Elke Brutsaert is a DEVO coach! The 2009 SUper D national champion was hired in February as the new U19 ladies coach and is doing a great job thus far. Her vast competitive cycling experience both as an athlete and in team management have been a serious bonus to the 5 year old DEVO program.dh_brutsaert
Q: How long have you lived in Durango and how did you end up moving here?
A: I have lived in Durango for about 16 yrs. I moved to Durango in 1994 in order to train for the Norba National Mtb series, as well as the WC circuit.
Q: How long did you race professionally and what are some of your biggest accomplishments throughout your career?
A:I raced pro for 10yrs. I totalled 4 individual WC wins and 10 Norba wins, as well as 2 X-games gold medals.
Q: What do you consider to be your career now that you have retired from professional cycling?
A: My career generally takes me in 3 or 4 directions…”side show Sally”. I am a massage therapist, teacher of kinesiology at RMIH (Rocky Mountain of Healing Arts), a coach and personal trainer.

Q: You were a pro soinger for Giant Bicycles in the early 2000’s, from that experience, what is is that most young professionals lacked when taking on their first pro season?
A:The discipline to consistently perform self care is something that the neo-pro struggles with the most. “Self care” is a process that is followed religiously by almost all successful pros, as they know it is a recipe for RECOVERY. If you cannot learn to recover well, you will never reach your true potential. Learning time management is maybe what is the underlying problem for most. Their are many variables to consider when trying to do everything right. The more ducks you can get in a row, the better your chances are for success. Periodized & methodical training w/ guidance from a coach is part of the building process. However, building to a peak, is a tearing down of tissue, which required time and self care to heal from. Rest, nutrition, hydration, stretching and structural corrective exercises are just a few of the important variable which have a huge bearing on the rest/recovery cycle. Other smaller details like the night before a race ice bath, or Animas river leg plunge after your hardest workouts, regular chiro, care, afternoon naps post training, eating mini meals rather than stuffing yourself as well as eliminating stress are all part of the balancing act called recovery. Attention to even smaller details like, immediate post race recovery drink, cool down post race, staying out of the hot sun, or removing yourself from the “pit” area of a race site to chill out. Staying in the action is fun and social, however this overstimulation takes its toll over the course of a day and race weekend, contributing to overall fatigue and less energy for your race.

Q: In order, what are the three mtb specific skills that need the most work as a junior racer looking to take it to the next level? and what is your favorite skill to teach?
A: 1) Learning how to pace yourself in a race. 2) Learning how to listen to your body for signs of fatigue and over training. 3) Riding efficiency…… like, pumping transitions, keeping your speed into uphills, recovery on the DH.
-My favorite skill to teach is looking for the exit of a turn in order to hold speed through turns and not drag brakes.

Q: You are also a Massage Therapist, how important is massage to the junior athlete? And what do you see being the benefits of regular massage as an adult professional athlete?
A:Massage is generally something a Jr racer does not come in contact with unless they have made the Jr national team selection and compete at world’s. If a Jr racer has access and resources to massage, it is great to add this to your self care routine. A good sports massage aids in recovery, speeding up the process 2 fold. Regular massage keeps the tissue healthy and free of adhesions form training hard and injury. Incorporation massage into any sports training program allows the athlete to get back to the build cycle more quickly.

Q: You have 2 hours to kill in town on you 5 inch shredder, what Durango loop do you do?
A: Warming up on South Rim trail at the Dietz entrance. Sidewinder, down Skull Rock and over to Carbon Junction, Crites, Anazasi….pedal HWY 3 back to Car.

Recommended Posts

No comment yet, add your voice below!

Add a Comment