets a pace to reach all the relays on time where cyclists stay and others join. It is a test that begins on Saturday at 4 in the morning in the town of Berriz doing about 428 km in 38 hours, stopping at most 15 minutes in each relay. I remember that it occurred to me that I could try to do all the relays and manage to go to the rhythms of the others and in 2018 I succeeded. What I lived with that experience was incredible, the camaraderie, the people I met, how they sheltered me and a faithful squire "Zunbeltz" who I had next to me the second night so that I would not fall asleep, see the sunset, sunrise by the sea, everything that gave me strength. In addition to all that, I think "Iñaki" pushed me at some point. By the way, it is worth mentioning that it is a test that no one has yet managed to complete non stop.
What mental tool do you use for critical moments?
It is difficult to explain. This capacity for suffering that the cyclist has is achieved through daily sacrifice, so when the moment of fatigue arrives, it is "blank mind" you move up a gear and put yourself in "saving" mode, if the test is very long you may recover and if you don't finish it is your victory.
Do you have or have you had an injury due to sports?
Broken clavicle due to fall on the road.
2 major mountain bike drops. In the most serious one I hit my face against a stone, I had a skull fracture, a broken finger and bruised on all sides.
The helmet has saved my life several times. I always say the same thing, when you fall the "second" blow hits you on the head, if it's not the first. Always keep your head protected.
Let's talk about food. Do you follow any diet during the preparations? Out of them?
Food, my Achilles heel, I do not usually follow any diet, every year I say that I am going to follow a specific diet to ride well, but in the end I never do it, I do not deprive myself of anything, as I am not in pure competition and hard I do not do it, I think that some year I will try it.
Why cycling and not another sport? What attracted you to cycling?
I already know that it is a very sacrificed sport, that's why I like it more, I think I have a lot of capacity to suffer and the years give you more experience for it. On the other hand, those hours you spend training alone give you time to think about your things, your problems. I have solved many like this.
And when you go with more people there are many hours of fellowship, talk, coffees, etc. In addition to meeting places, new people, I think you make friends that are forever.
Do you like the RRSS?
Why deny it, smallpox old age, more and more, being informed, meeting people and making yourself known I think is good and more those of us who are of an age that we can always teach some "trick" to the newer ones.
How would you define yourself?
Well, I would define myself as a bike lover. I remember my beginnings when I did 20 kilometers and entered home as the winner of the tour and now I can do 200 without giving it any importance. Although I still have the same desire to improve and enjoy the bike, the environment and friends as the first day. Of course, if we put on a number we transform.
How do you see yourself in the following months/years?
Right now we would all be nervous in full preparation for the season, always attentive to sign up for marches, races and not stay out of them. But with covid, this "bug" has us all discouraged.
We hope that little by little we will see the light and return to normal, although it does not prevent us from continuing to try new materials and improving day by day. In the end I think it's what I do best.
What sports goals do you have in the medium term (6-18 months)? And in the long term?
If I could I would like to put myself to the test and try to do some non stop test. For the rest, I will continue doing tests in the northern zone as I always do, every year we try something new, but at the moment it is complicated.
If you had to give a single advice to anyone who has been cycling for a short time. What would?
The key is to enjoy.
My advice is to start by setting goals that you can achieve, not to start the house from the roof but little by little, because as you improve and improve yourself, you will raise the bar. Be patient that everything comes
You will see how you discover a new world, but be careful because when you enter this loop it is difficult to get out.