After 13 years as a professional one would think it might get tougher each winter to motivate yourself for another season, but Garmin-Slipstreams's Magnus Backstedt has found the solution this off season.
"I've gone back to basics," said Backstedt. "I took a month off the bike completely after the Tour of Britain, which I haven't done in years. I've got back in the gym to try and put some bulk back on my upper body which has been pretty devastated by injuries in recent years. I looked at pictures of myself when I won Paris-Roubaix in 2004 and have decided to beef myself up a bit. I figure that another few kilos of muscle will make a big difference in the sprints and for the Classics."
Backstedt has one overriding goal for the upcoming 2009 season. "Everyone knows its all about the second Sunday in April for me," said Backstedt. "I will give Roubaix a big run again. I'm still confident that if I can get my fitness and equipment dialed in on the day, I can be in the fight again.
"That being said, I just want to win next year," continued Backstedt. "I came close in the 3 Days of De Panne this year. Also, with the team time trial in the Tour de France and listening to Cavendish saying we aren't going to have it our own way - with me, Christian Vande Velde, Danny Pate, Dave Zabriskie and the addition of Bradley Wiggins we'll certainly be there all guns blazing!"
After the Garmin-Slipstream training camp in Boulder, Colorado, Backstedt took a family holiday before embarking on his own personal training camp in France.
"I'm taking myself and the young Swedish team that I'm working with down to France to train," said Backstedt. "It will be good to have some company and really get myself on track for 2009, I'll be there until just before Christmas. I'm super motivated and ready to give it some!"