Finding success without excess — the all-new Maghalie Rochette collection made entirely from surplus material from past seasons
08 October 2023
After spending a year struggling with injury and fatigue, Maghalie realised that her return to racing required a lot less than she had once thought. What had seemed important was now painted in a new perspective — cut the excess, focus on the essentials. This season, Maghalie is stripping back her set up and refining her approach, working with what she already has to make the difference.
What began the process of stripping back your approach to racing?
"Last year, I struggled with multiple illnesses and intense fatigue, plus I had some serious injuries to top it off. I had to step away from the sport for a little while to get healthy, and that period allowed me to re-evaluate my practice. At first glance, it seemed like I couldn’t sustain the demands of the sport anymore. But as I slowly regained my energy, I realised that wasn’t it. I still loved the sport, and I still loved racing and training.
But I was starting to struggle with some of the aspects around it; the heavy logistics, the nine months away from home every year. So my husband and I put our heads together and wrote down our irritants. Then, we set out to start afresh. It took some work to get away from what we had always done, but we restructured to figure out what we really needed."
What lessons has the past year taught you?
"One of the main lessons I’ve learnt is that I’m inherently happy. I have a good life, I am lucky, and I love riding my bike. When you step back from bike racing, you realise how trivial it is. It's really just a fun thing that I get to do and be a part of. That helped me reframe my own personal reasons for racing.
Now I'm trying to let go of my ego (and my racing ego) a little bit. When I step on the start line I still feel nervous and I like that. But I try to not put the same “success or failure” kind of pressure on myself. For me, the race is no longer just about winning or losing. I ask myself, “Okay, how can I finish this race as a better racer then when I started?”. That mindset leaves no place for failure - it’s a much more open approach that allows me to take risks and ultimately push myself to become better."
What do you see / hope for the future of sustainability and bike racing?
"I should start by acknowledging the obvious. I do feel a little hypocritical talking about environmental sustainability when my job is to travel to race my bike. I’m aware of the paradox. But my question is: How can I do better?
Something I believe could have a huge impact would be to align the racing calendar in order to diminish the distance travelled between each event. I think it's something that could be done relatively easily, and would make a difference globally. I take this into account when building my own calendar.
Sustainability has another meaning than just for the environment. How can I be sustainable in my training and racing? For me, that means being aware of my current needs and feelings. I feel like I’ve gotten lost in marginal gains and little details in the past. But ultimately, those use up valuable will power, and I wonder if they truly help me. Now, I’m stripping down the excess and focusing on the basics, and to me, this is much more sustainable in the long run."
Do you have a favourite piece of kit this season?
"The jersey! I love the colour combination. I love that it is made of excess material. It makes me feel good and is a constant reminder that I don’t need more. That what I have is enough and that I can work with that. It just makes me happy."
How would you describe your emotions going into this season?
"Happy, calm, serene, and focused. I’m just loving the work to be honest, and I’m excited to see what I can do."
The all-new Maghalie Rochette collection is made entirely from surplus material from past seasons. With a design inspired by the cross courses she can often be found tearing up, keep your eyes peeled for her new season collection.