WorldTeam Frederik Frison: “I am someone who keeps fighting back.”
Past season, Lotto Soudal rider Frederik Frison was haunted by bad luck. After a heavy crash at the Scheldeprijs, the 29-year-old Belgian awaited a two-month recovery. Frison, who finished his sixth season at Lotto Soudal, talks about a year which did not turn out like he expected.
“Unfortunately, it has become a season with a lot of downs, especially during the spring Classics. The start of the year went smoothly, but unfortunately, I couldn’t show my full potential during the Classics. To top it all off, I ended the spring season with a pelvis fracture, which took me a couple of months to get back. Of course, I would have liked to go to the Tour, but after such a serious injury, it’s not easy to immediately be back on a level to compete. La Vuelta was the next goal, but there I already had to go home after the second day of racing due to stomach flu. Every time, I had to fight back and find my level again. Just when the season was coming to an end, I was up there again. In Paris-Tours, luck was on my side for once, but then disaster struck as I punctured at 20 metres from the end of the final gravel section. Without bad luck, I would have been able to take a very nice result. That could have made up for the whole season of bad luck.”
It was not the first time Frison was unlucky. Despite all the misfortune, he stays motivated every time and fights for his return in the peloton. “Unfortunately, I’ve already had my share of bad luck during my career, but mentally I can always deal with it. Of course, every crash is one too many, but it’s in my nature to always fight back. During my rehabilitation, it helped me to set small goals and that way come back to my full strength.”
And there were some highlights as well. “If I had to choose one , I would go for Strade Bianche. I think I surprised myself there. Despite the tough course, I rode a strong race and was able to do my job perfectly. After that, the spring Classics were a bit less successful. But that strong performance was a small ‘up’. Paris-Tours also includes several gravel sections, so maybe there’s a future in gravel racing for me.”
“Meanwhile, I finished my sixth season with Lotto Soudal”, says Frison as one of the anciens of the team. “I have always felt at home during that period. It has really become a group of friends. Personally, I have also developed my skills a lot and that is something to be proud of. Many didn’t even expect me to get so far. Of course, there is always room for improvement and that is why we keep working hard, every year.”
The life as a domestique fits Frison, although he also cherishes his own ambitions. “Already early on in my career, I realised that I would not be a winner. Then you quickly roll into the function of domestique. Within that role as a helper, I’ve also gotten the respect of other riders. I’ve reached the point where I can assist our leaders in the final. And if I get the chance myself, I am also able stand my ground in the final. I am someone who always gives it one hundred percent for his teammates. Of course, the enormous appreciation of our leaders gives me a good feeling and that little bit extra motivation to go for it. Next year, I hope to obtain a top result in one of the spring Classics, with which I can surprise a lot of people.”
Images: Photo News.