Roughly 18 Questions – Tim Heemskerk

Welcome to the premier edition of “Roughly 18 Questions”! Here we will provide you with incite into what goes on with cyclists in as we profile Alberta Riders. For our first profile we have the Flyin’ Dutchman Tim Heemskerk. Tim is a very accomplished racer who’s resume includes a Trans Rockies win and an appearance at the 2002 World Championships for the Dutch National Team. So why can he tear off legs? Read to find out…

Name, Discipline, and Sponsors
Tim Heemskerk
Elite
United Cycle, Geax/Vittoria Italy, My wife.

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1. Age?
32 years young.

2. Where did you grow up, and where do you live now?
I grew up in The Netherlands, came to Canada 3.5 years ago.

3. Oilers or Flames?
Oilers since I am from Edmonton.

4. What is your job?
Fulltime Coach and manager of TTP, athletes in Canada and Holland for road- cross- MTB.

5. Best Result?
In 2007: Winning TransRockies Challenge w/ Roddi!
Coaching my athletes into medals @ championships, Like Cody to Junior national champion MTB; Yvo Kusters (NED) to a World Championship title and Ryan Hopping and Brian Robinson to a medal @ Nationals cross. Next to that winning 45 races in 3 years in Alberta in all road- cross- MTB. In Europe I finished 2nd once @ the Elite MTB championships of Belgium- Holland- Luxemburg.

6. Key to your past successes?
Key is a large portion of talent for riding/ racing your bike, but next to that it is all the Base Training in the Winter period, consistency (fitness comes over the years), dedication, proper planning and hard work and lots of suffering! I am a perfectionist so my equipment has to be mint as well, like a clean bike before the start. Also, the daily support of my wife Debby +proper recovery is important too

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7. What result are you most proud of?
-Finishing 5th @ Nationals MTB in Holland in 2002 and qualifying for ELITE World and European Championship as a member of the Dutch national Team with guys like olympic champion Bart Brentjens, Bas Peters and Maarten Tjallingi (Quick Step right now).
-September 2004 I won a big MTB race in Holland and the race was showed on National tv for like 8 min, that was awesome, it was my last race over there, so I left with a lot of pride!

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8. What’s in regular rotation on your iPod right now?
Linkin’ Park- Film Music Off Road to Athens- Tiesto.

9. Future goals in Cycling?
Raising the bar in Cross as a racer and organizer and keep bringing people together on my weekly TTP Training rides.

10. Best memory in cycling?
Traveling all over the World and seeing many beautifull places and different people- cultures and living life pretty simple.

11. High Socks or Low Socks?
Low for sure, hey I am still European!

12. What is your pre-race meal?
In the morning of: Bread or Toast w/ Nutella or Cheese (Nice fresh GOUDA), a few coffees and a banana or 2.

13. What do you think about while you race?
I am HEEMER, I am HEEMER,….no just kidding: I try not to think about anything, try to be in a flow but sometimes there’s this same song stuck in my mind everytime I pass this same section of the course….Try to remain positive, no negative thoughts, at least try.

14. Campy / Shimano / SRAM?
Shimano for Road and Sram for MTB.

15. Any pre-race rituals?
Yes, these are almost always the same like packing my stuff the same way, checking my bike the same way, wear certain lucky socks, etc. I can be pretty relaxed and loud hrs before a race but within the hr and as soon as I get on the bike for my warm up it is serious business. When I get form the days leading up to certain races I can become a little grumpy/ tense.

16. Any (other) passions or hobbies in your life?
Coaching is my passion and hobby, pretty nice it to be my job. I love to make and drink good coffees @ home and to enjoy them in a coffee shop like Da Capo

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17. Best bike you’ve ever owned?
I had a KLEIN QUANTUM PRO road bike during my first 2 season here in Canada and that bike was the best bike I have ever owned. Light, very stiff and fast and more importantly I won races on that sucka.

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18. What’s the best part about cycling in Alberta?
For MTB I would say the mostly good and dry weather and the awesome scenery in the Mountains. Gone are the super muddy races in Europe wearing out brake pads and chains in one single MTB race. Next to that it is the low stress and easy starts of the MTB races. No pushing or super aggressive starts in a field of 100+ riders.  Also riser bars and full suspension bikes!

More photos of Tim can be viewed [here].

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