12-10-2018, CANYON ROAD TO KONA
I'll tell you a little secret: on my very first ride, I cried. From Adelaide we rode along the coast and on the way back it was very windy and the sand whipped in my face. It wasn't easy to carry on, but that experience was exactly what made me enthusiastic about cycling.
Cycling is always a challenge against myself. As soon as I have reached a small goal, it motivates me so much that I set myself a new challenge, be it a new distance or a particularly high intensity. Performance motivates me. it also makes you hungry for more.
What was an even bigger challenge for me at the beginning of my career as an athlete was to work full time in addition to training. From 2006 I had a full time job and in 2008 I started racing ITU races. This is short course triathlon on World Series level. As with sport, I gave my all at work. At that time I worked in corporate finance. My intensive triathlon training was, as paradoxical as it may sound, my balance. The training made me fitter and fitter.
In 2012 I won the Ironman 70.3 in Cairns and in 2014, I became Oceania Duathlon Champion. In 2015 I really began my most successful period. In races like the Ironman 70.3 in South Korea and an Olympic distance in New Caledonia I took first place. Due to my form at that time I decided to focus on long distances from then on.
Racing always means travelling and this means that you have to be financially well prepared. While I am confident in my abilities as an athlete to make it financially, as an athlete there is always some risk. Winning prize money has helped me set up a marketing plan, and turn myself into a brand; an important point for everyone who wants to start their career as a pro athlete!
At the beginning of 2016 I officially finished my career in corporate finance. I began to work even harder on myself and my fitness. It really paid off, my plan worked out and when I look at where I am now and the sponsors I can work with, it makes me incredibly proud.
I'm very selective on choosing sponsors, performance is much more important to me than sponsorship money. This has helped me form the very best partnerships with the highest performing brands in the sport. Also, getting the right support and the culture of the sponsors people providing that support has to fit together. Canyon is an incredible partner. Everything Canyons people do is to the highest quality and also is done really efficiently - that is certainly a bit of German culture!
Oh something else - I'm learning a little German right now. I already know one of the most important sentences: "Ich hätte gerne einen Berliner!” (in English I would like a Berliner!). These fluffy balls filled with jam are simply incredibly delicious! Unfortunately I don't get them anywhere in the USA. We have a large German community here, which is why there was sometimes German food in the canteen during my school days. Those were definitely my favourite days!
So three of the most important things are perfect in this relationship: the bike, how we work together as a team and of course the food!
I am super motivated to start in Kona and look forward to this epic race!