Friday the 13th: Kevin Kuhn is the king of the straight front

an interview

This winter, WielerFlits launches a new division: Friday, the 13th. Every Friday at 1.13pm you can read an interview with a cross or cyclocross racer who has finished 13th the weekend before. This ranges from little girls to elite men, from C2-cross to the World Cup. what’s the story This week number 13 at the World Cup in Antwerp: Kevin Kuhn.

Kuhn, a relatively young Swiss player, came to Antwerp with tired legs. Plus, sand isn’t Kuhn’s favorite surface, so the outlook curve wasn’t too narrow. “I’m currently training a lot, so I wasn’t really new to Antwerp,” said Kuhn. cycling flash. “Crossing in the sand is also a very specific thing and a lot of riders really specialize in that. That’s not the case.”

“I didn’t ride very well, but it was fine. I thought it was a nice race, there were a lot of spectators along the track.” The attentive spectator in the living room also noticed something at first. Kun was on the front row, with Wout van Aert behind him. Mathieu van der Poel was two rows behind Van Aert.

Coincidence? No, Van Aert’s coach, Jan Boven, told us they explicitly wanted a starting position. This has to do with Kuhn’s starting speed, which is phenomenal fast. The Swiss is the fastest player at the start of this season. “It’s great that they got behind me because of that. I didn’t know that myself yet,” Cohn laughed.

Quick Start has two sides
“I don’t really know why, I’m so good at the start. Maybe my reaction speed, as well as my starting speed, is really good. But it’s not always a positive thing either, that quick start. I have to find a way to catch up with the early riders after that good start. Sometimes this is not the case, and then I lose a lot of strength in the first minute.

It’s something Cohn is working on, trying to distribute his powers well and think about it carefully. “I look at each turn to see if a fast start is an advantage. If the start isn’t too long or if there’s a dangerous corner, I want to be the first to enter the field. However, if the start is too long, I prefer to go in Someone’s wheel.

Con in action at Bixie Bergen, when he also had the fastest start of the bunch – Photo: Cor Vos

In addition to his fast starts, Kuhn’s symmetry is also amazing. The passing Tormans CX, the team he has been racing for since the 2020-2021 season, has only finished outside the top 10 twice this season. Moreover, he also had an exceptional case at the European Championships in Namur, surprisingly finishing fifth.

“That course in Namur really suits me. Fifth place was a big surprise for me. As a lot of riders had to give up at the end or just had bad luck, I managed to keep my pace. For the rest, I have a goal this season to be very consistent and to be in appointment each time.

First crossover on a mountain bike
The fact that Kun did so well in Namur has a lot to do with his background as a mountain biker. Mountain biking is one of the most popular cycling sports in Switzerland. “Like many Swiss guys, I also started out as a mountain biker. In the winter I rode some crosses to keep myself occupied its season. So I rode those races on my mountain bike, and I didn’t have a cross bike yet. Transit suits me more and more. I rented a cross bike, two years later we bought one, and as a U17 I had two cyclocross bikes. That’s when it really started. “

In the 2015-16 season, Kun finished sixth at the European Junior Championships and fourth at the U-19 World Cup. And as a promise in the latter year, he did better by finishing second in the World Cup. Not just any World Cup, because the tournament was staged in Dubendorf, Switzerland.

“It was without a doubt the most special day of my career. It was also the first time I felt pressure from the outside. I was one of the big favorites and it’s been a long time since a Swiss medal in a World Cup, let alone for his country. I had so much interest up front, I had to “Getting used to it. But in the end it all worked out and I won the silver.”

The 24-year-old Swiss is satisfied with his Tormans CX – Photo: Cor Vos

Good relationship with Bart Wellens
“After that World Cup I ended up in Tormans CX, the team of Gert and Bart Wellens. I have a very good relationship with the latter. When I stay in Belgium during the week, in a communal apartment in Gilles, he is always there for me. We spend a lot of time together .” Conn, meanwhile, understands Dutch in Wellens etc. and can read quite well, but speaking is still difficult. The native language of the Swiss is German, as he comes from the area around Zurich.

Trained by former MTB racer Florian Vogel, Cohn will dominate the rest of the season at the World Championships in Hogerheide. The World Cup is the biggest goal of the season. “International competitions are simply the most important, especially the World Cup. I want to finish in the top 10. If that works out, I will be a happy racer. Now that I have a file Fast guys Back with Van Aert, Van der Poel and Tom Pidcock, it’s not clear. ” Finally, Kuhn also mentions the Swiss Championship, where he will try to extend his title for the third year in a row.

Good luck this weekend, men and women. May the best win. And remember: thirteen isn’t always an unlucky number!

Profile Kevin Kuhn

Kohn at work in Maasmechelen earlier this season – Image: Cor Vos

Noun: Kevin Kuhn
nation: science ch Switzerland
age: 24 years
category: Elite men
plow: Tormans CX
Favorite cross: Heusen Zolder. It was the Junior World Championships there and that was my first really good result, at the international level. I usually drive well.
If I weren’t a motocross racer, I would be: I used to work as an electrician, so that probably is. I also like to play many different sports, such as cross-country skiing. But whether you’re good at it is another matter.
Career Objective: Win a championship medal or win a World Cup race.
superstitious: No, I am rational in life.

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