Shifting Movement: Jacques Sauvagnargues
While most of us are experiencing disruption to our regular riding routines, elite athletes are facing great uncertainty around training, travel and racing, all potential threats to their livelihoods and ultimately to their identity as professional cyclists.
We are continuing our commitment to the art and performance of cycling by bringing you some stories directly from our MAAP athletes, on how they are training, staying motivated, staying connected and sharing advice on how they are adapting to the demands of training during social distancing restrictions.
Jacques Sauvagnargues is from Chipping Norton in the Cotswolds, UK and races with TRINITY RACING on the road, a leading U23 development team and a proven pathway to the pro peloton.
Having joined some of the MAAP crew recently for a photoshoot in Gran Canaria, an island off the coast of Morocco. Getting back to his home in Nice, France afterwards wasn’t exactly easy, so he’s taken the opportunity to head back to the UK.
What impact has the coronavirus had on you and your racing?
My main upcoming race goal was to get a podium result at a stage of the Baby Giro, but that is looking unlikely at this present time.
I have flown home to my family from my base in France. All my races are cancelled and I have to train alone, which I am not a fan of! I do not know what’s happening with racing so do not know what to set myself as a race goal, it’s an unfamiliar feeling.
How have you adapted to training under new social distancing regulations?
Currently, I am in the UK training solo, as we’re still able to get out for exercise. My training load has reduced and I am just riding for enjoyment for the time being. I am also doing a lot of running and core workouts at home to keep myself in shape, ready for when racing starts again.
My diet has changed due to racing being cancelled. It has become a lot more relaxed and so has my motivation. As there is nothing to work towards I find my self-training in a relaxed manner. I am still extremely motivated to stay in good shape. But for the foreseeable future, I won’t be turning myself inside and out during training.
To stay motivated I have been looking at past pictures of racing and when life was "normal" and looking back to the enjoyment those times brought me and putting that energy into my current day to day training.
How are you staying connected with teammates and friends during this time?
Something I normally get out on the road when finishing up a social ride is my coffee fix. But now I’m getting plenty of that at home. My mum has just made biscotti so that is working perfectly alongside my coffees.
I’ve been mainly staying connected with teammates and the cycling community through Instagram and soon to be on Zwift with the other Trinity Racing lads. We’re planning on a doing a few races against each other, as well as getting in our training sessions as a team. It’s a great way to keep everyone competitive and accountable.
To keeping my mind active and engaged I am currently clearing and organising things at home, as I haven’t been here for a while. So I’m using this time to sort my life out here really. I have also just got a tv in my room for the first time in my life so have been spending a lot more time in bed! Recovery is key.
The thing I miss most of all is racing for sure! I haven’t raced properly since August 2019, so as you can imagine I’m raring to go and sadly it’s all been put on halt! I miss the build-up to the race, the atmosphere within the team before and after the race. The whole thing I just miss.
Take us through your adapted week of training during COVID-19
My current training program is far from what it would be if we were in full race mode, so I’m currently keeping things simple.
I usually start the day off with a solid core session in the morning, then head out for a run to mix things up.
On the ride days, I alternate a morning ride of 2-3hrs and stretching cool-down with a core gym session in the afternoon. Maintaining strength is important, the fitness can be ramped up again when the next race is announced.