For this week's insight into the Canyon DHB p/b Bloor Homes training camp & 2019 preparations, we stole some time from one of Tim's new signings, and one of two new Belgian riders bolstering the ranks this season. Whilst Stijn De Bock is pretty handy on a bike, he's actually more famous for being Stijn De Bock. As an Elite (without contract) Belgian National Road Race champion, and a palmares that has seen him put many a World Tour rider away in sprints, we're keen to see what this man will bring to the team for the year ahead...
Name. Stijn De Bock
Ice Breaker! Describe yourself in 3 words. Characterful, friendly cyclist
What’s your secret hobby/passion away from the bike?
Cinema, visiting coffee bars
How did you get into riding?
My father used to race the bike in the late 60's, he loves cycling, starting to watch it on the TV. Obviously Tom Boonen helped me in 2005 (World Cha;pion Madrid) to make me start cycling.
What is your earliest cycling memory?
Not a nice one. My first race ever as a 13 year old boy in Eke (Belgium). Got laped for a few times by bigger guy's in that time.
First bike & favourite bike?
My first bike ever was a Scott CR1 Titanium frame with a carbon fork. Favourite bike is for sure the teambike we have with Canyon DHB Bloorhomes, Canyon Abroad CF SLX (in blue) looks so good and hot!
Sprint or breakaway?
Ending up in a breakaway and win in the sprint 😄
What have the past few years been like leading up to signing with the team? What have been your big achievements?
I'm a really aggressive rider, attacking is my strength and finish it of in a sprint is my best weapon. That's why i don't win the most races, but if I win a race i've not got it for free. As a kermesse rider I was able to win a race every year and be consistent in results. Last 2 years with Conti Team Cibel-Cebon I was able to make a bigger step. In my first year I won some interclubs and a pro kermesse (home race) and topped it of with the national champs for elites without contract (kermesse + conti) what is well rated in Belgium. Last year I was in good shape and won a pro kermesse against WT Sep Vanmarcke in the sprint. But broke my collarbone a week after that and never came on the same level again. A rider of the Canyon Eisberg team told me that Tim (DS) was willing to have a Belgian rider in the team. I've contacted Tim and in August I signed for the team as a pro cyclist.
What’s the story with you and Greg Van Avermaet? We’ve seen a few pics of you guys riding together.
My best friend is the cousin of Greg. That's how I had my first contact with GVA. We live close to each other and when I got older we could train together each other. Last couple of years we have a famous training group in Belgium 'De Parelvissers' and we train everyday together. So we're close as friends aswell.
Obviously, you lads are out in Calpe at the moment, so let’s dig into that. How are you settling into the team now you’ve got some riding done?
The new team is absolutely a blast for me in the positive way. Never worked with that sort of professionalism. Tim is really in to racing with the new team in 2019 and he is motivating everyone with him! I like the guy's, i've no problem with the language. I probably speak better English then some guy's in the team... (joke) 😄Love to be in cape with the guys!
Who’s been putting the hammer down & making everyone else hurt?
Well I bet that everyone is putting the hammer down. I can't say who is the strongest, but I'm curious about Max Stedman and Tom Stewart.
Approximately how many times on each ride does Paton crack a terrible dad joke?
Not to long here to say something about that actually 😄
Which events are you most excited about racing or attending this year? Anything out of the ordinary?
I'll love to do big races in Belgium with the guy's and give them some guide lines. In stead of the big one day races in Belgium I'm curious what we can do in foreign stage races. We have a mixed team with mixed type of riders, we can win everywhere! The most epic race in Belgium is the 1.1 Antwerp Port Classic, if we're doing that race...
We always like to end with a good crash story – what’s your worst and how much stuff did you break?!
My worst crash was as a junior, I was riding across the front group with my head down. Didn't saw a plastic pone on the road and I hit it like with 55k/h. In the pone was a metal bar. My ribs were bruised and my helmet was in the middle, ALU race bike was folded together...