FREDERIK BACKELANDT: ON AND OFF THE BIKE AND THE FRIENDSHIP WITH ITALY
He is 36 years old from Belgium, and during the last edition of the World Press Cycling Championship in Roeselare he got gold in the time trial for the M1 category. We are talking about Frederik Backelandt, a Grinta journalist who lives a simple life, always giving his best. Because, he says, “what matters in life is that one always gives 100%.”
“Grinta” – Determination -, is a constant in the life of Frederik Backelandt. And not just because of his strong character, but also for the days spent going through the pages of “Grinta”, the magazine he works for, and the times spent pushing the pedals together with his “Grinta” and “Race” colleagues. A group of enthusiasts, with whom he competes and train in small amateur or GranFondo competitions. He is 36 years old and he is from Belgium, and his passion for the two wheels is the result of his admiration for Fausto Coppi, an athlete that has always excited him and whose posters covered the walls of his bedroom, together with other more recent cycling heroes, such as Frank Vandenbroucke, Jan Ullrich and Marco Pantani.
“My life is very busy,” he says, “but it gives me many satisfactions and victories. Like during the last edition of the World Press Cycling Championship in Roeselare or, a few years ago, in Gabicce Mare, where in the time trial I was able to beat all my cycling and pen colleagues.” He prefers time trials, as they are his strength. But his ultimate favourite competition is Tour Transalp, a race where one can really challenge himself and his team mates. He loves cycling uphill and getting tired, but paradoxically he says: “I hate to start training from scratch; it’s a long and strenuous process. But what I really hate is to train on windy days.”
Every year he cycles 10,000 km, sometimes together with professionals, on the saddles of his six faithful companions. His favourites? Diamante by Basso and Specialissima by Bianchi.
Frederik loves everything simple, from food to leisure time, which he spends reading – his favourite book is “Tour of Italy” by Dino Buzzati -, or having a good cup of coffee. The most important thing for him is to enjoy life, with honesty, discipline and dedication. And obviously to always give his best. Frederik puts his “heart” in everything he does. And he says so in the Italian way. Because Italy is a country that he loves and has visited many times, sometimes indeed during the World Press Cycling Championship, of which he has already attended seven editions. Basically, Frederik “goes full speed”, both on and off the bike.