Sports Directors & Trainers
Biography of Koen
Koen Pelgrim is one of the trainers of Deceuninck – Quick-Step, coordinating the training, testing, and performance analysis of the team. An important resource, he is involved in exercise physiology and sports nutrition as it pertains to improving cycling performance.
“I did my thesis in Leuven with Professor Peter Hespel, and when I finished my Master I started working in the field”, Koen said. “I worked at first with young riders, to test them, develop their talents, and advise them. In the meantime, I got to know the team of Deceuninck – Quick-Step when they needed performance testing for the riders. Then, when they were in search of a trainer, they asked me to join and saying yes was a no-brainer.”
Koen’s interest in cycling began when he was a rider himself, from 15 until the age of 23: “When I was riding, I was always interested in training, and how to improve, and the science behind this. Then I found out you can study something like that through Human Movement Sciences. I was also really interested in exercise physiology. All these things just came together in an interesting way. Today with power meters there is so much data. You can analyse things more and more. Before, all you had was speed, then they had heart rate. Now the data of performance is all there. You can see the way time trialists pace themselves, and compare performances of climbers based on things like body weight, and that’s just a couple examples. For my part, I try to prepare the riders for the races and help them improve. If you see them improve it’s really satisfying. Even something like young riders exceeding expectations. You can see the big steps they are doing and that’s just great.”