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In the first and second part of our Lander interview, Lander took us through his first year as a professional. In the third and final part, he’ll talk about what really matters to him; drive, pride, passion and the importance of being...

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Photo: BMC Racing Team (Continuum Sports, LLC)

SEBASTIAN LANDER

RIDER PROFILE
|
NEWS
08.02.2014 @ 10:41 Posted by Tina Levin

Lander’s well supported by his team and says everyone looks out for each other and is largely generous giving good advice.  Lander himself has some practical advice for someone who is about to step onto the professional scene for the first time.

 

By @Tina Levin

 

”You’re not just a rider on a bike. You have to make life work out of the saddle as well. I would have gladly paid someone to help me with my move to Lucca. It would’ve saved me a lot of time, energy and frustration. Look into things properly before moving abroad. It may not sound like much of an advice, but you’ll be happy you did when the time comes.”

 

Another advice coming from Lander is to always allow yourself to keep growing.

 

”Don’t ever think you’re ’complete’ as a cyclist. Don’t ever think you know everything there is to know, that there’s nothing left for you to learn. You’ll stop listening to people around you trying to help and you’ll limit yourself. You’ll get stuck. As long as you’re not winning every single race, which you most likely never will, then there’s still a lot left to learn.”

 

Another set of wise words comes from BMC’s Performance Director, Allan Peiper, from the time when Lander attended his first training camp with the team. When Lander told him he wanted to focus a bit on getting better on the climbs, Peiper asked him what he was good at and, not surprisingly, Lander told him he did well in the sprints and on short steep climbs. Peiper’s words have stuck with him ever since.

 

”Sebastian, the stupid rider tries to become something he can never be. The smart rider fights for what he can be, sharpening the skills he already has.”

 

Being a man who takes great pride in what he does, Lander doesn’t have to stop and contemplate when asked what he admires about himself.

 

”My will to work. My discipline and my belief in myself which allows me to go my own way and dare to do what I believe is right for me.”

 

”I want to be remembered as a rider who never gave up.”

 

Being a very driven and disciplined person it doesn’t come as a surprise that he’s equally impressed by others possessing those qualities.

 

”It doesn’t matter if you’re fighting to sell a lamp you really want to get rid of or if you’re fighting to become the next president. As long as you have a drive and you don’t give up, I’ll admire the effort. A little 7-year-old girl can impress me just by sitting there painting a picture for her parents. The determination, the focus and the will to do it is amazing and impressive. That’s pure drive.”

 

Lander hasn’t always been as driven and disciplined as he is now and credits cycling with the change.

 

”I used to be that boy running around not really knowing what I was doing. Cycling gave me a drive and a will to fight hard for something. As long as I try my hardest to be what I want to be, I can die a happy man. I think I’m the kind of person you either love or hate. And that’s ok, as long as I’m remembered as someone who never gave up.”

 

Being a young talent, loved or hated, given a spot on a team of BMC’s calibre, there are a lot of people who form an opinion about Lander. We ask him what he thinks is the biggest misconception about him and he quickly answers,”That I’m not serious”.

 

”I like fast cars, I’m always up for some good fun, I enjoy a good party and I’m a bit ’out there’. I think a lot of people think they’ll find me at the local night club every Thursday, Friday and Saturday and they’ll be like ’How the hell can he be a professional rider?!’ Then there are other people who know me well enough to know that I do everything 110 % whether it’s training or partying, when the time is right, of course,” he adds. ”It’s important to me to not just be all about the bike. I enjoy being on my bike, I enjoy pushing myself, but everything else surrounding it doesn’t really do it for me. I’m not obsessed about knowing everything about every single race there is or about being surrounded by other cyclists all the time. I like stepping out of that world and spend time with my friends back at home who have got nothing to do with cycling. Hit up a bar, have a beer and talk about football. I like to relax, but I’m dead serious when I need to be.”

 

Lander describes those moments off the bike with a typical Danish expression; as a beautiful bright blue sky, but things quickly change into thunder and lightning as soon as he jumps into the saddle and the adrenalin starts pumping.

 

”I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been in a fight after crossing the finishing line. I’ve got a big and sometimes bad temper when I’m racing, but I would never even dream of getting into a fight when I’m off my bike. ”

 

Doing what you want honestly and putting in a 100 % effort is Lander’s definition of success. Being proud of whom you are and what you’ve accomplished, no matter what others think, is what matters. So, we end our interview by asking that one question that matters. Is Sebastian Lander proud of himself?

 

”Yes, I am. When I told my parents that I wouldn’t focus on my studies anymore, that I wanted to focus 100 % on cycling instead because I wanted to be a professional, they could’ve killed me. Whether I’ll be a great professional or not, only time will tell, but I knew I’d be a professional rider of some sort and here I am. Some days I hate being a cyclist just as much as I loved it the day before, but I’m always fighting to keep moving forward and to be better than I was yesterday, that’s what matters to me. I’m proud of what I’ve accomplished in 2013 and I can’t wait to kick off 2014!”

 

As we publish this last part of our Lander interview, he’s already kicked off season 2014 at Tour of Dubai with the BMC squad and we’ve had a little chat with him about his season start.

 

“It was really hard to kick it off with an individual time trial and I never really got in the flow of things, but after two days up in front, working hard for Phinney, I finally feel like I’ve got my engine running and I feel better and better every day.

It’s really nice to be racing again and I feel like all the hard work during this winter has paid off. I feel a lot stronger than I did last year and I’ve been beating some of my own watt records when sprinting, so it’s all very good at the moment. It feels great.

The team’s been working hard, doing a fantastic job during the winter and I think our results so far speak for themselves.

I’m already looking forward to our next race!”

 

Lander and the rest of the BMC squad will be going all in on the last stage of Tour of Dubai today, where they’ll be fighting for the overall win with Phinney in the leader’s jersey. 

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