Interview mit Europameister Ryan Kamp

Interview with Ryan Kamp, European Champion Cyclocross U23


By John de Jong for


Ryan is just back after a small ride in the morning, with 2 flat tires so his parents have to pick him up by car. Shit happens, but better now that during the race. Because of the Corona protocol set up by his team “Pauwels Sauzen -Bingoal” we do the interview by phone. The rules are more or less the same than for other people, keep the 1 ½ meter distance, and prevent to come in contact with to many people.

After become Dutch champion U23 in 2019, and World Champion U23 in 2020 the European jersey was missing in the collection of Ryan. This weekend he was the big favourite, especially after the abstention of the Belgium U23 riders.

Did this favourite roll gives you extra pressure, and can you handle that? I would be glad to have the Belgium riders in the race, because the pressure would be divided, but I was not very nervous before the start. Of course it’s strange to race without public. For the race it gives more rest, the first part of the race the focus is that high that you don’t miss the public too, but the second half of the race you miss the boost that the supporters give you during a race.

In Rosmalen we found a fast track, and Pim Ronhaar and I tried to keep the gap to the competition as big as possible, and go for the silver and gold. Unfortunately Pim couldn’t follow, and was passed by Thomas Mein and Cameron Mason during the race.

How did your sport career started? And were started your interest for cycling? As most young kids I started playing soccer when I was around 6 years old. My father was cycling on a recreational level every Sunday morning, and round 2011 he did Alpe d’HuZes, an event in France were money is collected by climbing the famous Alpe d’Huez for maximum six times. I watched the live stream with my grandparents, and the audience made me so enthusiastic, that I started cycling at “De Jonge Renner” on the road at the age of 12-13. Every year they had a bingo, and I won a city bike. At the supplier we could arrange that the city bike was replaced by a cyclocross bike, and then the cyclocross career started.

Did you won a lot when you just started? No, I was someone wo needs to work hard, and fight for my position. Around the age of 14-15 I began to win my first races, around 2 races each season.

How important are your parents for your carrier? They are very important, they give me a stable base to improve my talent, and always accompany me when possible to the races.

Do you follow special rules from the team about your diet? And do you have a special habit before a race? They let us free to eat what we like, of course we are professionals and we take care to eat as healthy as possible. In the past there was no routine before a race, but the last year I eat pasta or rice about 3 hours for the start, that gives me the energy we need during the race.

About training, who makes your training schema’s and do you follow them for 100%? Camiel van den Bergh makes my training programs, but I always train on how I feel. When I am to tired I will skip a part, on other days I can do some extra.

What are your strong points, and what do you want to improve? My running is a strong point, not the higher speed but the ability to save some energy during the running parts. I continue work on improving my techniques like jumping and how to take the curves in the most efficient way. In Alphen, with the training on Wednesday, running is always a part of the training.

Do you use power meters? And if yes, how often do you check your maximum power? Yes, on the road bike I train with a power meter. Twice a year we are tested, and till now my power increases year after year.

How does a “working day” of Ryan Kamp looks like? 2-3 days a week I follow a study “Sportmarketing” at the Johan Cruyff College Roosendaal. These days I train in the afternoon. The other days I train in the morning on the bike, on Wednesday we train in Alphen twice.

Zdeněk Štybar is your idol, what are your ambitions on the road, and what have you already done? Of course my dreams would be to ride the “Tour of Flanders” and “Paris Roubaix” when I am older. When I was a junior I rode the  E3 BinckBank Classic, and it was a good experience. This summer I rode the “ Tour de Wallonie” were in the first two stages I became the 5th and 10th youth rider.

Will you stay in the U23 category next season? I will finish this season in the U23 category, and we will evaluate this season, and decide what to do next season later.

Do you have favourite crosses? Yes, I like the older races like Namur and Ronse, but also Valkenburg is a nice race for me.

Do you miss social contacts in the weekend, because your friends will go out when you need to prepare for the next race? I don’t have problems to stay focussed on my sport, and to live serious. I have many cycling friends who have the same attitude, that makes it more easy. Sometimes, out of season, we also have fun….

The last question: what are your dreams for the future? I am not a dreamer, but become World champion in the Elite men category, and ride a good Paris Roubaix are on my list. Most important is to stay healthy and without injuries.



Many thanks for your time, Ryan, and hope to see you soon somewhere.


Text und Fotos : John de Jong


  • Ryan Kamp mit Trainer Camiel van den Bergh  by John de Jong1.jpg
  • Ryan Kamp by John de Jong1.png