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Edson is a Portuguese cyclist and coach who has been a fan of cycling since he was a child. He talks to Sundried about life in the saddle.

Have you always been into sport?

Sport has been part of my life since I was a child, first with friends at school and later in competition. During college, I stopped for a while but then returned to cycling.

What made you decide to enter the world of cycling?

I have followed cycling from a young age. I was a big fan of Spanish cyclist Miguel Induráin, Italian cyclist Marco Pantani and also Lance Armstrong. So for me to get into cycling came naturally. My first experience was in mountain biking, but it was on the road that I found my true passion.

What’s been your favourite race to date and why?

I am an amateur Gran Fondo (long distance) racer. I participate in several races a year in Portugal and there are some that I love doing again and again every year.

I have a fascination with Gran Fondo Serra da Estrela because in my opinion it is the toughest and because it ends at Torre (1993m), the highest point in mainland Portugal.

And your proudest achievement?

Without a doubt, my entire cycling journey makes me very proud. From the beginning, I always made a point of facing big challenges and I am proud to have always managed to achieve everything that I set out to, from mountain bike ultra-marathons to the toughest Gran Fondos.

Have you ever had any racing disasters/your toughest race yet?

I always remember one of the first mountain biking marathons I did, in Serra da Estrela, in which I finished in last place. It was one of the hardest days on the bike, but also a day that helped me to learn a lot from my mistakes. Even on the worst days, we can always get something good.

How do you overcome setbacks?

As a cyclist, but above all as a coach, I always do an analysis of my workouts and events. I always try to identify what went well, but also what went less well and what I can improve. The important thing is to identify the problems, know how to take a step back and then manage to take two steps forward.

What advice do you wish you'd been given before you started competing?

Advice that I try to give to all my athletes as a coach is that in order to reach a high level of performance, it takes a lot of work and dedication. There are no shortcuts to success.

What are your goals for 2020?

Every year, my goal is always the same: to be better than the previous year. So far I've had good results following this way of training and racing. 

Who do you take your inspiration from?

Of course, the great names of past and present cycling are my inspiration, but I consider that they are on the stratospheric side of this sport. My inspiration comes from those who train and those who compete with me. They are the ones that give me the strength to try to be better.

What do you like about Sundried and what’s your favourite bit of our kit?

I love Sundried's brand values, especially the sustainable fashion, with collections made from 100% recycled fabrics. Seeing brands like Sundried concerned with the ecological footprint makes me very pleased and they will always be my first choice. My favourite bit of kit is, with no doubt, the Sundried Cadence Cycling Kit, made from premium materials with performance-enhancing qualities.