|World championship discipline||U40|
InterviewPrevious Glocknerman-participations: 0
Size (cm): 194cm
Weight (kg): 90kg
Training kilometers/ year: 19,000 in 2017
In 2017 I successfully completed the Giro d'Italia, Tour de France and Vuelta a Espana, riding the exact same route as the professionals, just one day ahead of them.
2016 Haute Route Alps
2016 Tour du Mont Blanc finisher
How did you get into extreme cycling?
The 2018 Glocknerman will be my first extreme cycling event, and it is a continuation of what I achieved last year by finishing all three Grand Tours. There always has to be a new goal to focus on, a way for us to keep aiming higher and seeing how far we can go in life. I am fascinated by seeing how far the human body and mind can go, and what better way to do that than with ultra cycling races given that they require a unique mindset and incredible levels of fitness.
What were your most beautiful and hardest bike experiences?
I have been fortunate enough to cycle all over Europe in recent years and have seen some truly amazing views and scenery, but one of the highlights was cycling up the Passo del Stelvio in 2017. The climb came as part of stage sixteen of the Giro d'Italia and was one of two ascents of the mountain. With heavy snow at the top of the mountain the road was cut out and had huge walls of snow towering over you, and then suddenly I emerged at the summit and saw the view down into the valley and was lost for words, it was the perfect end to a tough climb and a reminder of why I love cycling so much, for the places you get to see.
In terms of the hardest bike experiences, having to admit defeat after 280km of my first attempt at Tour du Mont Blanc. At 330km with 8000m of climbing it's not a big ride in comparison to the ultra races, but having only been cycling for six months it represented a huge challenge for me at the time. My mind wanted to go on but my body physically couldn't. As hard as it was admitting defeat that one experience has taught me so much and helped me grow as a person and a cyclist.
At Glocknerman, a large proportion of participants do not always reach the goal. Why are you convinced that you belong to the finisher?
I pride myself on my mental strength, to be able to take my body to a place where not many people can go. It takes time to develop such a mindset, but with every challenge I have taken on over recent years I have increased my ability to suffer and keep going, no matter what. I know that this is going to be essential for the Glocknerman.
Obviously I have never taken on an event like this before, so there is a sense of the unknown and a question in my mind that says 'Can I do it?' But I believe I have the ability to do so, otherwise I wouldn't have entered in the first place.
How do you motivate yourself for a challenge like the Glocknerman?
Motivation for me comes in two forms. The first is about creating a legacy for my little boy. I want him to grow up knowing that there are no limits to what he can achieve, and there's no better way to do that than by showing him through my own achievements. Any time when I feel like quitting I simply picture him and that's all the motivation I need to keep going.
My other motivation is driven by a fascination with the human body and mind, and seeing how far we can push ourselves. I believe that very few people ever really reach their full potential in life, which is sad because we can all achieve so much when we put our minds to it. I'm not worried about beating other people, but rather focused on being the absolute best I can be, because that's good enough.
I get supported in sports from?
My family, without their love and support I wouldn't be able to do all that I do.
How do you prepare for the Glocknerman?
Since finishing the three Grand Tours I have continued to increase my kilometres, riding over 19,000 km in 2017. Now this year I am starting to focus on specific longer rides to condition myself for the challenge that lies ahead.
The longest I have ridden for before was seventeen hours, when I completed the Tour du Mont Blanc, so I know I need to build more base kilometres, as well as incorporate several much longer rides so my body and mind can adapt to the strains of such distances.
Away from the bike I am a lover of cooking and food, and so will ensure my diet remains healthy and varied giving me enough fuel for all of my physical requirements. I have always believed that it does;t matter how well you train, if you don't eat well it will not count for so much.
How do you manage to endure extreme stress?
I believe that the ability to endure such extreme stress, both physically and mentally, comes from time and experience. Every time we wish ourselves past the point of comfort, when our bodies are telling us to stop, we increase our ability to handle higher levels of suffering and stress. That also gives us the knowledge that we have done it before, so we know we can do it again.
I also believe that we need to have a reason for wanting to endure such extreme levels of stress, and that comes back to our motivations. When we know exactly why we are doing something it makes it easier to stay focused and manage through the difficult times.
What's your motto?
Why live life on the edge when you can jump off it.
UltraSebastian Wallner (DNS)
Stefan Barth (U30)
Mario Thallinger (U30)
Marcus Leach (U40)
Stefan Schrenk (U40)
Patric Grüner (U40)
Simon Ruff (U40)
Paul Frisee (U40)
Florian Schütte (U40)
Mauro Salazar (U40)
Radosław Rogóż (U50)
Richo Meleg (U50)
Karl Pötzl (U50)
Eduard Fuchs (U50)
Rainer Steinberger (U50)
Wolfgang Wiener (U50)
Jean-Luc Perez (U50)
Robert Janisch (U60)
Aloyse Lenninger (U60)
Christian Klein (DNS)
Omar Di Felice
ClassicMartin Bendszus (U60)
Manfred Tod (DNS)
Christian Woiciechowsky (U60)
Hans-Rudolf "Hansi" Nyfeler (U60)
Andreas Nistelberger (U60)
Hermann Bürge (U60)
Barry Dickson (U60)
Ophel David (DNS)
Peter Scherrer (U70)
Mareile Hertel (fem)
Claudia Müller (fem)
Toni Kornfell (nc)
Manfred Malik (nc)
Cycling Team V. D.
WSA Ultracycling Graz
Hasiči Brno a spol