Cyclingheroes: You are one of the founders of the Altipower team. How did the team start?
Thijs Poelstra: Together with Frank Kwanten I got the idea to start the team. We
thought it would be fun to ride some 'different' races. So we looked for a sponsor to make it possible. Before that
we already did a couple of races outside Europe. These experiences raised our enthusiasm.
Cyclingheroes: Altipower [or Global Cycling Team] is riding a lot of races outside Europe.
Is there a big difference between races in Europe and other continents?
Thijs Poelstra: Not really. The first rider who crosses the line is always the winner.
Of course the circumstances are different. The same goes for the mentality of the riders. For instance: In Africa they
sprint for every result, even to come in 85th. Collaboration is almost impossible. Even the riders who
are far behind are launching attack after attack although it would be better for them to ride to the finish together.
many races do you ride every year and do you have special memories of certain races outside Europe?
Thijs Poelstra: In the last two years I did about 100 racing days a year, more then half
of them where outside Europe. I do have special memories from African races like Senegal, Burkina Faso and Camerun. But
Indonesia was very special as well. A good atmosphere is important and that there is something to see and to do
after the race.
Can you tell us something about the 2008 roster of the team? Thijs
We are always on the road with riders of other teams [Like Malaya van Ruitenbeek at the Vuelta Al Tachira
, editor]. We create a team with riders who are interested to ride a particular race for every occasion.
Cyclingheroes: Unfortunately doping has become a hot item in Europe. Is it the same outside
Europe? And do you notice that if you are riding in Asia or South-America?
I little-noticed it in Asia or Africa. There are discussions about
it, but nothing serious. I think the situation in South-America is a bit more serious. At the moment [untill yesterday
, editor] there are riding a few Dutch riders of our team in Venezuela. A few riders were taken out of the race because
they had high haematocrit levels.
Hoe do you look back at the past season? Thijs
Well, I rode beautiful races. Last year I raced every month. I started with [Tour of]
Siam in Thailand in January and after that I continued to race until December 2007 at the Tour of the South-China Sea. Cyclingheroes:
What programme will you race in 2008? Thijs Poelstra:
I will have less time in
2008 because I started to work, but I hope to be able to race the Tour of Iran. Iran is a special country and a
real cycling country. The best Asian riders are coming from Iran. [Ahad Kazemi won last years Tour of Thailand
The Tour of Iran is new at the calendar and we already made contact. For the rest... I don't
really know. I also want to ride a lot of Dutch races. At the beginning of January I already raced the Jelajah Malaysia.
A very beautiful race, a kind of little brother of the Tour de Langkawi.
Cyclingheroes: What are you aiming for in the upcoming season?
Poelstra: I don't have real goals. Of course I hope to get some good results but most of all I want
to do some special trips.