Jason Osborne: “Winning is a spirit in Deceuninck – Quick-Step and they know how to achieve that”

Jason Osborne: “Winning is a spirit in Deceuninck – Quick-Step and they know how to achieve that”

Wednesday 08 September 2021 - 19:11

One of the best rowers in the world, the 27-year-old German started his cycling career this week as a stagiaire for the Wolfpack.

“My first race as a stagiaire in Gullegem went really well. I was in the break and Pieter told me I could attack, maybe I could have but then I think I couldn’t have held on for that long. In the beginning my turns were a bit too long, so I probably lost too much energy there. I was excited, really nervous. Usually, I know the feeling of competition, but this is basically something new.”

“I think it’s good to have that feeling of nervosity. The whole race I got amazing support from my teammates. They told me where I could save energy, that I didn’t have to do my turns too long, and the, when I was struggling a bit near the end, Iljo and Stijn came to the front and did some tempo work, and I could stay in their wheel. They asked me how I felt and they looked after me. They were so strong and kept riding in the front the whole time.”

Teamwork

“When I was riding in the bunch, at first I had to calm myself and really keep my focus, as you’re really close to other riders. But then when the peloton stretched out, it was alright again. Of course, you always have to be focused. For Izegem Koers on Thursday I’ll try to save more energy and to take more care of my nutrition, to take a bit more gels. For sure we’ll try to ride in the front again. Maybe I can go with a small group again, we’ll see.”

As a rower, Jason already spent a lot of time on his bike, which helped him feel more at ease in his first outing with Deceuninck – Quick-Step: “We have 20-30 hours of training per week, and two thirds of that are basically cycling. Also teamwork is the same in rowing. You need your partner to achieve the most and that’s the same as in cycling, where you help your teammates and vice versa.”

The story of Jason is special, as he just took a silver medal at the Olympics as a rower and is now choosing a different direction in his life: “There were two reasons. Actually, they wanted to take out our discipline, the lightweight sculls, from the Olympics. Then I thought to myself I want to take a chance in cycling, as with this decision it would mean the sponsoring of the federation would fall away. I’ve always loved cycling and always thought to try out the transition at some point. Then they decided in 2024 in Paris the discipline will have its last appearance at the Olympics. I also think I took most out of this sport.”

Having the silver Olympic medal and winning the World Championships are some major achievements that Jason will always cherish: “The Olympic medal in rowing is the highest possible. I heard in cycling it’s different, that winning a classic as Paris-Roubaix could mean more to some riders than taking an Olympic medal.”

Next goal: gaining more experience

In addition to that, Osborne proved his strong engine once again by becoming World Champion in the UCI Cycling Esports event: “That was actually a spontaneous decision. The German Cycling Federation asked me if I wanted to be part of the team for the Esports Worlds, as they knew I was strong because I had already won some races on the online platform. The only problem was that it was in the middle of my rowing training camp in Portugal so I had to work my training around that.”

Jason didn’t really prepare for this event, but he still won against strong professional riders, including Tom Pidcock and Rigoberto Uran. Now his plan is to develop in the best way possible: “I want to make the most out of it and not look back. It means so much to me to be able to gain some more experience in the best team in the world, with great teammates. Winning is a spirit here and they know how to achieve that.”

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