Isaac Sackey is a multi tasking athlete, he is 27 and he lives in Accra, the capital of Ghana. Isaac is a racer for both a private team and the Ghanaian National Team. He is also Triathlon coach, mechanic and bicycle constructor.
1.I would like to start this interview asking you to introduce yourself to those who don’t know you.
1. My name is Isaac Sackey (nickname is Shasha) and I was born November 22nd 1990.
I am a Ghanaian by birth, born and live in Accra, the Capital city of Ghana, West Africa.
2.Do you only dedicate yourself to cycling or do you do another job?
2.Yes, I dedicate myself to cycling but because here we hardly have races , I do work as an independent mechanic (repairing and building bikes) and also as a private cycling coach for both professional Triathlon athletes and fun riders (all levels).
3.When did you start riding a racing bike?
3. I started racing on racer bike in 2007, but before I was racing with mountain bike since 2003.
4.Are you on a cycling team?
4.Yes, I am on a private cycling club and also 50% on National team of Ghana.
5.Do you compete in Ghana or in other countries?
5.Yes, for club I compete in Ghana whenever we have races and for our National Team I have competed in UCI races in Burkina Faso, Togo, Ivoire Cost, Benin and Nigeria.
6. Is road cycling a popular sport in Ghana?
6. Cycling started years ago but because of challenges it doesn’t grow like it has grown in other African countries. We have many strong/promising riders but most of us support ourselves which is very hard to maintain fitness.
7. How many km do you ride each week?
7. Weekly kms depends on my weekly schedules. During the race, it depends on competition program but if it is my weekly training: Monday and Saturday I ride mountain bike total of 240 kms; Tuesday I do time trial 43kms, rest 10mins, ride 43kms, rest 10mins, ride 43 kms and the total for the day is 129kms; Wednesday I do 217kms; Thursday I do 100kms and Sunday morning I do 42kms and coaching , I run 5kms with triathlon team and Sunday afternoon I coach fun riders.
8. Are you good at fixing your bike?
8.Yes, and even more than fixing. I do build bikes for people who can not afford to buy a complete bike, they bring pieces by pieces and I build for them.
9.What are your plans for the next months and for the next few years?
9. For the next months in fact on 22nd April 2018, I will be on my first solo cross country on my time trial bike. I will ride 1316 kms in 7 days. My target is on time.
For the next few years, I want to have my own training center where I can keep myself and fellow cyclists fit, I keep coaching fun riders and helping young ones to discover their talents in both mountain biking and racing.
10. Will you try to become a professional cyclist?
10.Wow, I became professional cyclist in 2012 when I first joined the National Team.
11.Which race do you dream to be in?
11. Tour de France.
12.Which are the main problems that you have to face in order to become a professional rider?
12. Commitment without support: if you don’t have any support, you need to work. In our country it is rare to have part time jobs which pays enough to meet our needs. To be a pro you have to train and if you spend your time at work you can’t have time to train. Also when you are a pro you must eat well and ride, have the right equipment plus have time for your body to rest.
13. Is there a rider that you consider a model to follow?
13. Yeah , Christopher Froome.
14. In Ghana are there some road or MTB races?
14.Yes, but very rare.
15. What is your favourite dish?
15. Rice and chicken .
16.What is you favourite book?
16. I read cycling magazines.
Many thanks Isaac Sackey.
Interview by Pietro Fasola