Double interview, father and son: Joseba & Markel Beloki

At the age of 18, Markel Beloki turned professional with EF Education – EasyPost. Son of the famous Joseba Beloki, who battled it out on multiple occasions against Lance Armstrong and Jan Ulrich, Markel clearly inherited the right genes and is now following in his dad’s pedal strokes. It is time for a double interview with Joseba and Markel Beloki.

“I learned a lot in my first few months as a neo-professional,” Markel says. “In every race I started, I was surrounded by experienced professionals who could teach me a lot. The difference between racing in the youth categories and the WorldTour is massive.”

“Markel has to take it step by step,” Joseba comments. “Because, as he says, the step up he made this year is a big one, and not a lot of 18-year-olds make it. I only turned professional at the age of 24. Everything has sped up since I was a pro, including the age of turning professional and the level of support. Luckily, he is surrounded by excellent staff and riders who can guide him.”

The races are longer, harder, and faster, according to Markel, who managed to reach the finish line of the Itzulia Basque Country, the hardest stage race he has done so far in his career. “The level of racing is much higher,” the young Basque says.

“Racing can be very nervewracking, but with the lessons of my dad in the back of my mind, I try to remain tranquil. Another thing I learned from my dad is how to live like a pro, in terms of recovery and treating the body well.”

The runner-up of the Tour de France of 2002 says he has a great relationship with his son. “I talk a lot, particularly about cycling. But he does not always need my advice – the technical staff and the experienced riders in EF are, I believe, more valuable to him than me when it comes to cycling advice. For me, it is just special to follow my son’s career.”

Having finished the Itzulia Basque Country in April, one of Markel’s goals this season was accomplished. “All the races are important to me, as I see them as opportunities to learn. However, racing in my home area was something super special. I also hope to compete in the Donostia San Sebastian Klasikoa; that would be fantastic.”

Joseba: “I believe Markel approaches this season as a neo-pro the right way: taking it step by step, with learning and gaining experience as the main goal. Even though he is a different person and a different cyclist, I do see some similarities between him and me. Personally, I hope he can become a Grand Tour cyclist, and obviously, I hope he has a bright future ahead of him.”

This story is part of Nafent Magazine volume 10. Read the full story in our digital or paper magazine. Go to our webshop to get yours.

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