Now that you’ve signed your first pro contract, let me share some of my thoughts and some of my experiences with you. Maybe I can help you a little bit. I won’t get too much on your nerves, I know you are busy with training, learning French vocabulary and racing.
My first and most important advice – have more confidence! You are much better than you think, you just don’t know it yet. Don’t always go with the early attacks, save it for the big attack with the bigger riders, you can go with them.
Keep your work ethic: in cycling it’s pretty clear – the one who trains most has most success.
It will not be a pleasure cruise, you will go through some mentally and physically straining times – don’t let yourself get pulled down by bad periods.
Remember you have a family, balance it fair, don’t get too much of a tunnel vision, there is more in life than only cycling.
Maybe don’t be lazy and learn the Spanish language, it’s always good to speak different languages.
Keep up with modern technology – it’s a whole new interesting world. Really important: treat all the fans fair and with respect, it’s them who make our sport great. Respect all the other riders, because in this sport every rider works hard and just wants to make a living.
If you can, you might invent Geocaching, or start earlier with Geocaching, it’s a fun hobby. And when you go fishing – damn, just catch something!
But hey, my young Jens, stay simply as you are. You will be fine, I know it because I am the older you!
Your friend, the older Jens!
You can find more Letters of Note from old and experienced professional cyclists to their younger selves in issue 50 of Rouleur, out now.