Will Bjergfelt says he is determined to be the fittest he’s ever been in the run-up to the Tokyo Paralympic Games.
Bjergfelt is among the Great Britain Cycling Team competing at the final UCI Para-cycling Road World Cup of the season in Canada this week, ahead of the world championships, which take place in Emmen, the Netherlands, from September 12-15.
Sandwiched between the two events is a key date – August 25, which marks just a year to go until the Paralympic Games.
Ahead of the Canada round of the World Cup series, which begins on Thursday, Bjergfelt says:
“Last year at the Canada round I got third in the road race and won the time trial. I know I’m in better condition now than I was when I raced earlier in the series, so I’d like to be on the podium in both the time trial and the road race, which will signal that I’ve moved in the right direction going towards the world championships.”
Gradually moving in the right direction is the order of the day for Bjergfelt, who has made no secret of the fact that his primary target is to be in the best possible shape for next year’s Paralympics.
If selected, it will be a first Games for Bjergfelt, and he is leaving no stone unturned in his bid to be a serious contender for firstly selection, then medals in Japan.
“Every event now is very much part of the build-up to Tokyo. This entire year – the high level of racing I’ve been doing with my team, SwiftCarbon Pro Cycling, and getting myself a bit leaner – has all been about trying to become a stronger rider, so that next year I can hit the ground running like I never have before.
“I fully intend to be the fittest I have ever been in my life next year.”
Bjergfelt balances his racing – both for the Great Britain Cycling Team and SwiftCarbon Pro Cycling – with a full-time career with GKN Aerospace, and believes that the striking the right balance is crucial as the months to Tokyo continue to tick by.
“Both my team and my employer have been fantastic,” he says. “I’ll be taking a sabbatical next year, which will allow me to rest a bit better and train a bit more.
“I’ll hopefully be able to target races such as the Tour de Yorkshire and plenty of rounds of the HSBC UK | National Road Series again, and I’d like to get myself down to maybe a kilo lighter than I am now.
“Being able to rest and train more, and do some other things such as more core work will definitely go a long way to help me be a better athlete.”
The UCI Road World Cup in Baie-Comeau, Canada, gets under way on Thursday. The UCI Para-cycling Road World Championships in Emmen, the Netherlands, take place between September 12 and 15.