SEG Racing Academy, a cycling development team, and Tacx have been partners for years. Due to Covid-19 and many races being cancelled, the Academy was looking for new ways to scout talented U23 riders. Riders that could follow in the footsteps of Fabio Jakobsen and Cees Bol, for example. So together with Tacx they started the SEG Performance Challenge: a new way to find talent at home using their Tacx trainer and the Tacx Training App. The performance coaches of the SEG Racing Academy analyzed the results of this challenge and invited the most striking rider to their training camp. Please give a warm welcome to Mathijs Loman!
During a period of six weeks, the SEG Performance Challenge was up and running in the Tacx Training App from mid-June. Besides an educational section, the challenge featured three iconic climbs where competitors had to pace themselves up the Puig Major, the Galibier and the famous Alpe d’Huez. “We wanted a challenge where young talented riders could open the door towards a professional career in the WorldTour. In the same time we wanted to offer all competitors a chance to test themselves and, with the training advice from our experts, to develop in to a better cyclist,” Aike Visbeek, SEG Racing Academy Director, explained. For this challenge, the SEG Performance Staff and Cyclinglab offered a structured training plan, an informative podcast and blogposts about pacing and nutrition. All to help improving the climbing abilities of the participants during these six weeks.
Many talented U23 riders joined this challenge to get the chance to be invited to the SEG training camp. After deep analysis of the results and contact with the SEG management and Performance Staff, Mathijs Loman was the rider who was selected to join the training camp in the Netherlands. “The SEG Performance Challenge was a really nice opportunity to show myself. Since there have been no races for quite a while, it was nice to have some sort of goal. The climbs were pretty challenging – especially in June! Normally I ride quite a bit on my Tacx NEO Smart during the winter period and opening a window is then enough to keep it cool. Now it was totally different with higher temperatures, it was also an extra challenge to keep cool. The climbs were quite different from each other and gave a nice variety to each ride,” the 20-year old Dutch rider told.
During his days on training camp, Loman enjoyed different rides in the Limburg area and was part of the team’s environment. “The days at the training camp were a lot of fun, but also quite challenging. The weather and area were a real pleasure to ride in. Both days were pretty long and had some intervals, but I felt good and was able to comfortably follow the pace of the Academy. The thing that impressed me most about the riders of the Academy, was their drive and focus on their goals. Just from talking a couple of minutes to them, you could instantly notice they were very professional. Training in such an environment was really inspiring and motivating” Loman added.
“It was great that we could have a rider like Mathijs Loman joining the camp after completing the three stages of the SEG Performance Challenge. That shows the reach that we can have in partnering with Tacx. After analyzing the performances over the three stages together with our performance staff we decided to invite him over, and I think that overall, it was a great experience for us both,” Visbeek concluded. In the upcoming period the SEG Racing Academy will evaluate if Loman will be added to their roster.