Pascal Eenkhoorn: Dreaming of turning pro and winning “La Doyenne”
He’s just 18-year-old, but has already established himself as one of the most talented and versatile Junior riders in the peloton, as he can time trial, tame the cobbles, ride over the short hills and get solid results in stage races. In the past 12 months, Pascal Eenkhoorn took many impressive victories, including the Bernaudeau, an event in which the likes of Bryan Coquard, Florian Senechal or Romain Sicard have shined in the past.
Coming from the Netherlands and having a love for his métier equaled only by his ambition of succeeding, Pascal Eenkhoorn hopes to continue building an impressive palmares in the years to come on the U23 scene, in order to secure a World Tour contract at some point. More on this you can find out from the following interview he gave to Cafe Roubaix this week, while preparing for the big goals he has for the second half of the year.
– Pascal, how did you begin cycling?
When I was younger I did speed skating and ice skating, and with time I started to cycle as part of my training for skating. But I loved cycling more and that’s why I’m riding my bike right now.
– Did you have an idol back then?
My first idol was Alexandre Vinokourov, but I also like Frank Vandenbroucke, because I just love his racing philosophy and the way he always found a way to respond to the media.
– After scoring some very impressive results in cyclo-cross, you decided to switch to road cycling. How come?
I didn’t like cyclo-cross anymore and it was really hard to do road and cyclo-cross full time. On the other hand, thanks to it, I became better in handling my bike, and for that reason I see it as an advantage over other riders.
– Speaking of this, what would you say that are your strong points at the moment?
I’m strong on small hills, but I would love to improve myself in every single matter. Right now I’m just a junior and I don’t know what are my limits for the future.
– Of the victories you scored so far on the road, which meant the most for you and why?
Bernaudeau Juniors (ed. – which he won in March), because it was my strongest and longest race ever. I also had many second places during this season, but I don’t have any regrets, considering that in every race I got beaten by a better rider that moment. Just look at the ITT Nationals: I was really prepared, I rode a good race, but there was a faster cyclist and he won.
– You’re a rider who has a very clear picture of himself. Did you give a thought about when you’d like to turn pro?
Hopefully after three years in the U23 ranks I’ll make that step, but it depends on how much I can improve, of course. I know I have to be very strong to get a pro contract.
– What type of races do you want to focus on?
I want to target one-day races like Liège–Bastogne–Liège and short stage races. Actually, “La Doyenne” and the World Championships will be my biggest goals after becoming a pro.
– And how about these last months of the season?
After getting some rest, I’ll turn my attention towards Niedersachsen Rundfahrt and the Tour of Flanders, but my biggest goal will be the World Championships in Richmond, as I’ll try to end my season on a high note, as I began it.