It's only been 10 years since he rode his first race, but the young cyclist has already made a name for himself as an up-and-coming climber in cycling. He recently recorded the best ever Norwegian placing in a Grand Tour with an 8th place overall. Solberg & Hansen is a proud partner of professional cyclist Carl Fredrik Hagen, making sure he doesn't run out of coffee before an important race.
Congratulations on your fantastic performance in the Vuelta and your selection for the World Championships! What were your ambitions for the Tour of Spain and what will be your task at the World Championships?
Thank you so much!!! My ambitions before this year's Vuelta were first and foremost to complete my first 3 week stage race. I had never ridden such a long race before, so I didn't really know what I was getting myself into. If everything worked out 100% with form and tactics, I also had hopes of fighting for a top 20 finish.
In the World Cup, I will be a pure helper rider for the captain(s) and will do my best to help them along the way.
There's clearly a general interest in coffee in the cycling community - can you describe it?
It's absolutely true. Almost all cyclists drink coffee, and coffee fits perfectly into the everyday life of a cyclist. I don't have a definitive answer as to how this has come about, or why. But I think it's a combination of the fact that coffee is invigorating, which is not a bad thing for cyclists. Many cyclists train for 4-6 hour sessions, often stopping at a coffee shop or bakery along the way to replenish their energy stores. Coffee is a natural part of the stop. In addition, many coffee shops focus on cycling as a theme or have locations that make it easy for cyclists to stop by.
Coffee is also calorie-free and you can drink it without worrying about limiting yourself. In addition, many professional cyclists have a daily schedule that includes training at 10 a.m. That's often plenty of time in the morning, and many use those morning hours to enjoy an extra cup of coffee.
How did your interest in coffee come about? What came first out of cycling and coffee?
Cycling came before coffee for me. I didn't really like coffee until I was in my early 20s. But it wasn't long before I bought a coffee machine in the kitchen and started to know the difference between different types of coffee.
It was probably friends in the cycling community who got me to start drinking coffee. And if I remember correctly, it was a cappuccino on a long ride that was my first encounter with coffee. In recent years, I've moved further and further away from milk-based drinks and towards more and more espresso, filter and French press.
Is there anyone else on the national team who puts as much energy into good coffee and good brew as you do?
"Since those of us on the national team now have different employers during the season, I'm not as close to the other guys when I'm at races. But I know that Edvald is very interested in good coffee, and brews V60 at races and has a barista machine at his home. We often talk about coffee when we meet, and we both love to share experiences and tips.
What coffee have you drunk today? And do you have any favorites in terms of coffee country, processing or certain products in our range?
Today I've been drinking the fall novelty "Funky Naturals" from Nicaragua. Exciting coffee that is berry-dried. A type of coffee I haven't tasted much before. Both sweet and strong.
I've tasted quite a few types of coffee over the past year, and I'm starting to have some favorites. I've had a lot of coffee from countries like Colombia, Kenya, Nicaragua and Costa Rica, and I never get tired of it! I like coffee with a lot of flavor that is juicy, fruity and full-bodied. And some also have a really good long aftertaste.
I also love reading about the story behind each bag of coffee, so I always go to the S&H website to read about the origins, history and how the coffee is made. And then sometimes I Google the area more carefully and gain more insight. Then the coffee tastes even better.
Caffeine is on the doping list. Are there any concerns about double espressos among cyclists or is it just a matter of going for it?
There is no concern about the intake of caffeine among cyclists. So coffee drinking has no limit.
"I like coffee with a lot of flavor that is juicy, fruity and full-bodied."Carl Fredrik Hagen
Do you have any regular coffee shop stops when cycling and exercising in your local area or do you rely solely on your own brews?
I don't have any fixed stops. But in the area I train, it is natural to stop in Son or Drøbak if there is a coffee stop on the plan. But I'm a person who doesn't always like to stop for a session, so I prefer to have a coffee after training. Feel free to invite some friends if they have been to a session, then we end the day with a good cup of coffee. Nice, good and social.
Which brewing method do you appreciate the most? Do you take coffee beans and brewing equipment with you on your trip?
When I'm traveling on rides, I always have the AeroPressen and Kalita ceramic hand grinder with me, as well as 2-3 different types of beans from S&H. This is my favorite way to brew when traveling, because it's easy and fast.
When I'm at home, it's mostly filter coffee and French press. But I really want to experiment more with espresso and learn the art of coffee properly.
Do you have time to brew in the morning before a race?
Yes, I usually have time to brew coffee in the hotel room in the morning before a race. I don't do it every day - it varies a bit depending on what kind of hotel we're staying at and what we get there. But if we get bad coffee that can't be drunk, I go straight to the room after breakfast and brew it myself. Sometimes I also make it as soon as I get up and take it down to breakfast.
What are your ambitions for 2020?
"For 2020, my main goal is to develop as a cyclist and take new steps in the right direction. There's an Olympic Games in Tokyo that I really want to be selected to ride in. So that's a big goal for me. I haven't talked much with my team about next year yet. We'll have to sit down and see what program I should ride to develop the best. But hopefully it will at least be a GrandTour and a lot of good 1-week races.