Archiv für den Monat: Juli 2015



The sober one

„I will never become the winner of the Tour de France, but rather a millionaire” once said Rolf Goelz and he turned out to be right. He was one of the most successful German bicycle riders in 1980 as well as  a classics specialist. After his career he remained successful as a businessman.

Rolf Gölz

Rolf Goelz with his original Colnago Bicycle from the 1980th in front of his bicycle store in Bad Waldsee/Baden Wuerttemberg (Germany).


BAD WALDSEE ■ The 17th stage of the Tour de France is shown on TV in the spacious salesroom of the bicycle shop of Rolf Goelz in Bad Waldsee/Germany. The former professional cyclist and the two time Tour de France stage winner looks only briefly at the flat screen. “That was a long time ago.” During the day, he has no time to watch the race. In the evening he watches the run-down sometimes. But he is not very sentimental.
After his athletic career Goelz studied economics, a decision driven by reason. He didn’t dare to try studying ​Engineering (“Too much ​math”) and because he wanted to open a bicycle store it was appropriate to choose Business Studies. Furthermore the University of Applied Sciences Biberach was in his neighbourhood and he could continue living at home. After his studies he worked in his bike store, but selling bicycles and standing around in the salesroom was not quite, what he really wanted and so the offer by Hans-Michael Holczer in 2002 to work for him came at the right time. Untill 2006, he worked as the athletic director for the German Gerolsteiner professional team. After that, he worked as a manager for a local rental car company. Then Goelz recieved an offer to open an bicycle online store. H​e takes care ​of all commercial aspects​ of his store​, ​while ​his partner Rolf Weggenmann is responsible for ​business operations​.  In his online shop he is the sole Managing Director.
Racingbikes with mudguards and a baggage carriers are not for sale in his shop. This type of bicyle was very common in the 1970th. Briefly before his communion such a bike was given to him by his step grandfather.

First race won

He used this type of bike in his first race. The local bike club was searching for talented riders: The course led across two miles (three kilometers) on a country lane from Bad Schussenried to Otterswang and back. Even today Goelz takes this path to work three times a week by bike. (Nowadays he rides approximately 1900 miles/3000 Kilometers per year.)
Really he should not be allowed to compete. He just got a smallpox vaccination and doctors discouraged him from ​engaging in ​strenuous physical activity. Goelz ​snuck into the race and won. The bike club gave him a real rac​ing​bike und he trained twice a week.
The results came early and nearly incidentally – typically for his career. He rode as​ a​ junior​ member of​ the ​m​en´s street team time trial​ ​and had to ride ​solo path​ at the German championship. He didn’t have a track bike, so he rented one, train​ing​​ twice on ​the ​track ​and ​becoming the national champion in 1980.
His track trainer from 1982 to 1984, Udo Hempel, still dreams about his graceful and astonishing physical abilities. Goelz would be absolutely focused on his sport, you had to slow him down. After a three hour high intensive training session you practically had to force him off the track.  His self confidence was below his abilities. He said, it was all about ​proving to himself, what he was capable of. “His passion for bicycling combined with his intelligence made his class.” In 1982 he won the silver medal at the Track championship in Great Britain, one year later he got the Gold medal in the 4000 Meter team pursuit at the world championship in Zurich (Switzerland). At the Olympic Games 1984 in Los Angeles he won a silver and bronze medal on track.

An Upper Swabian in Italy

These important wins were a superb opportunities for scoring a professional contract. Goelz had previously contact to Ernesto Colnago. At a bike exhibition in Cologne the famous bike producer contacted Goelz and asked him to ride for the Team Del Tongo-Colnago and so the down to earth rider signed up for the Italian team.
The linguistically talented Upper Swabian was fully integrated into the team of Mediterranean riders and could communicate in French, English and Italian. And again he achieved good results immediately: The Tour of Andalusia was his first race as a professional and he won, beating Miguel Indurain, who finished second place.
Giuseppe Saronni was a distinguished rider of the Del Tongo-Team, but the 32 years old Italien had passed his zenith. When Goelz realized that Saronni was saturated and not very diligent and he couldn’t convert his team´s effort for him into victories, and so he rode more and more on his own.
In his second year he said that Saronni declared that Goelz shouldn´t start at the Giro d´ Italia. Goelz still had a contract for a third year but he asked Ernesto Colnago for termination of the contract. Even now, ​his relationship ​with Saronni is ​shattered.  Goelz explains the fast results in the bare-knuckle professional business, that he rode bicycle in a complete different time: The riders stopped competing in October and started ​up again gradually ​around Christmas. The bicycle riders ​arrived at the first races​ poorly trained.
Goelz was really surprised; during the Tour of Andalusia in February, he said that, the professional athletes rode 90 Miles (150 Kilometers) on the little chain ring of his bikes and It was ​only ​in ​the last 18 miles​ (30 Kilometers)  stretch​ that the real race started. The change from amateurs to professional cyclists was easy for him, because he always trained a lot in the winter months and was in a good condition in the spring time. After leaving the Saronni-Team, he attended the Team Super Confex of Jan Raas and after three years he rode for the Buckler-Colnago and by 1991/92 he had a contract with Ariostea, where Moreno Argentin and Bjarne Riis were also employed. After eight years of professional cycling Goelz retired as​​ he had ​lost all motivation. The expectations of the media, the spectators and his employers burdened him. The pressure of winning all the time and the lack of appreciation of his results if he finished “only” second place took away his cycling pleasure.
Hartmut Boelts wanted to recruit him for the Mountainbike World Cup. He thought that Goelz could easily compete. But even early in the professionalization of the mountain bike sport it was not so easy to change from street racing to off-road racing. He won one race, but in this race he had to ride uphill on a gravel road, ​doing it with a mountain bike instead of a road bike​. ​​It wasn’t very technically challenging. At the World cup races​,​ he ​quickly dropped out of the qualification​ round​, ​not least because of the brutal downhill gradient. At the bottom of the valley he had such an over acidified musculature, that he wasn’t able to ride fast uphill anymore. But he doesn’t want to ​overlook this ​point: “The camaraderie was great!”

Tour de France Trophäen von Rolf Gölz

Rolf Goelz´ trophies from the Tour de France 1987 and 1988. He won the stretch from Tarbes to Blagnac and one year later the stretch from Reins to Nancy.

Even today he ​looks back fondly on his two stage wins ​from the Tour​ de France​ and the Championship of Zurich 1987 and one year later the victory of the Fleche Wallonne (the Walloon Arrow), a major men’s professional cycle road race held in April each year in Wallonia, Belgium. The father of two grown up sons enjoyed the classic cycle races: “I was good in riding little mountains uphill, a strong sprinter, I trained seriously in the winter months and I liked the cool weather.”
Goelz is a pragmatist. Money is important to him, he doesn’t want to count every Euro, but his father was a civil servant, and at home they had to save money. As a teenager, he also cycled to school every day by bike, because he could keep the money he saved for public transportation. During the Tour de France 1989 he said: “I will never become the winner of the Tour de France, but rater a millionaire.” He achieved this goal at least in “Deutsche Mark”-Times. The 52 years old remained down to earth and he doesn’t splurge. He drives a ten year old car; it is not a Porsche. He said that he could earn more money in his athletic career. He hardly ever rode in well-paid Six-day racings and he gave up 500.000 Marks (250.000 Euro), because he ended his career prematurely in 1992.


Of course Goelz realized that doping was prevalent during in his time as ​an ​athlete​. Epo didn’t exist back then, but Human Growth Hormones (HGH), anabolic steroids, amphetamines and cortisone abounded. He said that there were always riders who had taken less or more. Every single rider had to choose for himself just how far he was willing to go to win.
“But I also know that it was possible on a good day to win without doping. I have proven it.” ​Later, with the advent of EPO​, this was​ not possible anymore​.​​That’s why Rolf Goelz doesn’t want to condemn riders who took part in ​doping ​and he can’t understand the ​public ​condemnation of Lance Armstrong.
He thinks back of the Tour de France 1987, the last one  ​that was over 2500 miles (4000 Kilometers), one of his two stage victories, he won that year. In the last three stages all of the riders where totally exhausted. So they rode 100 Miles (160 kilometers) very slowly and Lord help the guy, who wanted to ride faster. Only during the last 18 miles (30 kilometers) did performance pick back up. He said it is possible to ride the Tour without doping, then the athletes just arrive at the finsih line a little bit later. But it´s  human nature, to win at any costs. Goelz is a realist through and through.

Seit 2013 verkauft Gölz und sein Geschäftspartner auf 600 Quadratmeter Fahrräder in Bad Waldsee.

Since 2013​ Rolf Goelz and his business partner ​have sold bicycle​s​​ out of his ​6500-square foot shop in Bad Waldsee​, Germany.​

Translation into the English language by Shellie Labell & Dirk KUNZ



Der Nüchterne

„Tour-Sieger werde ich nie, aber Millionär“ hat Rolf Gölz einst gesagt und er sollte Recht behalten. Er war einer der erfolgreichsten deutschen Radrennfahrer in den 80er Jahren und galt als Klassikerspezialist. Auch nach seiner Karriere blieb der Geschäftsmann erfolgreich.

Rolf Gölz

Rolf Gölz mit seinem original Colnago-Rad aus den 80er Jahren vor seinem Radgeschäft in Bad Waldsee.


BAD WALDSEEDie 17. Etappe der Tour de France läuft auf einem Bildschirm im weitläufigen Verkaufsraum des Radgeschäftes von Rolf Gölz in Bad Waldsee. Der ehemalige Profi und zweifacher Tour-Etappensieger schaut nur kurz auf den Flachbildschirm. „Das ist lange her.“ Während des Tages hat er wenig Zeit, das Rennen zu verfolgen. Abends schaut er manchmal die Zusammenfassung an. Sentimentalitäten sind seine Sache nicht.
Nach seiner Radsportkarriere studierte Gölz BWL. Eine Vernunft-Entscheidung. An Ingenieurwissenschaft traute er sich nicht ran („Zuviel Mathematik“) und da er ein Fahrradgeschäft eröffnen wollte, bot sich das Wirtschaftsstudium an, außerdem konnte er zu Hause wohnen, da sich die FH Biberach in der Nähe befand. Danach hat er ein Jahr in seinem Radgeschäft gearbeitet, direkt im Laden stehen und verkaufen wollte er aber langfristig nicht, so kam die Offerte von Hans-Michael Holczer 2002 genau zur richtigen Zeit. Bis 2006 war er sportlicher Leiter für das Team Gerolsteiner. Danach arbeitete er zwei Jahre für einen lokalen Autovermieter als Controller. Dann bekam Gölz das Angebot, einen Rad-Online-Handel zu eröffnen. In seinem Radgeschäft kümmert er sich um alle kaufmännischen Aspekte, sein Partner Rolf Weggenmann betreut das operative Geschäft. Bei dem Online Shop ist er alleiniger Geschäftsführer.
Rennsporträder gibt es in Gölz´ Geschäft nicht zu kaufen. Die waren beliebt in den 70er Jahren: Rennräder mit Schutzblech und Gepäckträger. So einen “Halbrenner” bekam er vor seiner Kommunion vom Stief-Großvater, der selbst Rennfahrer war, geschenkt.

Erstes Rennen gewonnen

Damit hat er sein erstes Rennen bestritten. Der lokale Radsportverein suchte Talente: Drei Kilometer auf einem Feldweg von Bad Schussenried nach Otterswang und zurück. Auf der gleichen Strecke fährt er noch heute regelmäßig mit dem Rad zur Arbeit (Jahrestrainingskilometer: 3000). Der Zwölfjährige durfte aber eigentlich gar nicht starten. Er war gerade gegen Pocken geimpft worden und von schweren körperlichen Anstrengungen wurde abgeraten. Gölz schlich sich zum Rennen und gewann. Der Radverein stellte ihm ein richtiges Rennrad und fortan trainierte er zweimal die Woche.
Die Erfolge stellten sich früh ein und kamen fast beiläufig- ein Charakteristikum seiner Karriere. Er fuhr als Junior im Straßenvierer, deshalb sollte er bei den Deutschen Bahn-Meisterschaften in der 4000 Meter Einerverfolgung starten. Er lieh sich ein Bahnrad, weil er selbst keines besaß, trainierte zweimal auf dem Oval und wurde 1980 Deutscher Meister der Amateure. Udo Hempel, sein Bahn-Rad Trainer von 1982 bis 1984, schwärmt noch heute von seinen begnadeten biomotorischen Fähigkeiten. Gölz sei absolut auf seinen Sport fokussiert gewesen, man habe ihn eher bremsen müssen. Nach einem dreistündigen intensiven Training habe man ihn regelmäßig mit sanftem Druck von der Bahn geholt. Sein Selbstvertrauen hinkte damals aber seinem Können hinterher. Es ging vor allem darum, ihm zu vergegenwärtigen, was er zu leisten im Stande war: „Seine Leidenschaft fürs Radfahren, kombiniert mit seiner Intelligenz machten seine Klasse aus“, sagt Hempel. Gölz gewann 1982 eine Silbermedaille bei der Bahnrad-WM in England, ein Jahr später Gold in der 4000 Meter Mannschaftverfolgung bei der WM in Zürich, bei den Olympischen Spielen 1984 in Los Angeles holt er Silber und Bronze auf der Bahn.

Ein Oberschwabe in Italien

Die Erfolge waren hervorragende Bewerbungsvoraussetzung für einen Profivertrag. Gölz hatte schon früh Kontakt zu Ernesto Colnago, auf einer Fahrrad-Messe in Köln kam der auf ihn zu, ob er nicht für das Profi Team Del Tongo-Colnago fahren wolle und so unterschrieb der Heimatverbundene bei den Italienern. Der sprachbegabte Oberschwabe war sofort integriert und konnte sich schnell auf Französisch, Englisch und Italienisch verständigen. Und wieder fuhr er sofort Resultate ein: Die Andalusien-Rundfahrt war sein erstes Profirennen, das er auch gewann, vor Miguel Indurain.
Giuseppe Saronni war der Spitzenfahrer seines Rennstalls, aber der 32-Jährige hatte seinen Zenit überschritten. Als Gölz realisierte, dass der etwas trainingsträge Italiener die Arbeit, die die Mannschaftskollegen für ihn leisteten nicht in Erfolge umsetzen konnte und wollte, fuhr er immer öfter auf eigene Rechnung. Im zweiten Profijahr habe sich Saronni gegen seine Giro-Nominierung ausgesprochen. Zwar hatte Gölz noch einen Vertrag, er sprach aber mit Ernesto Colnago und bat um Freigabe. Bis heute ist sein Verhältnis zu Saronni zerrüttet.
Die schnellen Erfolge im beinharten Profigeschäft erklärt Gölz damit, dass er in einer anderen Zeit Rad gefahren sei: Im Oktober habe man damals mit dem Radfahren aufgehört und erst kurz vor Weihnachten wieder langsam mit dem Sport begonnen. Relativ untrainiert seien die Profis dann zu den ersten Rennen gekommen. Gölz staunte nicht schlecht: Während der Andalusien-Rundfahrt im Februar seien die Rennfahrer 150 Kilometer auf dem kleinen Kettenblatt gefahren und lediglich die letzten 30 Kilometer vor dem Ziel begann das eigentliche Rennen. Der Wechsel zwischen Amateur und Profi ist dem im Winter immer fleißig trainierenden Gölz somit leicht gefallen. Nach dem Bruch mit dem Saronni-Team kam er 1987 zu Jan Raas´ Mannschaft Super Confex, nach drei Jahren fuhr er dann für Team Buckler-Colnago und 1991/92 war er bei Ariostea unter Vertrag. Dort fuhr er mit Moreno Argentin und Bjarne Riis. Nach acht Jahren Profiradsport war dann Schluss. Gölz hatte keine richtige Motivation mehr. Auch die Erwartungshaltung der Medien, Zuschauer und Arbeitgeber belasteten ihn. Der Druck, immer gewinnen zu müssen und die fehlende Wertschätzung von den Ergebnissen, wenn er „nur“ Zweiter wurde, hatten ihm die Freude am Fahrradfahren genommen.
Hartmut Bölts wollte ihn 1993 für den Mountainbike-Weltcup gewinnen. Da könne er doch ohne großen Aufwand mitfahren, meinte Bölts. So einfach sei das aber auch schon damals nicht gewesen. Ein Mountainbike-Rennen hat er zwar gewonnen, da ging es aber nur auf einem Schotterweg berghoch, den er halt mit einem Mountainbike anstatt mit dem Rennrad hochfuhr, technisch nicht besonders anspruchsvoll. Bei den Weltcup-Rennen sei er aber regelmäßig schon in der Qualifikation ausgeschieden, nicht zuletzt wegen der mörderischen Abfahrten. Nach einer solchen habe er im Tal so übersäuerte Beine gehabt, dass er berghoch auch nicht mehr schneller fahren konnte. Missen möchte er dieses Intermezzo aber nicht: „Der Zusammenhalt war toll.“

Tour de France Trophäen von Rolf Gölz

Rolf Gölz´ Sieg-Trophäen von der Tour de France 1987 und 1988. Er gewann die Etappe von Tarbes nach Blagnac und ein Jahr später den Abschnitt von Reims nach Nancy.

Auch heute noch blickt er gerne auf seine zwei Tour-Etappensiege zurück, auf die Meisterschaft von Zürich 1987 und ein Jahr später auf den Sieg im Fleche Wallonne. Vom Fahrertyp lagen dem Familienvater von zwei erwachsenen Söhnen einfach die klassischen Rennen. „Ich konnte kleinere Berge gut hochfahren, war sprintstark und kam immer gut durch den Winter, außerdem lagen mir die kühleren Temperaturen.“
Gölz ist Pragmatiker. Geld ist ihm wichtig, er möchte nicht jeden Euro zweimal umdrehen, der Vater war Beamter, im Hause Gölz wurde gespart. Als Jugendlicher ist er auch deswegen jeden Tag mit dem Rad zur Schule gefahren, weil er das gesparte Busgeld behalten durfte. Während der Tour de France 1989 hat er gesagt: „Tour Sieger werde ich nie, aber Millionär.“ Das sei ihm gelungen, zumindest in DM-Zeiten. Der 52-Jährige ist aber bodenständig geblieben und er protzt nicht. Er fährt ein zehn Jahre altes Auto und es ist kein Porsche. Er hätte während seiner Profi-Zeit mehr verdienen können. Er fuhr kaum gut dotierte Sechstage-Rennen und verzichtete alleine auf 500.000 Mark weil er 1992 seine Karriere vorzeitig beendete.


Gölz hat natürlich mitbekommen, dass auch zu seiner Zeit gedopt wurde. Es gab noch kein Epo, wohl aber Wachstumshormone, Anabolika, Amphetamine und Kortison. Es habe immer Fahrer gegeben, die mehr oder weniger genommen hätten. Es musste dann jeder selber beantworten, was er bereit war zu tun.
„Ich weiß aber auch, dass es möglich war an einem guten Tag ohne alles zu gewinnen: Das habe ich auch bewiesen.“ Das sei später in der Epo-Zeit nicht mehr möglich gewesen und deshalb möchte Rolf Gölz keinen Rennfahrer verurteilen, der da mitgemacht hat und er kann auch die Globalschelte gegenüber Armstrong nicht verstehen.
Er muss an die Tour de France 1987 denken, die letzte Austragung der Frankreich-Rundfahrt über 4000 Kilometer, einen seiner zwei Etappensiege holte er in diesem Jahr. Die letzten drei Tage waren alle Fahrer platt. 160 Kilometer wurde richtig langsam gefahren und wehe ein Fahrer hat sich nicht daran gehalten, erst die letzten 30 Kilometer ging es dann zur Sache. Man könne die Tour sauber fahren, dafür käme man halt etwas später an. Aber es läge eben auch in der menschlichen Natur, um jeden Preis gewinnen zu wollen. Gölz ist halt durch und durch Realist.

Seit 2013 verkauft Gölz und sein Geschäftspartner auf 600 Quadratmeter Fahrräder in Bad Waldsee.

Seit 2013 verkauft Gölz und sein Geschäftspartner auf 600 Quadratmetern Fahrräder in Bad Waldsee.

Adelheid Schuetz – World Class Amateur


Straightforward world class

The senior two-times world champion and multiple Bavarian time trial champion Adelheid Schuetz, finished as amateur seventh position at the 2015 German championship of the elite female bicycle riders in Einhausen (Hessia). Photo: Christian Göckes

The senior two-times world champion and multiple Bavarian time trial champion Adelheid Schuetz, finished as amateur seventh position at the 2015 German championship of the elite female bicycle riders in Einhausen (Hessia). Photo: Christian Göckes


EINHAUSEN ■ Adelheid Schuetz is one of the fastest bicycle riders in Germany, but basically she can’t really ride. She doesn’t like to ride together with others in the peloton, especially she doesn’t like curves. “But straightforward she is world class”, says her husband Rainer Voelkl, who also is her trainer.
Among the world-class bicycle riders, who are all younger and whose profession is to ride very fast, the studied chemist sticks out.
Raised in Thuringia, East-Germany in an academic family, her mother was a mathematician, her father a physicist, sport doesn’t play a major role in her life. In the time shortly before the German reunification, she had taken part in the Monday demonstrations against the suppressing government . After High School, she immigrated to Great Britain, than went to France for two years. Finally she graduated in Ireland.
Her husband, also a scientist, brought her to the cycling sport. At the age 35, she started to train seriously. “My wife could ride 100 miles, hands down on the handlebar and so she was particularly suited for the time trial“, Rainer Voelkl said back then and registered her in 2007 for the city championship of Bayreuth. She won and improved the course record for six minutes. She never owned a car and always liked riding bicycle. She started the competitive sport rather late, because she wanted to take her Ph. D. first. For her doctoral degree she studied behaviour of polyvalent ions.
You can explain Adelheid Schuetz aversion against curves and the big peloton, because of her late start with the specific bicycle training: “If you start to train that in youth, you are able to succeed in the peloton and you are technically more experienced.”
But to ride straight ahead at high speed unfolds a certain potential of addiction: ”I love it, to ride really fast. I enjoy the feeling to merge with my bicycle and to watch the fields go by”, says the 41- year old woman. She is more than 20 years older than a lot of her opponents, but that is nothing to her. She got along well with the other female bicycle riders. Of course they had other interests, but during the race, age doesn’t matter. On the contrary age is also an advantage: From the age of 30 you are senior and it is possible to start races in this category and have the opportunity to win.
She works 45 hours a week  as faculty assistant at the University of Bayreuth, takes care of the students and gives lectures. So she has little time for training. To do that efficiently, she rides a lot in the evening at home on the rollers. Her training frequency is about 9.300 miles (15.000 Kilometers) a year.

Pre-run of the route at home

Adelheid Schuetz“I want to ride really fast”, that is her goal for the German Championship 2015 in Einhausen (Hessia). The week before, she trained a lot with the time trial bike. Rainer Voelkl recorded the circuit in advance and with a computer program it was possible for Adelheid Schuetz to ride the circuit of Einhausen on the rollers at home.
The night before the race, she had arrived with her husband. On Thursday she still worked at the university. Directly after the race on Friday, she drives home again. At the start area she is standing in her speed suit, without any sponsor- or team name. Minutes before the start her husband cleans the tires from dirt. She rides without an escort vehicle. No one tells her, how much lag or advance she has, which difficulties will arise after the next curve and no one encourages her out of the car. If she has a bike failure, the race is over for her. Then her husband has to pick her up by car.
The presenter at the start area seems that he isn’t really aware of her name and is wondering, why Schuetz starts 4th last position with all high class riders: “I don’t know, who is responsible for the starting list, but if she is starting so late, she really has to be talented.”
Schuetz rides uncertain down the abrupt and technical difficult platform and in the curves her insecurity is obvious. 42 Minutes later, she approaches the finish line. Six riders were faster: All younger and with team support, 49 riders were slower.
Adelheid Schuetz is satisfied with the 7th position, her second best result at the German championship ever. In every curve she lost ten seconds at least, she said. It hurts a little bit, that Charlotte Becker at position six was only one second faster than her. From all time trial specialists she never has beaten only Trixi Worrack and Charlotte Becker. On the actually very straight circuit, there was maybe one curve too much.

Translation into the English language: Dirk KUNZ


Adelheid Schütz, AmateurweltmeisterinAdelheid Schuetz became in early September 2015 timetrial world champion and gold medalist in her own age group (age 40-44) over 18.6 Kilometer (12 miles). She rode the route in Hobro (Denmark) in 27.07 minutes with an average speed of 41.15 Km/h (25 Miles per hour). She was faster than all 110 female starters of all age groups. Bicycle-legend Jeannie Longo, who won the gold medal of her age group (55-59) was 43 seconds slower, congratulated her personally in the backstage area.

(Photo: Rainer Voelkl)

René Sachse hasn´t been lost!

Overtaken three times, finished last position, still won

René SachseRené Sachse (Thuringia) starts for the bicycle club RC Gera 92. He finished last position at the German championship in the individual time trial.                                                              Photo: Wolfgang Schuh

Interview by DIRK KUNZ

Army employee René Sachse is the current Thuringian state champion in the individual time trail. So he qualified for the German championship in Einhausen (Hessia) this year. At this race last week the amateur bicycle rider finished last (29th) place. The winner several time world champion Tony Martin was in average more than six miles (10 Kilometer) faster.

Mister Sachse, you finished last place at the German Championship in the individual time trail, with a huge gap to the winner. Have you been lost?
René Sachse: No, but if I had, I don’t know, whether I would have realized it immediately, because I had to ride without an escort vehicle. I had to refrain such a luxury, which is standard for professional riders.
Tell me, wasn’t it a little bit depressing, that Tony Martin was 13 minutes faster than you on the circuit?
René Sachse: But he hasn’t worked on the day before the German championship in his former job as police officer and he didn’t have to drive on the same evening to the race, arriving there late at night or even had to attend the team leader meeting at ten o clock on the racing morning. I am absolutely convinced, that I could have been three minutes faster, if I optimized some tools in my daily training routine. But you have to see it from a positive point of view: I belong to the 29 fastest bicycle riders in Germany
How did you prepare for the race?
René Sachse: I tried to attend as many individual time trails under racing conditions as possible, this is the only way to get the toughness of races. Otherwise I trained a lot with my time trial bike on the Velodrome in my home town Gera.
With what intention do you enter such a race? Do you tell to yourself: I don’t want to be last?
René Sachse: I was always realistic. I hardly had a chance, among professional riders. The circuit was 26 miles, nine miles longer than my usual time trials. There were a lot of little ascents, which you realize only in the race. The atmosphere was great, by the way.
How many times have you been overtaken?
René Sachse: I started as 13th rider and three riders passed me. That hardly happens at the time trials I usually start. But I expected this at this top class race.
And what will happen next year?
René Sachse:  In 2016 I definitely want to be there again. I won a lot of experience and with some changes at my equipment I am sure, I will be some seconds faster.

The 34 year old bicycle rider lives in Gera (Thuringia) and works at the army in Augsburg. He rides between 8000 and 10000 miles (13- to 16.000 Km) a year. His next goal is the Masters Cycling Classic end of August 2015.

René Sachse with 54 Km/h (34 mph) at the finish line at the German championship in Einhausen (Hessia) Photo: Angie Haase

René Sachse with 54 Km/h (34 mph) at the finish line at the German championship in Einhausen (Hessia) Photo: Angie Haase

Translation into the English language: Dirk Kunz & Petra Exner-Tekampe