WORDS: TATA MARTINS
MEDIA: BREAKAWAY DIGITAL
My family has always participated in sports, although we are not a cycling family, we are certainly a sporty family. At this moment, my dad loves to play golf, and my mum enjoys long walks at the weekends.
When I was young, I did a lot of different sports, however cycling slowly but surely became my first priority. I started cycling with my uncle who took me to a nice mountain bike park near our home, it’s a very nice place to ride and I think it was certainly my uncle who gave me the cycling bug.
My first race was a mountain bike event in Loulé, in the Algarve, and I was really nervous because everything was new for me. However, I ended the race so happy and satisfied that I still can ‘feel’ this moment today. I was addicted to ride and I never missed one single training session. Riding a mountain bike was just so much fun. The best feeling is when you feel satisfied with yourself and that’s why I ride my bike, to feel like this after every ride.
Although it was my uncle who gave me my first adventures on two wheels, as I became more serious my father became an important person in my career, he supported me so much, and that support continues to this day. I started to dream of becoming a professional when I progressed into the Junior category and started to take the things a bit more seriously, this was when I achieved some important results, both on the road and the track.
Former British champion, Brian Smith the Eurosport commentator, recommended I emailed Drops, he said that they were a good team. Then, I had a follow up chat with Bob and he told me they would monitor my performances at the Lotto Belgium Tour and I may be able to get a spot on the team for 2020.
Before last year’s Madrid Challenge, I prepared for the race not only physically, but also mentally as I prepared a printed CV for all the other teams. I knew it would be a great opportunity to show a bit more of me to the sports directors present, and that’s what I did. Fortunately, I did a really good ride on the last stage in Madrid that certainly gave me some extra points in my favour and secured my contract with Drops for 2020.
Being an Olympian was always my childhood dream and it was only a few months ago that I ‘realised’ that dream – a dream now on hold until next year. I’m ambitious for the future and hope to be a successful professional road and track cyclist for many years to come, proud to fly the flag in all the big races, and especially at future Olympics.
I think the hardest thing about cycling is staying at the highest level regardless of all the adversities we must overcome, to keep your mind “hungry” every day, and focused to go out training. It’s tough and you need a tough mindset. This is one of the hardest challenges in professional sport.
I’m super happy to have joined Drops, I’m sure that it was the right decision and I’m sure the future will bring a lot of great things, together for me and the team.
With Drops I have all the ingredients to make a wonderful recipe!