Moreno Hofland: “I want to do the Spring Classics next year”
2013 was the first season of Moreno Hofland in the World Tour. The Dutch rider, a stage winner in the Tour de l’Avenir while riding for the Rabobank Continental Team, signed a contract with Belkin last year and got the chance to ride many important races. Despite the fact he didn’t got a win, Moreno Hofland showed his potential by finishing a couple of stages on the podium, in the Tour of Turkey, Danmark Rundt and the Tour of Alberta. Now, before a well-deserved break after a long and hard season, Moreno took some time to answer a couple of questions for Cafe Roubaix.
– Moreno, how did you start cycling?
My father was a rider (ed. Peter Hofland, second in the Amateurs National Championships and Ronde van Limburg) a long time ago, and after I started swimming, at the age of 14 I was getting bored, and my dad suggested cycling. I started training in a small team from my neighbourhood, I liked it, I loved it immediately, I got fast and that was it.
– When you were young, did you have a rider that you admired?
When I started, I liked Lance Armstrong, but afterwords we know what happened. I admired the way he trained and fought, that inspired me. This is what I liked about him.
– I know that in your first years as a rider you did some cyclo-cross. How much did that help you on the road?
It helped me with steering, speeding up on the hills and anticipating what’s happening in the peloton, if someone crashes. It was of good help.
– What are your main strengths?
First of all, sprinting, especially after a long and hard race. I climb well, but I have to do some improvements, especially because next season I want to race the Spring Classics. I hope to gain some experience and in the future get some good results there.
– What was the best moment of this season?
In the Tour of Turkey, where I was third in one stage. It was the first time I finished a race on the podium.
– And the toughest moment or the toughest race?
Without doubt, the Volta a Catalunya, a World Tour race in which I suffered a lot. There were climbs in all stages. I had a good start, sprinting for myself in the first day, when I finished in the top 20. Then I had to help Robert Wagner, I felt pretty good, but in the next stages, which had many hors catégorie climbs, I suffered. I finished one stage just in time, but I wasn’t fully recovered after that and had to abandon.
– You said that the Classics we’ll be your main focus for next year. Is there a Classics you would like to win the most?
A hard question, but if I had to choose I would say Milan-San Remo or Gent-Wevelgem. Both are races which can be won in a sprint from a small group. One thing is certain: for these races I have to be much stronger than I am now.
– Could we see you in a Grand Tour in 2014?
I didn’t speak with the team about this, I’ll do it next year, but I hope so, I would like to do the Vuelta, it would be nice.