What would make RHCs even better?
A live broadcast, especially on TV.
In what ways are RHCs similar to the new Mad Max movie? Or any Mad Max movie?
Okay, now this seems more like a test of knowledge than an interview! I love Fury Road but I don’t know the answer.
We imagine that you’ve raced non-fixed gear criteriums as well. What are the big differences between these two styles of racing? In terms of speed, strategy, time of day? Promotion? Location? Media? Vibes?
There are huge differences between crits in the US and Germany. In Germany, crits aren’t that popular and there only a few spectators. There is no good racing mood or party.
Crits in the US are awesome. Many spectators, curvy courses, riding into the night and fast as hell. It is more difficult to ride tactically in RHC though. The speed feels about the same, but in a non-fixed crit there are more attacks, I think. The crits I’ve ridden in here are promoted well and had are held in cool locations. But RHC has an even better and more intense media focus before, during and after the races.
Is there a different sense of risk vs reward in the RHC races? What’s on the line for you as a racer?
Before my first RHC in London 2016 I was pretty nervous. It looked more dangerous than normal crits/races. But after a few laps I noticed that it’s not more dangerous than other races.
What about fixed gear racing makes it more interesting than geared bike racing?
For me, both are interesting. One thing special to fixed gear races is that you need to know how fast can you go in each turn. With just one gear, knowing your speed is very important.
Tell us about bike handling, reading a race, and fitness. How do you think about them as they apply to RHC racing? How are they different from regular crits?
To ride a RHC succesfully you need to have all these three things you listed. Bike handling is more important in a RHC than in a normal race. When you’re get into trouble but you can’t stop pedaling, it’s not for beginners! Riding a RHC requires a lot of experience.
What about the event itself? These races have a party atmosphere. Lots of action going on before, during, and after the race. Are you into it? Do think it’s an important part of the culture of these races?
The party atmosphere is what RHC is almost all about. I always join the parties after the race to chat with other competitors, and it’s always a lot of fun. If they took away the party part, they would kill the RHC spirit.
How intense is the contact between you and other riders when you’re out there on the course? If possible please use a metaphor to describe the feeling of this contact.
I’m more of a soft and non-risky rider, I try to avoid as much contact as possible.
What metaphor best describes the feeling of the race in general? For example: Scorpion Rumble, Badger Brawl, A Storm of Falling Glass, etc.
That’s a tough one for a German… I feel the hectic mindset and the tension of everyone in the first few laps. At the start line it’s like “the calm before the storm”.
Speaking of gladiatorial combat, what is your favorite action movie fight scene?
Me on duty. 😉
What is your biggest fear? What is your biggest hope?
I’m afraid of heights.
What’s the dumbest thing you’ve ever done in a race? Don’t be shy, just own it. Dish.
I went the wrong way in a time trial. Guess what, it wasn’t a shortcut…
What’s the best thing you’ve ever done in a race? Tell us all about it!!!!!
I let one of my best friends win a race as a big thank you. We were both out front and behind us there was a crash, he was doing the lead out and I didn’t overtake him, just pushed him over the finish line.
Speaking of fear, one a scale of 1-10, 10 being the highest, how afraid are you when you’re racing in one of these events? Please explain.
8! You never know what the following RHC will bring you. Because of the fact that there are just four races each year, every race is like the first race for me.
If you weren’t racing the RHC series what would you be doing?
I keep myself busy! I would do road races, track races (especially stayer races) and of course non-fixed crits in the us!
Is racing the RHC series your dream? If not what’s your dream? Tell us about your dream.
It is a challenge that lets me prove myself. I’ve dreamed a lot, now I’m 31! I try to have as many memorable moments as possible.
Do you have non-bike, non-athletic related hobbies/interests? If so what are they?
I love to travel. I love to see the world. Maybe there’s a dream. I want to visit 100 countries in my life… 64 remaining.
Do you have a power animal? If not you should, please assign yourself one. What is it? Why?
The wolf, fascinating animals (how they hunt and live). They are like a superhero dog! And finally they are back in East Germany after more than 20 years!
What do you like most about your bike? Get specific.
I’ve never ridden a Specialized but I’ve always wanted to. I’m happy I get to now!
What do you like most about your sponsors? Go big and get specific!
That they give me (from Germany) the chance to be a part of this great team and that they put so much trust in my performance on the bike.
What’s the strangest thing you’ve ever done, or thought about doing? Yes, we are going to publish this but that’s not relevant right now. More importantly, this is therapeutic. We’re asking this for your own good. Please take a solid step outside your comfort zone and tell us something you’ve never told anyone before. Trust, reach deep, it’s part of the process.
I used my police license in private for an advantage which is forbidden as a student!!
Maybe you have a hero all lined up for this question, maybe you don’t. Either way, who is your hero and why? It does NOT need to be an athlete, but it’s okay if it is.
My hero is my girlfriend because she’s lived with me for six years! She is always there for me, works hard, and has to care for our little daughter all alone when I’m away racing for a long time. She gives me power, trust, happiness and all the other positive vibes I know.