With CX season well underway, we thought we’d reach out to Muc-Off Ambassador, CX machine and all-round legend Maghalie Rochette, to find out more about her stellar start of season and get a few tips on how to achieve just that...
For those who don’t know you, could you give us a quick introduction to who Maghalie Rochette is?
I live in a small house, next to some awesome MTB trails, with my boyfriend David and our 4 chickens. We live just north of Montreal in Canada. I absolutely love riding my bike, no matter what kind, or what terrain. I also enjoy food a lot, I like photography, I like woodworking, I love spending time outside. I’m also a very competitive person and I like to challenge myself everyday to become the best version of myself I can be.
*David is my partner in life, but he is also my partner on the Specialized/Feedback Sports team, which we started together last year. He is my coach as well as the mechanic on our team.
Fitness wise, how do you prepare for the CX season?
What I love about Cyclocross is that the training is very varied. Of course I do a lot of intervals on the bike, but also spend a lot of time riding trails. I ride MTB a lot, I ride on the road and do a lot of motor pacing. We also run about three times a week, doing either long run/hikes, or running intervals. We spend some time doing Cyclocross specific drills & skills and finally, we do some core/strength work.
It’s intense, but super varied so I like it a lot.
What do you feel is the most important quality for achieving success in CX? Is it fitness, dexterity, equipment or something else?
I honestly believe it’s a little bit of everything. You need all of these qualities to be successful in Cyclocross. You need to be fit, you need to be technically skilled, you need to make smart tactical decisions, and your equipment needs to be on point.
I think I would say one of the most important qualities is to be adaptable. Throughout the season, you will face drastically changing conditions and completely different courses. So if you want to be successful, you need to be comfortable on different conditions and be adaptable.
Featured image and above: Balint Hamvas - @cyclephotos
How do feel with the start of your season, and what are the objectives going forward?
I’m super happy with how the season started. I won my first World Cup, which has always been a very big goal of mine, so I’m over the moon with that. It gave me a lot of confidence. That being said, I know it’s a long season and I still have big goals, so there is still a lot of work to do. I’d like to defend my Canadian and Pan American Champion titles. But above all, I want to do well in the World Cup races so I can hopefully fight for the Overall World Cup Series (right now, I’m in 2nd place).
I’ll be spending a lot of time travelling to and from Europe, but I’m excited to head over there to race!
How do you prepare your bike ahead of a race? Which lube do you normally use, and does this depend on conditions? (Mud vs Sand?)
Here, I’ll hand the keyboard to David. We work as a team and while my role is to trash the bike on the muddy course, David’s job is to help me keep the bike running smoothly. He’s the one doing the mechanic work on the bike, so he’s better suited to respond!
David here! We prepare the bikes pretty much the same way for every condition. Cleaned with Bio Drivetrain Cleaner, protect the frame + wheels with Bike Protect, lube all the moving parts with MO-94 and lube the chain! My go-to lube is the C3 Ceramic Dry Lube. I find it works perfectly for almost every condition. During cross, when the conditions require bike changes (mud/sand), Maghalie will change bikes every couple of minutes, so the Dry Lube keeps the chain clean and running smoothly until she changes bikes!
Photo: Christian Martin
Your bikes get absolutely caked in CX. What’s your go-to method to get it back to its race-ready state ahead of the next round?
Drench the drivetrain and moving parts in Bio Drivetrain Cleaner, spray some Nano Tech Bike Cleaner on the frame and wheels, pressure wash everything off, lube & protect and repeat 4-5-6-7… up to 15 times a day!
A lot of people worry about sand destroying their bikes, how do you deal with cleaning sand off your bike safely?
I usually rinse the bike before using a rag or brush on it. That way sand doesn’t destroy the paint. If it was pretty bad and it still feels sandy after pressure washing it, I’ll plug in the compressor and use compressed air to get the sand out of every tiny space!
Photo: Zacharie Turgeon
Riding bikes is epic, right? What are some of the other types of bikes you love riding, and racing?
I love riding and racing all kinds of bikes. I absolutely love mountain biking. I do some mountain bike races in the summer, as well as some Gravel Bike races. I even raced the inaugural E-MTB World Championship this summer. I also train a lot on the road and like to participate in 1-2 road races during the year. Finally, I live in Canada where we have very cold and snowy winters, so I ride a Fat Bike once in a while!
What are some of the Muc-Off products you can’t live without at the moment?
Bike Protect (smells so good and makes the bike look SO clean)