Dutch cyclocross sensation Ceylin del Carmen Alvarado becomes the latest to feature in Canyon's This RIDER series.
Following on from riders including Dante Young, Sam Gaze, Annemiek van Vleuten, Kasia Niewiadoma, Jenny Tough and Emily Chappell, the former Netherlands and World Cyclocross Champion Ceylin del Carmen Alvarado is the latest rider to go in front of the lens for Canyon’s This RIDER series.
Now onto its sixth episode, This RIDER is designed to lift the lid on some of the stars of cycling, shining a light on their worlds, which can be both incredibly demanding, packed with the stresses of performing at the highest level, and yet hugely inspirational, a testament to their hard work and full commitment.
This episode hones in on Alvarado as the former world cyclocross champion approaches the upcoming CX World Championships in Hoogerheide, Netherlands with her eyes on the prize.
The twenty-four-year-old Alvarado, who hails from Rotterdam and races cyclocross for Alpecin–Deceuninck, sprang to international prominence when she claimed both the 2019-2020 UCI World Championships and UEC European Under-23 Championships in the same season.
Those victories didn't come out of the blue though. The pathway to victory was hard-earned with Under-23 titles and podium places on famous cyclocross battlegrounds such as Middelkerke, Zonhoven and Koksijde.
But with such high-profile results, it would have defied all the odds if lightning struck twice, meaning Alvarado had to handle the double-whammy of expectations and her own development as a young rider. In the video we hear about the highs and lows of her stellar success at a young age, including how it gave her the perspective to become stronger person and a stronger athlete.
Putting on a World's jersey is really special but I didn't know of course what was coming towards me after that. That was something new. It was really a learning process for me. Sometimes it was hard because everyone is expecting something from you. I had some hard days on the bike and off the bike. Of course, it was not fun at all but I can say it made me a stronger person and a stronger athlete.said Alvarado.
Fast forward two seasons and Alvarado has already racked up four Superprestige wins in 2022/23, plus a further seven podium places including second place at both the UEC European Championships and the Dutch National Championships.
For Worlds it's like the preparation for every other race. Nothing different. The mindset is the same. Most of the time you know the course, you know who it suits best, so you have an idea of how it can go. The main thing is not to get too excited or get too nervous. When I'm lining up I say a few tactical things to myself. Then it’s full focus, it's putting your mind on zero and just....at that, Alvarado’s fists uncoil as if to suggest an explosion of magic, chaos and luck.
Assuming she can steer clear of the chaos, and with a little luck on her side, her current form and past pedigree suggests she will certainly be a rider to watch in the orange of Team Netherlands. Together with her Canyon Inflite CF SLX, Alvarado will be on the start grid in Hoogerheide at 15:00 CET on Saturday 4th February.
1. This RIDER Ceylin del Carmen Alvarado video link: DRAFT LINK – TO BE UPDATED: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1_htp43m8I7z21J5h0rfwOppOOb6xw0Ni/view?usp=share_link
"I started on the road as a really small girl. My dad kept asking himself what can we do in the winter to keep the form high and not have to start in January/February from zero.... We started asking around and we tried it and we really liked it."
"I started with a smaller Belgian team and they helped me a lot. Along the way I was growing but in small steps. And then I had the opportunity to go to a bigger team. There on I started make from baby steps to grown [up] steps."
"I realised that okay, I'm good at this sport. From there on the main goal was to win as much world titles as you can win.
"I didn't know of course what was coming towards me after that. That was something new. It was really a learning process for me also. Sometimes hard because everyone is expecting something from you. Yeah I had some hard days on the bike, off the bike... [it was] a really shit year. It was hard to put my mind somewhere else, even if I wanted to because you race and you have to train in the week and then you have to race again. Seven days a week that bad feeling you have to take with you. It's hard to put your mind somewhere else and to say now I'm going to forget this sport and do something fun and it's going to be okay."
"This year it's different. Of course, I do what I have to do. I train like I have to train. But jf I feel like, okay, it's getting too much then I say okay... I take time to do something else, like cook, or maybe go out or have dinner somewhere else. Of course it was not fun at all but I can say it made me a stronger person and a stronger athlete.
"For World's it's like a preparation like every other race. Nothing different. The mindset is the same. Most of the time you know the course, you know this course suits her better, or suits her better, or me better, so you have an idea of how it can go. The main thing is not to get too excited I think, or get too nervous. When I'm lining up sometimes I just say a few things to myself like 'have a good start' or 'think about this and this on the course.”