Culture

Ride with Olympic medalist Jasmin Duehring

Join the VeloNews Ride presented by Amp Human on Zwift this Wednesday.

Jasmin Duehring is a two-time Olympic medalist in the team pursuit, a four-time world championship medalist in the points race, and the 2015 Pan Am Games road race champion. Born in Germany, the Canadian holds a master’s degree in mathematics, and is again planning on representing Canada in the postponed 2021 Olympics. On Wednesday, she will be joining us as special guest on the VeloNews Ride presented by Amp Human.

We caught up with the Team Twenty20 rider from her home in Southern California.

VeloNews: What’s it like to be on a trade team with racers who are your competitors at the Olympics?

Jasmin Duehring: I really enjoy racing on the road with members of the U.S. track team and with Sofia [Arreola], who represents Mexico. We always have similar goals and can relate to each other in ways that you can’t with purely road-focused teammates. I also think that through our experiences on the track we all developed a very professional attitude towards training and racing as well as other elements of performance — nutrition, recovery, travel hygiene, etc. — that creates a great environment on the team.

VN: How much time do you spend on the track versus the road?

JD: I live in Mission Viejo, which is in Orange County. The last time I was on a track was when I was competing at the world championships earlier this year. In general though, even outside of a global pandemic, I don’t spend nearly as much time on the track as most people might think. In the two months leading up to the world championships I only did two track sessions a week and maintained 16 to 20 hours on the road, which is probably comparable to most roadies.

VN: In a normal Olympic year, how much time would you spend training with your Canadian teammates versus your road teammates?

JD: I spent the first two months of the year training with my Canadian teammates in New Zealand on the road and track. My plan was to do most of the domestic race calendar with Twenty20 before switching my focus back to the track in late May. I have always done more road racing than most of my teammates because it motivates me to stay focused year round and I personally need a big aerobic base to be my best on the track. This is where it’s great to have teammates like Chloe [Dygert] and Jenn [Valente] because I know racing alongside them in an Olympic year would have motivated me even more and of course we can support one another.

Jasmin Duehring has been racing for Team Twenty20 since 2017, and finds that road racing and training helps her get into form for the Olympics.

VN: Are you doing structured workouts at this point, or is it more freeform?

JD: I definitely have a fairly relaxed approach to training right now. Since the Olympics were postponed I would categorize my training as 50 percent Zwift racing for intensity and 50 percent mountain biking / gravel for endurance. It’s been fun to mix it up and I definitely have seen improvements especially in my 30-minute to 2-hour power from racing Zwift.

VN: Has Zwift racing replaced actual racing in the short term as a legitimate thing in your mind, or is it more of a novelty?

JD: I definitely see Zwift races continue to run concurrently with the road calendar or during the “off” season. I think coming off the success of the likes of Mathieu van der Poel, Wout van Aert, and Pauline Ferrand-Prévot, who balance ’cross and road, people are starting to reevaluate the traditional off-season approach to training of loading up on base miles. They are becoming more openminded to including specific intensity and this is where I see a huge opportunity for Zwift. In addition Zwift allows us to interact much more effectively with the fanbase that supports the cycling industry. The pandemic has put Zwift in the spotlight and highlighted its potential to make cycling safer, more engaging, and more accessible; it is here to stay!

Come ride and chat with Jasmin Duehring this Wednesday at 8:30 a.m. PT on Zwift.