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Roger Kluge: Living through lockdown

Roger Kluge
Roger Kluge (Lotto Soudal) (Image credit: Getty Images)

Procycling magazine’s 12 days of Christmas revisits some of the highlights from our contributors in the magazine over the last year. Here, Roger Kluge talks about the joy of spending time with his family at home in Berlin, Germany, during the covid-19 lockdown this spring. 

Roger Kluge races for Lotto Soudal and was one of Procycling’s 2020 diarists. This article was taken from Procycling magazine issue 269 June 2020.

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I can’t really remember the last time I was home longer than five or six weeks. I was feeling great after Paris-Nice and was ready to race the classics. But now I’m home I’ve a little break and then restarted my training, building back up over three weeks, and rested last  week before starting another three-week block of training again. We’re pretty lucky that we can go outside, for me it would probably be horrible to stay inside and have to train on the rollers - I really don’t like it. I do it in an emergency in the winter if it’s bad conditions and I have to train, I will do it for one or two hours, but I’m super happy I can train outside. 

I live in Berlin, it’s a big city but pretty flat. The longest climb I have, and I do this once or twice a week, it’s about a three-minute effort. It’s not really a climb, it’s maybe three or four per cent up, but it’s long enough for three minutes, and I do some series there. But that’s really the max we have. If I go out for four hours I think I will get to 200-300 climbing metres. To reach 1,000m of climbing in a normal training ride is pretty difficult, and I have to do small laps and do the same again. Most of the time I enjoy the easier quiet roads outside Berlin, more on the south side near where I live. But now and then I go out to the east and meet up with Theo, my partner from the track, and ride with him. We’re allowed to ride with one other person here, maximum two.

Being home more than usual is nice for my family, for my daughter, even for my girlfriend. She’s pregnant and the birth is not too far away. She’s happy that I’m home and can support her a little bit more, and can take care of our daughter after training. She’s four and a half and she’s at that age where she wants to be entertained a lot. Riding a bike with her is what I would prefer, of course, that would be super easy, but if she wants to play in the park you can’t go in the playgrounds as they’re also still closed. She likes to climb up the trees!

We live in an apartment and have no balcony or terrace, which has not been nice at this time. We still have the park, it’s 500m away, but being able to sit outside in the sun would be a nice bit of extra quality. Our hobby for the last four or five weeks has been building two Lego Technic trucks. It’s Lego for kids aged 10-12 years but she likes to build with me and picks up the parts I need and puts them together. Everyday we open a bag if we have the time and finish it. 

I think everybody will be quite happy to be back on the road racing each other, that’s what we live for, it’s our job, our passion. It’s nice that the UCI is working on a new calendar and we have a goal again we can focus on, even if it’s far away. RK

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