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Personal fitness has obviously played a big part not only in Kevin's ability to recover from injury but also in his ability to put together such a perfect string of championship winning performances. It was something that he admits he had previously neglected.

"In the past I had never really felt like I needed to do much training. I trained quite a bit in '88 that was the year where I was the strongest physically. After that I won a few Grand Prix and it seemed like I started to slack off a bit."


A fitness test in 1992 demonstrated that Kevin was no couch potato. A natural fitness and a great deal of time riding bikes both on and off the road saw to that. Dedicated training was not easy to get enthusiastic about but riding bicycles, again both on and off the road provided enough interest to top up the motivation.

"More recently though I've started riding bicycles a whole lot. In '92 I wasn't able to do much training because it was February before I could even ride my bike and even then I wasn't 100% fit. Later in '92 I met Jonathan Boyer, he just said, 'look whenever you get the chance, just go out and ride. As long as you can keep your cardiovascular system fit, you don't need to be that strong. Because if you don't get tired, you don't get fatigued you won't lose what strength you do have. As long as you can keep your concentration and not get physically tired it is not that difficult."

"I started riding bikes a lot and in '93 I noticed a big improvement. I realised then that I didn't need to spend a lot of time in the gym', I didn't need to spend a lot of time trying to put on bulk, build up muscle mass and get big, I just needed to keep fit. As long as you don't ever feel tired riding and get winded, short of breath, then you don't slow down. Of course your muscles are sore on the Monday but it doesn't effect you during the race."

"A lot of that comes back to your mental state as well. If you feel you have prepared well, you are confident that you will do well. And it is all bound up in the hours that I spent riding the race bike, that's the best training that there is, time spent on the bike."

"I don't spend that much attention to a strict diet. But of course when race week rolls around, from Thursday night on, I try and not eat any red meat. I try and not eat anything that is going to take a long time to digest, I concentrate as much as I can on carbohydrates and stuff that is good for you and gives you energy. Besides the time actually building up to the race I eat anything I can find."

"I don't mind a good feed now and then. Monday on the road is often McDonald's day and a tray full of health food to fill his face with. McDonald's are common enough in Europe but at times he feels the need for a change and in Austria knows where there's a Burger King near Salzburg airport"

"You walk in the place and just the smell of the Whopper gets you going. We're like a bunch of little kids scrapin' over what's on the tray.... that's mine... no that's mine."

 


A refined repast in the Lucky Strike hospitality unit. Kevin is a little less sophisticated when eating at McDonald's.
"In '95 I never had a drink the week of a race. On Sunday night I'd have a drink but if we were racing the following weekend that would be it until the next race was over. I drank a whole lot less than before generally. Before I kind of felt that a beer on a Thursday or Friday or whenever it might he would just settle my nerves and help me go to sleep and wasn't bad. But I found that I could tell the difference if I don't have a beer the whole week to having one at any time in that period. I just stay away from it and really feel sharper. How it translates into action for me is that out in practice or the race, something happens, the front end pushes, I can tell if I have had a beer the night before or even two or three days before by the way I react. Instead of saving it I would be looking for the quickest way off of it."

"It really did effect me and I realise that now. There were a lot of times I could have jumped off the bike in '95, predicaments I got myself in and I managed to get out of them. I just think it helps you think that much better, that much sharper and clearer and react better."

Kevin won the World Championship by as much as possible eradicating everything that could detract from his performance. That alone would not have been sufficient if there were other weak links in the complex chain that makes up the entire racing package.

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