An Under23 world title and an elite world bronze, in Imola in 2020. These two results are enough to announce Marc Hirschi, a Swiss from Bern, also the home city to another great red-crossed cyclist, Fabian Cancellara – who is Hirschi’s agent. From this year the 23-year-old has been running in the ranks of Team UAE Emirates, following an important previous season which included a stage win at the Tour de France and a victory at the La Flèche Wallonne – the classic with the “Muur de Huy” finish – as the icing on the cake. An attacking rider by nature, he will be a key player in one-day races.
How did you enjoy “your” day in Innsbruck at the Worlds? Can you explain your impressions of how the race went?
“We went into that race as one of the strongest teams, so the mentality from the start was to go for a medal or even the victory. We were confident and we were active throughout the whole race. Everything just went perfectly on the day. We were attacking the whole time and really animated the race. I made my move at the right time and it paid off”.
Your victory is the result of the excellent performance of the whole Swiss team. In general, in your opinion, what are the three secrets of sporting success?
“Obviously each sport requires different attributes but for sure there are things that are common to all sports. I would say hard work, passion and discipline are three important attributes to be successful in sport”.
What does a professional cyclist’s training look like? Can you give us an example of your typical training week, such as preparing for the spring competitions you are doing now?
“It varies a bit, but typically in pre-season we train between 20-25 hours per week. Sometimes more, sometimes less. At the camp in UAE recently we focused on volume so we were out for 4-5 hours most days. We also did some core stability work in the mornings before riding which is important to stay strong and flexible. We usually only take one day a week off the bike, where we take a full rest”.
A professional cyclist must know how to eat. Are you strict in your diet or do you allow yourself some distraction?
“In the team we have a nutritionist who tracks our eating habits and recommends what we eat and in what quantity based on our weight, training, etc. That helps us stay focused and stay on track. Of course I allow myself the odd treat, that’s important too”.
Two tips that you would give to an amateur cyclist (who like to do a lot of training…)
“It’s a cliche, but to keep enjoying cycling and the moments it gives you really is the most important thing. Another would be to listen to your body in training know when to back off and take a rest. It’s also important”.
Do you like the Colnago V3rs?
“I really like it. It’s a nice mix between classic and modern. It’s a versatile bike that goes well on all terrains. I can’t wait to get racing on it”.
And 2021’s big goals?
“I have many: the Ardennes Classics are somewhere I can do well I think, as I have in the past. Then to do a good Tour de France and then also the Olympics and World Championships. My first goal was to settle into the new team, and thanks to the warm welcome I received I feel I’ve achieved that one”.