Interview with Vlad Dascalu: "This year I prefer not to think about positions"

Migue A. - 2020-02-18 17:41:00 - Mountain bike

A few days before the start of the season, we had the opportunity to talk to Vlad Dascalu, the current U-23 world champion. In 2020 he will make his debut as an elite cyclist and his participation is one of the most exciting after all his victories in 2019.

©Michele Mondini

Interview with Vlad Dascalu before his first season as an elite cyclist

Last year we were able to talk to you during your preparation at altitude in Sierra Nevada (Spain) and it looks like you did well. You won the European Championship, World Championship and World Cup. After a season like this in which you won everything, now you arrive at the elite category by the big door, within the absolute Top 10. What do you expect in your first elite year within the World Cup? Do you have any goals in terms of positions?

This year I sincerely prefer not to set big goals or think about positions. It is a year with many changes including the jump to the queen category where the level of riders is very high. I am working very hard to be at my best level in the most important events of this season and I am looking forward to debut in the World Cup with the Trek-Pirelli. But above all this year is going to be one of learning and enjoying the process and new challenges.

In the elite category you will also have to compete in the Short Track on Fridays. What do you think about this kind of short races before the World Cup? Have you changed your preparation thinking about this?

The Short Track seen from the outside is a very spectacular competition but I have not yet had the opportunity to experience it from the inside. I think it's a format that suits me quite well and I'm looking forward to competing in my first Short Track. Although it is held on Fridays, it limits the training days within the cross country circuit and the preparation is no longer focused only on the XCO race. 

Regarding to my preparation it's still very similar to last year's but we are taking into account the short track, which is one more lap among other things... but the schedule is so tight that really determines the whole process.

©Michele Mondini

You have a guaranteed place after winning the World Cup for the Olympic Games. Have you noticed that this has changed something in the cycling scene in your country? Are they more interested in mountain biking now that they have you as a reference?

There has been a very big change in the last few years in the direction of the Romanian Cycling Federation. Today we receive much more support from the federation and from my point of view this will continue to grow. 

Also the number of fans is increasing and the cross country has more repercussions in the media.

This year you are competing with a new team, Trek Pirelli, they are specialist in XCM and who have bet big on the XCO with your signing. How have they received you? How do you evaluate this new project?

The reception in the team has been excellent. After 3 weeks of concentration in Calpe with the other six team members and some of the assistants, I was able to get to know my new teammates better and I really liked the very familiar atmosphere within the team.

I think it's a project with a lot of future. The team is directed by Marco Trentin and in the cross country section we are going to count on the help of Massimo Ghirotto, who is going to give us his great experience as team manager.

©Michele Mondini

And about the new material, what can you tell us about the Trek Supercaliber? Will it be your main bike or will you often combine it with the Trek Top Fuel?

The Trek Supercaliber is a bike that I have loved since the first day I tried it. The Isospeed system makes it a very rigid bike to ride up and at the same time comfortable and manageable on the downhills.

I will be using the Supercaliber for most of this year's competitions as it is a bike that is perfectly suited to cross-country riding.

How have you planned this year? Are there any races that will mark a peak in your preparation? What is your big goal for the year?

My main goal this season is the Tokyo Olympics. Although it will be my first Olympics and the main objective is to learn and enjoy this experience. Along with my coach Paulo De la Fuente we will try to arrive in my best shape for this event. But the season is long and there are also other important events such as the World Championship, European Championships and World Cups.

For us, you will always be the favourite in every race you take part in, so we hope that this year you will do even better than last year, and although it may seem difficult, we already know that you are capable of achieving goals that are impossible for many.

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