Explore | Rubbing shoulders with giants

Season 11, Episode 8,   Feb 06, 2023, 06:33 PM

Explore is about cycling with a sense of adventure, journeying into the unknown and setting off for a challenge not knowing quite what lies ahead.

This episode is no exception, although it features a slightly different type of journey.

Lionel Birnie talks to American cyclo-cross rider Ben Frederick, who made the trip of a lifetime to Belgium over the Christmas and New Year period. It was his first visit to Europe and he was there to take part in the big festive cyclo-cross races where he rubbed shoulders with Mathieu van der Poel, Wout van Aert and Tom Pidcock.

There's nothing especially amazing about that, you might think. After all, Frederick, who is 32, has talent. He was eighth in the US nationals in December and had earned his place on the start grid.

But Frederick's sojourn to Flanders was the culmination of an extraordinary journey. A few years ago, an innocuous crash while training on the trails caused a serious concussion. He had to re-learn how to do simple tasks, such as making coffee, and how to read before he could even contemplate getting back on the bike. It was almost two years before he could race again.

He set himself a goal – to experience something most cyclists can only dream of. To line up with the stars of modern cycling, the giants of the sport, amid the feverish party atmosphere of a Flandrian Christmas.

The Cycling Podcast is supported by Supersapiens and Science in Sport.

The 11.01 Cappuccino
Our regular email newsletter is now on Substack. Subscribe here for frothy, full-fat updates to enjoy any time (as long as it’s after 11am).

Supersapiens is a continuous glucose monitoring system that helps you make the right fuelling choices. See supersapiens.com

Science in Sport
The Cycling Podcast has been supported since 2016 by Science In Sport. World leading experts in endurance nutrition. Go to scienceinsport.com to see the whole range.

The Cycling Podcast x MAAP collection is available now. Go to maap.cc to see the full MAAP range.

D Vine Cellars
To order The Cycling Podcast Highlights case, or any of the cases commemorating the 2022 Grand Tours visit dvinecellars.com

Friends of the Podcast
Sign up as a Friend of the Podcast at thecyclingpodcast.com to listen to more than 60 exclusive episodes.

The Cycling Podcast is on Strava

The Cycling Podcast was founded in 2013 by Richard Moore, Daniel Friebe and Lionel Birnie.