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We met up with road race bicyclist Fabrizio DeKoning, in Ghent, Belgium. His strong motivation and drive is inspirational - get to know him in our latest of Lindbergh Stories.
LB: Hi, can you tell us a bit about yourself?
FD: I’m Fabrizio Dekoning, 23 years old and I come from Wingene. It’s a small town in West Flanders in Belgium. I study physiotherapy at the University of Ghent and besides that, I compete in cycling races.
LB: What motivated and inspired you to start your cycling career?
FD: When I was a kid I played football, but I had to stop due to an injury. I’m a person that can’t sit still and I had to go out and do something, so I just started riding my bike around the neighborhood. I have always looked up to Tom Boonen and other great cyclists of that time and I told my parents that I wanted to do that too. They would always hit the brakes and tell me that I couldn’t do it, because I did’nt own a race bike. They said If I saved up for it, I would be allowed to race. I managed to do that, got myself a decent kid’s road bike and I started cycling it through my neighborhood. It got the ball rolling and nothing could hold me back anymore.
LB: Why did you choose to study alongside cycling?
FD: I knew that if I wanted to pursue a career in cycling, it could end in an instant because of a bad crash. I didn’t want to put all my eggs in one basket, so I started studying. It’s a big advantage to have graduated in a specific profession and since physiotherapy is sports related, it made sense for me. I was inspired to study physiotherapy as I was being treated by a physiotherapist myself. Through my study, I learn how to prevent injuries and how the body functions, which is useful for my cycling career.
LB: How does it feel to go through a race?
FD: The mental part already starts the evening before the race day. You prepare by washing your bike and checking that everything is ready. When you wake up on the day of the race, you immediately feel a different vibe. Something clicks in your head, because you were already mentally preparing for the race yesterday afternoon. You do your rituals usually at the noon hour and make sure everything’s in order. Right before the race starts, you feel the adrenaline pumping through your veins. It’s an amazing feeling, I can’t describe it.. It’s something different.
LB: What do you enjoy doing to relax?
FD: I don’t have much spare time, but sometimes I watch Netflix just to relax. I also get energized by meeting people and enjoy going out with my friends to grab some good food.
LB: What is unique about Ghent and where can we find your favorite go-to spots in the city?
FD: The City Garden and Saint Peter's Church are really nice places to relax. The garden is like an oasis of relaxation where you can kick-back between vineyards and apple trees.
LB: Why is Lindbergh a good match for you?
FB: Lindbergh caught my eye because it’s innovative and modern – Which is something I also strive to be. As a physiotherapist, you must be both creative and have an eye for detail. A small movement can have a huge impact on the body and I think that this high attention to detail resonates with Lindbergh’s designs.