ASK TEAM NETAPP: "Climbers - who love to challenge every mountain"
Fans ask, Team NetApp answers: Today - Reto Hollenstein. Participating fans could win three vouchers from our co-sponsor Höhenbalance!
When should you attack on a mountain? When you start on the hill or at the end of the climb?
I assume that your question involves a summit finish. It always depends on how long and steep the hill is, and on the racing situation, of course. If you're a strong mountain rider and your legs are up for it, it's better to attack as early as possible. However, most riders wait till the end of the climb. I would usually prefer to wait, and try to go along with the rhythm of the others, because I'm really tall and heavy for a mountain rider.
Does it make sense for amateurs to switch to a 28 cassette? What ratio does Team NetApp use on the mountain?
It's hard to generalize; it depends if you're training or racing, and how steep the climbs are. A rear cassette ratio of 28 – in Switzerland we call it a baking tray – is only used on very steep mountains, such as last week at the Giro del Trentino. Otherwise we ride with a 25-27 ratio at the rear and a 39 at the front. The ratio is then adapted to the individual rider; if you ride better over the mountains you generally use slightly higher gears.
People are already calling me the mountain goat, even though I have not ridden too many races so far. Should I concentrate on mountain riding in training or rather on general racing, i.e. time trials and basics?
When you seriously commit yourself to professional cycling it is important to learn all about cycle racing from scratch. Above all, this means basic and technical training. But if you have a gift as a climber and the physical requirements to go with it, you should of course cultivate this talent and structure your training accordingly.
How much should I weight as mountain rider if I am 1.72 m tall?
Approximately 55 - 60 kilos
How fast is your pulse when you are riding up a really steep climb?
Between around 170 and 180, depending on how relaxed I am. The more races I have in my legs, the less my pulse rate increases. But it's different for everyone.
Of course all professionals keep an eye on their weight and try to eat healthily; the climbers more than the sprinters. But you also have to stay healthy and you should not starve, because then, just as you say, you have no energy left. I believe genetics play a major role in this. Some riders simply don't build up such big muscles and as a result they are also lighter.