Leon Madsen has been the Individual Champion of Europe a year ago and will now join the SEC cycle with the hope of defending the champion's crown. The Dane took the lead in the general classification after the third round in Daugavpils, and then defended the advantage at the Silesian Stadium in Chorzów and stood on the highest step of the podium. Just before the start of this year's struggle he talks about his memories and shares his honest thoughts. He also talks about the future and plans for the 2019 season.
What is it like to be a European Champion?
It's a nice feeling. I feel very good about it. It is really a big deal that I managed to achieve this goal.
What was the path to success?
Plenty of hard work, full dedication and indomitable will to win.
If you had to somehow calibrate, then at what level were all these sacrifices?
The highest that I can only imagine. I have always worked very hard to pursue the goals set before me, but in the last few years it all took some awesome momentum and now we can see the effects.
What has changed in your thinking about the slag at this time?
I do not know, not much. It seems to me that everything has been old. I look at the slag in a similar way. I love racing, driving a motorcycle all the time and I can still do it. I still have high ambitions, I set new goals for myself and thanks to that I am very happy. I look into the future with great optimism.
How can this title affect your further career?
Good question. I know one thing - the European championship really means a lot to me. This gives me more confidence, the more I know how much hard work I put into it. When you see that all this effort is paying off and the results are right, you're getting even more fueled.
Have you ever wondered why this success came just now? In the past, you've been a participant in the SEC, but you've never raced with such efficiency.
I have not been wasting time in the last few years. I also became a bit older and gained much more experience. It all folded into one whole.
It is worth being a European Champion? Do you think it's a big prestige?
In recent years, the level of the European Championships has definitely increased. At the moment these are very difficult competitions. There are a lot of good players there. In my opinion, victory in this cycle is really a big achievement. You can also treat it as a step towards the Grand Prix.
Exactly! Since you've already touched the Grand Prix, this season you'll be joining the World Cup and the European Championship. In the past few players have decided on this. How will you deal with it?
I do not have too many leagues on my head, so I gain much more time to concentrate and regenerate.
What plan do you have for SEC 2019? Would you like to be the European Champion for the second time?
Yes of course! I will do my best to maintain this title. I can not wait to start this year's cycle. I will want to show my best side, as well as the Grand Prix.
Do you already know what to do to stay on top?
I guess so. I will try to confirm this during the season. I'm definitely in good shape. I'm still at a high level. Currently, I am at the forefront of the most effective players of the Polish league. I have the impression that everything is going in the right direction.
How did it happen that in a relatively short time you turned into one of the best players in the world?
The recipe is that one must be one hundred percent devoted to this sport. If you really want to achieve something, then you must strive for it. There is no question of any letting go. First you have to want and then put in a lot of hard work.