Milan Paulus takes us back to his early days in cycling. After starting in the football pitch, Paulus decided to follow the footsteps of his parents, who both were really into the sport, Paulus jumped on a bike felt in love with it instantly.

How and when did you start cycling?
Seven years ago, I was introduced to cycling by my dad and mum.  At that time I was a soccer player, but sometimes I went along with the club of cyclists my dad rode in on Sunday mornings. Also, my mum rode for a club, so cycling was a regular topic of conversation in our home. When I was almost thirteen and still playing soccer, my best friend asked me if I was interested to accompany him to a cycling training session  So I did and it went and felt really good!  Especially when the cycling coach told me to “kick that football away as far as possible and start cycling”.  From that day on I never went back to football.

Which were the clubs/teams you were part of before joining the Academy?
I went to the same team as my friend and became a member of Cycling Team Glabbeek. Although I got through the years some interesting offers from other teams, I stayed with this team for 5 years. I really felt I could not be better surrounded.  It was a warm and young team.  I never felt any pressure and they let me grow at my own pace.  I’m convinced that this team made me the rider that I am today and the rider that I really want to be.

What are the most valuable lessons that you have learned from those days?
In the 5 years that I’ve been riding my bike, I’ve learned that, if you believe in yourself, you can become the best in what you do. The results will always follow if you work hard. There is no need to win every competition from the first year on.  The harder you have to fight for it, the stronger you get!
But the most important aspect that you need to have if you want to achieve great results is that your team believes in you not only as a rider but also as a person. , to come to results, is that the team that has to believe in you as a rider, as well as in a person.