LOUISVILLE, KENTUCKY – Fresh off a meet-and-greet in downtown Louisville, a relaxed Niels Albert sat down with Cyclocross Magazine to discuss his American debut and defending the World Champion’s jersey this Sunday. Albert has had an incredibly consistent season, rarely finishing off the podium and taking home the overall World Cup title.
“It’s been fun,” Albert said of his trip to the US thus far. “We’ve seen a lot of stuff. You have some nice training roads here.”
However, it isn’t the roads that Albert was most excited about. Wietse Bosmans was excited to show off his new Nikes from the outlet when we spoke last weekend in Cincinnati, and Albert was sporting a new pair as well. “I like shopping! Even when I’m at home and I have a little time, I like to go shopping.”
“For the moment, I’m feeling good, I have ten good days of training behind me,” Albert said. “I don’t have any sick or bad feelings … I think I made a big step forward last year.”
Tired from the night’s press events, Albert said, “I’m trying to give the best of myself, training hard, resting. That’s the only thing I need for success.”
And as for the American crowds he encountered in Cincinnati as compared to the ones he’s been used to in Belgium, “It’s totally different but I like it. The crowd is very happy to see all of the Belgian riders … You hear them when you pass, they yell and make lots of noise.”
But perhaps the most confusing for the two-time World Champion was the heckles he received. “It’s totally different, some guy yelled at me, ‘Stop riding so fast, you’re making the race boring.’ And I thought that it’s not my problem. But it’s nice!”
And as far as Worlds go, he’s feeling confident but not cocky: “I think I’m ready for Sunday but you must always watch out for the other guy, and see how the legs are the day of the race.”
Watch the full interview here:
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