Jakob Fuglsang has said he wasted eight years of career by not eating enough.
The Astana rider has compared his own career to that of cycling’s rising stars like Tadej Pogačar and Remco Evenepoel, who are winning at the highest level after just a few short years in the peloton.
Fuglsang, 36, said he feels he would have performed better sooner if he was starting out his career now, but raised questions about how long these young superstars can sustain their current levels of success.
In an extensive interview with Belgian newspaper Het Nieuwsblad, Fuglsang said: “Young riders are better guided than when I was a neo pro.
“When I debuted, you had to earn a wind tunnel test. Only the best riders of the team were given a chance to do so. Every team also employs an army of dieticians. I had to learn that myself, through trial and error. ”
He added: “I wasted eight years of my career eating too little. Nobody pointed this out to me, because that was something you as a rider had to discover for yourself. When a young rider eats too little for one day, that is corrected immediately. ”
Fuglsang’s career has blossomed in the last three years, with the Dane winning two Monuments (Liège-Bastogne-Liège in 2019 and Il Lombardia in 2020), and his first Grand Tour stage in the 2019 Vuelta a España.
When asked if he would preferred to have started his career 15 years later, putting him in the same generation as the likes of Tour de France winner Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates), Fuglsang said no: “I am convinced that with today’s guidance I would have performed better much earlier. Although I sometimes have my doubts about the current approach. Training hardcore in December to be there immediately on the first day of racing … I’m curious where those young guys will be in ten years’ time. ”
On plans for his retirement, Fuglsang said he would like to race until at least the next Olympic Games, Paris in 2024.