Thu 18 Jun 2020
Every rider has a different pathway into cycling. Along the way there’s often those special people that stand out, that have a big impact on the journey of following dreams. These are the ones that you can never forget for their selfless, caring and helpful ways. Those people are the #UnsungHeroes.
For Part 4 we chatted to 21-year-old neo-pro Barnábas Peák to find out who was an important figure in his journey to becoming a professional cyclist.
Can you name one person that had a large impact on helping you to start your career?
“The person that really helped me was Jean-Jaques Henry, who was my director/coach in 2018 at the UCI World Cycling Centre.”
What exactly did he do to help you?
“He taught me a lot related to bike handling, racing tactics like how to corner, how to feed during a race, how to handle tactical racing situations and generally with my mindset of becoming a professional. He would often make presentations on this stuff which was really helpful.”
Why was that so important to you in making you who you are today?
“He mentored me in a difficult period when I was away from home for long months in Switzerland. I was living in a small room with barely any internet having to ride six-kilometres for every meal. Jean-Jaques managed to keep me and teammates motivated and eager despite it sometimes being hard and with some setbacks.”
Do you think you would be as good as you are today without his help?
“I am sure that his impact on my career and life was crucial. He really helped me to keep a healthy and motivated mind and to become a stagiaire later that year in 2018 with Quickstep-Floors and then becoming a professional rider with Mitchelton-SCOTT.”
Does he still have an impact on your career today?
“I haven’t seen him for a long time now, but I often remember the lessons he taught me during races. I really hope he is proud.”
Do you think he realise how much he assisted you in building your career?
“He has mentored a lot of big riders including Bradley Wiggins, so I doubt he remembers every rider he has coached, but I hope he knows how much of an inpact he had on my pathway to become pro.”
What traits does he have that inspire you?
“He was always calm and collected, even when talking about topics that really upset me. He could also critique me in a way where I didn’t feel bad about myself.”
Has he been to any watch any of your professional races?
“I didn’t race a lot on television yet, but I know some of my success reached back to him and I hope he will see me plenty more times!”
Thanks Jean-Jaques Henry!