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Interview: Arien Torsius
By Bart Hazen
Date: 2/3/2009
Interview: Arien Torsius

Interview: Arien Torsius

Interview with 21 year old Arien Torsius from South Africa. She currently rides for the Italian Team Dila-Kuota

Can you introduce yourself?
My name is Arien Torsius, 21 years old. I am South African, I was born in a small town called Bloemfontein. I grew up on a farm (my parents have a big chicken farm). I am also currently studying a degree in Industrial and organizational psychology and also in normal management. I have only one older brother.

Why did you choose cycling as your sport?
I think it was more a case of cycling choosing me than me choosing cycling. My whole family is Dutch, except for me and my brother. So usually we went to Holland to visit the family. But my grandparents are really active and cycles a lot, so we had to train before we could go on vacation to Holland to be able to keep up with them. So I just started training (think I started at the age of 5 or 6 years old) and also I rode a lot on the farm with my mountain bike. We live in a really dry area so when it rained me and my brother couldn't wait to go out and race in the mud. Well in the end, I started doing races, when I was probably about 12 … and I was really good at it, so I left all the other sports I did just to concentrate on cycling. And I just started loving it, the more I cycled, the more I love it.

Arien Torsius
Photo © 2009 Danilo Vigano/Team Dila-Kuota

What kind of rider is Arien Torsius?
Hahaha, I am lots of different types of riders. I am a different rider in South Africa than in Europe. The standard in South Africa picked up a lot in the last few years. In South Africa I'm mostly a climber, but I am a very aggressive rider. Its easier so I mostly have a lot of fun on the bike. (I was always in the boys teams when I was younger, so I learned it from them I think). In Europe I am a worker, and also an OK climber.

Which hobbies do you have next to cycling?
Hmm I am one of those people who wants to do everything. But mostly I love doing things like art, painting, drawing, making new things, reading funny books, watching movies, I also love the outdoors, camping, mountain biking etc.

How do you look back on the 2008 season?
Well it was my first year in a real professional ladies team, and I learned so much. Last year we had some really experienced riders as well as of lot of young Italian girls, so everyone really put in the effort to help us, and give advice where they could. We had so much fun, but also worked really well together, so I will definitely remember 2008 with a smile on my face.

Arien Torsius in action
Photo © 2009 Danilo Vigano/Team Dila-Kuota

What performance/achievement you are the most proud of?
All my podium places will always be special to me, its just a great feeling when you win. But for the rest…

Firstly for my first year in the team they let me ride the Giro d'Italia and that was really cool. I did almost die and I worked really hard, but I enjoyed the experience so much.

In the junior ranks I was for 5 years in a row the South African champ. I went to the Common wealth youth games, which was also nice.

And then just to have been able to race in all the big races, tours and world cups for the first time last year with the team, was already a dream come true for me, and I know it is a stepping stone for more great things to come.

You are riding for Team Dila-Kuota. Can you tell us more about the team?

It is an Italian team with mostly Italian riders. This year we have a lot of new riders including a new captain Edita Pucinskaite. I am really looking forward to the year, I think we are going to be a really strong team.

What do you prefer the most in racing?
Well I like the hills and the mountains, and I prefer to do the tours.

The team in the 2008 Giro Donne
Photo © 2009 Danilo Vigano/Team Dila-Kuota

What race has been a favorite of yours?
The Giro D'Italia

What race will be the 2009 debut for you and the team? And how does your schedule more or less looks like.
At the moment I am still in South Africa. So I started racing in January already. The 10th of March is the South African national championships, and then I am arriving in Italy on the 16th of March. My first race in Europe is the Costa Etrusca: Gran Premio di Riparbella-Montescudaio in Italy (1.2)

You are the girlfriend of Barloworld's John Lee Augustyn if I'm correct, how the two of you are dealing with that? not being at home that much, traveling a lot etc.

Yes we are dating .. hahaha I don't know how to answer it, the fact is, we don't see each other that often, so you just go on with your life and do what you must do. Yes I do miss him a lot, but it doesn't help I think about it constantly and just make myself upset. This is the life both of us chose and I think in cycling when you have a shot of making a success out of it you must grab it with both hands and give it your best else it will just pass you by. So I think for us its nice that we both are cyclist, which makes it easier to understand.

Who has inspired you, or currently inspires you to race. (Or in the present)?
I don't have specific person who inspires me … for me every day some else or something else inspires me. We live in a great big world, and there are just certain moments which causes you to be inspired to do your best, push on and succeed.

2009 will be her second season as a member of the Dila team
Photo © 2009 Danilo Vigano/Team Dila-Kuota

How does your ideal preparation looks like for the new season?
My preparation has been going well. It rained more than ever in South Africa, but I managed to train well. It is always difficult living with your mom, because it just cookies everywhere. But I must say I am feeling strong and ready for 2009.

What are your goals for the 2009 season? and if you don't mind…. long term career goals as a person and cyclist?
Well for 2009, I think my goal is to do a good job for the team, and maybe get a result somewhere. I am really young, and I know I can just get stronger and stronger with each passing year. I get looked after really well by the team, and I know they will help me grow into a better rider.

For the future the plan is to maybe get a stage win in one of the big tours and develop into a great climber.

Also as a person … this might sound corny … but I do believe in being the best person I can be, so I try to give it a 100% in what ever I do.

And I will just see where the road takes me, cycle for as long as I can, and after that maybe have a successful career and start my own business.

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