Christoph Sauser

Christoph is the current UCI XC world champion, a former World Cup overall winner, and Olympic medalist. Following is the story of his sporting background, told from his point of view.

Christoph's personal website is www.sauserwind.com.

"I grew up in a sport oriented family so I had a lot of support and encouragement to participate in many different sports from a young age. Some of my favorite sports when I was young were: rollerhockey, skiing, football and wrestling.

As a child I rode my bike a lot, but only back and forth to school. For me the bike was for transport and not really for pleasure. But I always appreciated that my bicycle was for me an efficient and independent form of transport.

When I saw a mountain bike the first time I got very excited as I could see the big potential of riding off road and having fun on the technical downhills. Before bikes came out with the triple chainring, climbing the steep trails to get to the top of the very fast downhills would have been impossible.

Since I had a long history in competitive sport it was natural for me to wonder what it would be like to race mountain bike. In '91 I found some information on a big mountain bike race in Switzerland called the Grand raid Cristalp. It looked like it was going to be a fun event for my first mountain bike competition. That race is a beautiful ride in the alps with a lot of competitors and for me that was a great experience. So I was excited to race a few more races in '91 and '92.

One night in a bar a friend of mine challenged me to apply for a racing license, and he even offered me to find a team to ride for. I started the '93 season as a member of the Parkpre team. It had just started that year and was perfectly managed. I raced for the Parkpre team for the first five years of my career.

In 1998 a big dream came through and I signed my first contract with a international team, Diamondback. That year was also the first time I stepped on a world cup podium, I won the U23 Euro Champs, plus finished second at worlds in the same category. I was very happy with my position on the team, but unfortunately the sponsorship situation for the next season was a little bit cloudy.

Lucky for me I had an offer from the number one team in the world in the name of Volvo-Cannondale at the end of the season. This of course was something I was very excited about and I had four great years on this team until 2003.

At that time Volvo pulled out of mtb-racing, but with Siemens-Cannondale I found another great team for the following 3 years, which was controlled under a completely different management. Only the bike was more or less the same.

Now I am going into the 4th year with Specialized Factory Racing team. We are a bunch of great people with the focus of racing and professionalism, but having lots of good fun next to it. With Specialized as such an innovative company we have the very best brand in our hands for winning races and being well promoted. We are Specialized!"

Biggest achievements:

Cross Country:
World Champion Italy 2008
Olympic Bronze Medalist Sydney 2000
World Cup Champion Overall 2004+2005
14 World Cup Wins
Vice World Champion 2005 and 2006, 3rd. 2001
Vice Word Cup Overall Champion 2002, 2003, 2008
6 Times Swiss Champion
European Champion U23 1998
Vice World Champion U23 1998

Marathon:
World Champion 2007
European Champion 2007

Just to let you know

December 27, 2010

Just to let you know I am training again! Sometimes it hurts more, sometimes less. Not complaining though here in the African summer.

It took me three days to get used to a 30 degrees temperature change, but now I am in to it.

Really love my new air-con in my apartment! The apartment is build is on top of business building, so you can imagine how hot it can get. Now I rest and the aircon is at work!

Time flies

December 10, 2010

Time flies, and I better hurry up with this winter update, since I am flying to South Africa very soon!

It has been very cold at home, which gave me a very nice winter feeling. Unfortunately not heaps of snow, but just good enough for some backcountry skiing, what I really enjoy!

My legs changing from fluffy to having some kind of tension again. Thanks to mister GYM! But before that I went through lots of muscle pain, which was terrible on the bike plus moving around in general.

Glad I passed this line now.

Have also started running, but it bores me. Not to death, but I can not find much exciting in it. I am a rider for sure, but running is a quick easy workout, when my head is getting sore from desk work.

Wines2Whales, RSA

November 22, 2010

You can take this race by it's name: Wines2Whales. A three day stage race. The start in the wine region of Somerset West, finish in Hermanus, a whale watch town at the Indian ocean. But is also the 2 in it, and that meant 230km of great riding with lots of man(woman?)made single trails!

Sogo.info is official charity of the event and we found great ways to raise money. For example you could bid to ride with us, Burry Stander, XTerra World Champ Conrad Stoltz and future XTerra World Champ and super model Dan Hugo and myself. We all got great partners to ride with, and we enjoyed luxury package treatment. The stay at the Erinvale Golf resort was great!

Very well done to my partner Carel Vosloo! We finished 15th, of around 500 teams.

No wonder, Carel grew up in Stellenbosch, the place where you learn to ride a bike proper!

Below you can find some pictures I have taken on the road.

I was really looking forward to

October 25, 2010

I was really looking forward to this 6 day stage race again. Last year I had so much fun riding it with my friend Bobby Behan, although it got a little slow at some stages, since Bobby's power to weight was not at it's best, plus he was also suffering a few cramping attacks.

I knew, with Silvio Bundi I will have the same fun, but we are going to ride way faster, especially in the descents we both can make up ground again. That was also very necessary, since the competition picked up so much compare to last year.

On day one we lost more then 1.5h due punctures and "no legs", but with every day we started to feel better and better, and finally we won in a sprint finish, plus two second places.

But the most important was, that we had the most fun of this racing holidays. So, next to race excitement we needed a good setup!

Liné G., who took incredible take care of us. For example, I never ever had to lift one bag!

Race Organisation, who made every thing possible.

Bigshot media, photographers and Paul W. Those guy's are so much fun to hang out with, plus I loved the daily footage at the dinners!

Eating & Drinking or Drinking & Eating?! Best: our gourmet burger with chips and beer in De Rust. Best town on route too!

My Specialized Stumpjumper with 14cm of travel, 9.5kg. A super smooth ride without any problems. (Ok day one, I had big tire issues, because my tire sealant in the rear dried out in the plane here. Next time I check it!)

Final Party. I still suffer of it, but it was all worth it!

Weather! We never got wet, except due river crossings. I hate wet shoes...

Every body body else who took part or being part of it. You guy's were great!

Congratulations also to my "mixed" friends Patrick Griessen and Ariane Lüthi who had a sweet overall victory in the mixed category!

Now looking forward to more South Africa action until mid November.

Songo.info charity day (please check out: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=153035328071169)

My new apartment in Stellenbosch needs work and furniture Johannesburg trip combined with Cape-Epic launch and Supersport attendance http://www.wines2whales.co.za We from Songo.info are official charity of this beautiful race, which is held on the 12.-14. Nov.

Roc d'Azur

October 10, 2010

10.10.2010 // Cross Country Roc d'Azur Fréjus, F

56km, 2,24hrs

9th place, 2.26min down to winner Alban Lakata

I felt so tired for the first 1.5h. I think, the next time I will not go full speed on the Friday's marathon race any more.

It was super windy and overcast agian, so it did not feel like easy holiday racing in every way!

At least towards the end I started to feel better, and landed in the top ten.

Now waiting in hotel for our very great team staff, who should come back from the venue soon. A cocktail ride along the beach will is planned. Looking forward to it!

08.10.2010 // Marathon Roc d'Azur Fréjus, F

88km, about 3.20hrs racing time

Second place, lost sprint for first against Jochen Käss

Not sure, but I think this is the first time I had not any mechanical here at Roc Marathon. The trails are so rocky, and that takes it's toll normally.

All the freerding lately definitely is giving me a lot of power in my legs, but going into a race is a shock to my system. Especially I picked up a flue, and at some stages my head was about to burst plus the firm mucus was not nice...

For the last 1h there was only Käss and myself left at the front. He suffered a flat in a downhill very close to a tech zone. Unfortunately too close. Well, at that point I thought this is going to be a easy win now, and I can save energy for Sunday. I was wrong! He caught me on the last long, flat windy part, and then in the sprint against the big head wind (it was more a power thing) I lost.

No beach time after the race. It was overcast and windy, so I went for a nap instead. I can still work on my tan next week in South Africa!

Chästeilet

September 27, 2010

Some pictures of our cow & cheese festival calls "Chästeilet". It is the day when the cows are coming down from they're mountain summer residence.

Back in school that day was almost better then x-mas and easter together. We even had school free.

The farmers get they're cheese, the cows flowers attached on they're head, and we young kids were smoking in the forest.

I have not been there since so many years, so it was a great revival, combine it with a nice bike ride. Did not smoke, but had a few drinks though.

Cross Country World Championships Mont St.Anne, CAN

September 6, 2010

2 half laps, plus 6 laps

32nd place, 2.03hrs racing time, half a century down to new world champ José Hermida

I wish this would not be my worlds race report... flat tire in first lap. I only realized it when I passed tech zone, so I ended up walking for ever. Actually when Todd passed me, he has giving me his co2 "bomb", but there was only a fart left in it. When the co2 dropped on the ground, it activated the valve and air was starting to come out. I could only pick it up later, since there was too much traffic in that single trail. But all those seconds did not matter anyway. I just did not want to walk all the way to tech zone, and having to give way to the guys racing the bikes. Anyway I ended up walking, and when I got my new wheel I was "snailing" all over the course. The moral was gone!

B

y the way after the feed zone, there was a fence separating the course. So parallel riding. Absalon came down one side, me the other. I had no idea in what place he was riding. We just looked at each other going down there, and our looks said a 1000 words. I knew it right there that he is not racing for the win as well. At least he was about 8min ahead, and closer to finish this thing off.

Hey very well done to Burry, who finished 3rd on his 29er hardtail. Sure he will once be in the middle of that step, but José the old dog definitely deserved that win here!

Pictures will follow.

I am now on the way to Montreal with Burry and new downhill world champ Sam Hill. Sushi dinner is waiting with Specialized Canada. From there we three are going to my home, before a big Specialized event in Madrid will take place. Contador will attend too, so I can finally show him how to climb on a road bike :-)

world cup windham

August 29, 2010

laps, 1.4h racing time

4th place, 17sec down to winner Jaroslav Kulhavy

Man it has been a long time since I could fight for the win in a World Cup again.

At the beginning it did not look though. I hate uphill starts, did not clip into my pedal right away, plus was almost in a crash too. So I was off for the first 3 laps completely.

With two laps to go I closed the air between the leaders and me during the downhill. I went to the front right away. That was good for the moral!

On last lap it all came down to Nino, Vogel, Kulhavy and myself. I did not have it in the sprint for going into the single trail before the long downhill, but passed Vogel soon after. I risked too much when I also wanted to overtake Nino and crashed out :-( That was it! I mean I

still came back, but in the sprint I was already behind, so that then was it for sure...

On the day before the race I felt ultra kak, and I started to worry if I would have to go around the course walking... Sometimes it is amazing how my head can change to the important thing when it comes to racing.

Now with that race I have a big reason to be nervous about for Worlds.

I will be on a mission and that is good for me!

Hopefully Burry and Todd will be more lucky at Worlds. Both showed great form, but had flat tires. They were in good company though. The rocks here are super sharp and edgy.

2 start plus 9 laps

August 23, 2010

2 start plus 9 laps, 5th place, 24sec behind winner Florian Vogel

This race course is different to a "normal" one. Good fun though!

Technical riding in the horse stadium, asphalt flat, one short steep climb and single track back to the stadium.

As you can imagine it was pretty tactical. Only Näf and myself tried each a attack on the flat asphalt, but we were not lucky.

With only less then 2.5 laps to go, Schurter crashed hard on his 29er, in the single trail. Absalon any myself were just behind him, and the big wheels were blocking our way. Näf and Voglel were gone, since we had to wait until Schurti came down from his loopings in the air, got the dirt off and ran back to his bike again.

In the final sprint I had no chance, and I was just spectating the two from behind.

Next destination train station Basel then Zürich airport-Chicago-Albany-Windham

Marathon World Championships

August 9, 2010

Marathon World Championships St. Wendel, GER

108km, 3.50hrs, 27-28km/h average speed!!

5th place, 5sec off winner Alban Lakata

It was too flat, too drafting for me... but I did not expect that there will be so many guys coming together to the finish line.

During the whole race I felt great and did not have to suffer for longer times. Only at some stages when you had to do the switch from cruising on a flat road to a short sprinting uphill.

Naef, Burry and I we had some mini break aways at some hill combinations, but on the long straights we always got caught again. Sure I have also tried it by myself on the very last asphalt climbs, since I knew I will not win when it comes down to a sprint finish. But those two attacks did not get much air in between me and my competitors since it neutralized it again on the next flat section.

Alban who was dropped from the beginning on had a incredible come back and somehow just managed to get into be battle in time. He made a great move on the last big tar road close to the finish, and made like 10-15sec into us. I could not react any more, so as in the open sprint into the track & field stadium. I had no chance against the ex roadie sprinting missile Celestino.

Very glad for Burry who had a goood sprint on the track, even he was slightly off just before the last corners. Very well done mate! I wish I could sprint like you, then I would not have had to do any desperate moves on the last 10kms :-)

By the way I was on a 1x10 drivetrain. 40 rotor blade in the front, 11-36 cassette rear. Only one time over a rooty uphill I would have liked a small chainring, but it was only a short section.

Val di Sole, World Cup

August 2, 2010

1 start plus 6 laps, 32km,1.56h racing time

63th place, 12min off winner Nino Schurter

Had a good week here in Val di Sole which was all about recovering and only training a little.

Wait, not everything went smooth. On the drive up here to Val di Sole we got rear ended just 20km before reaching our hotel. My brand new Multivan "butt" got damaged quite a bit, but most importantly nobody got injured seriously. Just the passenger lady of the small Dacia car

needed a ambulance rescue. But I think it was more the shock, since she was buckled up and did not hit the window.

The race then was not cool at all. I was so much of suffering for the first 3 laps. I hardly could not see straight. My body was somehow not on, even I felt nervous and good during the warm up. I could not eat, drink or sweat, but what you save you have left towards the end.

Suddenly I felt switched on, left Burry and Milatz behind, and Kulhavy only 10seconds away, which would have been 6th place. Unfortunately would have been... on a sharp right hander I hit my rear derailleur on a rock and the thing broke into pieces.

I was walking or freewheeling towards the tech zone. Many thanks to Todd who gave me a big push. It is great to have such good team mates out there!!

My tech zone stop took some time. New derailleur, derailleur hanger and chain. Unfortunately it was more "handicraft" build together, and I only had a few gears for finishing my last lap. But really that was was not a big deal any more.

By the way the course layout was not close like the Wold Champs 2008 any more. Even it would have, I would not won today anyway.

My head now is really focussed on the Marathon World Champs, which will take place next Sunday in Germany. I am thinking of this race since weeks. The course is really suiting me.

Lots of up and down, left and right. Won Euro Champs a few years back there.

euro champs

July 9, 2010

1 start plus 7 laps, 2.10hrs 4th place, 2.12min off winner Jaroslav Kulhavy

I arrived here in Israel really hammered, after being two days on the road coming from Estonia.

My legs felt like acid even the day before the race. I was expecting anything for today's race. I was even afraid I will be racing around 20th place. Might it was good that my body shut down so much, so I was on standby and recovered very well.

Surprisingly I had a good start and found myself riding comfortable in the lead with Kulhavy and Fontana. On a very steep rocky downhill Kulhavy crashed out right in front of me. Unfortunately I could not use him as a living cushion and I hit the rocks. After that my left knee, ankle, back and shoe was "broken". I have not been riding in such pain for a long time. Even now, lying on my bed under the cool aircon, it feels like a plier is pulling in my back. Not looking forward to a whole day of traveling tomorrow.

But all in all Israel was the trip worth. The event seemed to be well organized plus we had a good amount of spectators. And we definitely did not have to worry about rain and mud. It was ultra hot! I struggled a bit on lap 3 and 4 but then my head cooled down again. I was "warming" up on the rollers in a aircon room with a cooling vest on. From there on, I only did a few short intervals on the road and straight to the start.

By the way, we from the Swiss Team had incredible success. 5 gold medals in 7 races, and probably 3 or 4 more medals.

GP of Tallinn

July 7, 2010

7 laps, 2.08hrs

First place, 4.41min ahead Martin Loo

It is already five years ago since I have visited beautiful Estonia. Back then it was after the racing season. I still raced a marathon race in Finland at that time, which was only a short ferry trip over the sea from Estonia. I only had very good memories of that time, so

sure I wanted to go back again.

This time the sun basically never went down, I haven not seen real darkness for the whole time, even last night it got very late after a great bbq with my even greater host.

People here are very into mountain biking and outdoor sports, even the country is pancake flat. To me it almost looked like that the sea is at equal hight as the mainland and the trees the pinnacle points of elevation. But a flat country does not mean mountain bike racing is

easy. Today‘s course was very technical, with loose sand and lots of small tricky drops.

After lap two I was racing by myself in the lead. I did not get bored though, since I always had to be concentrated with all the technical sections. Plus the riding around the public swimming pool arena was eye catching.

4.7.2010 Marathon Race

70km, 2.20hrs, First Place

I have not seen rigid forks on racing bikes since more then 10 years. Today I have not seen any suspension fork on the whole first start row!!! Plus on AG2R roadie even lined up with a cyclo cross bike...

Nobody had a advantage with they‘re bike to my full suspension Epic for sure. As soon as we went into a trail it was holiday for me, and on the super fast gravel roads I was hanging or freewheeling in they‘re drafts.

There have been very good road riders in today‘s bunch. Like Jan Kirsipuu (Tour de France yellow jersey holder for about 7 days) or several other young grand tour riders.

Our average speed must have been above 30km per hour. I did not like the first hour at all. Always sitting in the saddle and constant pushing is not my kind of racing, and when the first hills started I did not have the feeling for climbing any more. I broke away in a technical trail with 20km to go. Luckily after that there have been not so many open drafting roads any more, so that made my today‘s win easier.

By the way in todays race there have been more then 1000 participants. It was a really nice atmosphere and I really enjoyed to be part of it.

It was a super hot day,

June 28, 2010

3 start plus 7 laps, 33km, 17.8km/h average speed

3rd place, 1.46min behind winner Julien Absalon

I was a super hot day, where you rather spend your time in a cold lake. But I don't want to complain. I love sun, heat and sweat! As every year, this race turns out like a mini world cup when it comes to competitors, organization and spectators. Although this year we had not so much, since for most people it was simply too hot to come up to Bern's house mountain.

I was pretty well placed coming up the last time on the start loop, but I got tangled up with a other handle bar and I almost came to a stop. I was in the middle of nowhere for the first lap, but finally moved up to third. My race speed was solid fast for the entire race. Missed out some freshness though due hard training the last two weeks.Bern it is a very demanding race, and towards the end it split up the field up completely.

By the way I was racing on the brand new Specialized Renegade 1.9 again. This tire is a real weapon, and my favorite for dry conditions. So fast rolling, amazing predictable grip and sure light too. I had super fun on the downhills, and I could make up time in those sections.

Now I spend a few more days at home, until I travel to Estonia for a Cross Country and a Marathon race. From there straight to Israel's Euro Champs. Looking forward to it!

One lap of 62km, 2.15hrs First Place

June 14, 2010

One lap if 62km, 2.15hrs First Place, 1.38min ahead Huber, Buchli and Stoll I was pretty tired after the Prague trip, and more and less worked on my bikes until Saturday. My Enduro needs to be ready for a cool freeride trip next week. A good amount of snow is covering the mountains when I am looking out of my windows at home. The sun better get it's summer job done! Estavayer is such a classic race! I raced here the first time as a junior 1993. All I remember it was cold, rainy and super foggy. This year the single trails were perfect. Very flowy and lots of berms. I loved it! For the entire race I was hiding myself in the draft of the others. With 20km to go -the point from where I knew the course- I broke away and had my personal time trial towards the finish. Luckily I almost made it before a short rain storm hit our way. I felt light and strong! I wanted to wait with my attack towards the end. Like this it is a great build up of excitement for exactly that point I wanted to go and making the difference!

Stairs of Prague, CZE

June 11, 2010

1h, around 20 laps

DNF, winner Jaroslav Kulhavy

It really is a cool event, although the stairs are so rough, and the uphill super steep! But the huge cheer of the spectators is definitely helping to get you up and down there!

Unfortunately I had to abandon the race with not far to go. My shifting cable ripped off in the spokes. It was a big petty since I felt great and was sitting comfi in the leading group with Kulhavy and Vogel.

Stage four, Sonthofen-Bregenz

June 7, 2010

Stage four, Sonthofen-Bregenz

75km, 1370m of climbing

2.22hrs, third place, finished together with winner Robert Mennen and

Alban Lakata, first overall

It does feels great to win a stage race! Over all those days to bring

it home worth much more then just a one day race.

Over 30km/h was our average speed! Probably my fastest race ever on a

mountain bike. It was a lot of asphalt though, but no tail wind.

My Stumpjumper 29er again, was a real bomb! Once that thing was on

speed you more and less have to break it down only :-)

On the very last climb which was steep, technical and slippery,

Albanator, Robert and myself broke away. The two are Ergon-Topeak

teammates, and the chance of a double victory made them or us going

super fast on the last 15km on gravel roads towards the "Bodensee".

Always 45km/h! I did not know that I can ride so fast on a mountain

bike.

Many thanks to Sand and Claire for the great support! Claire had a

pretty stressful time, not missing or missing the feeds. So it has

been for all the other teams too. GPS, Google maps and paper maps just

don't help much when there is traffic jam, accidents or the police

does road closures.

thought this is a good ias entry.

June 7, 2010

i got this message on my guestbook yesterday.

Trans Germany on 05.06.2010 11:56:10 from James E, Hinwil, Switzerland

Congratulations on your win! I just completed my first Trans Germany - it's great to be in the same race as Pro's like yourself. I want to say thanks again to the Specialized Team who were so helpful to all other Specialized owner riders there - it really makes it feel special for us amateurs too. Good luck for the next one! James.

Stage three, Pfronten-Sonthofen

June 4, 2010

Stage three, Pfronten-Sonthofen

55km, 1930m of climbing

2.05hrs, first place, around 1min ahead Albanator, first overall gc

Sunny and warm, what a relieve! No more baggy style, how fast, comfi and light did that feel!

Definitely light enough for a other stage win. I pretty much knew before hand it will all come down to the last asphalt climb, although the previous ones did a big selection already. They were ultra steep! Alban and I were the last survivors of the front pack, when we hit

that last climb. I was waiting for a good spot to attack, and quickly gained some time. But Alban would not be the Albanator, and giving up. I always seen him in sight, but thanks to my 29er I was super fast in the high speed downhills again, and gained even a little bit more

time.

The race here is super good organized. Today we even had a police escort in a BMW (535i) going down a twisty steep road. Siren was full on, and we raced each other. Wonder what would have happen if a "innocent" car would have come in our direction...

By the way I just had the biggest "flash back" ever, when I was riding to our Hotel here in Hindelang. In 1994 I raced a downhill world cup right here, right then!!! I remember it was pissing down for the whole time and we even had snow at the start. 3 Frenchys finished top 3.

Definitely Frank Roman and one of the Taillefer (or how ever you spell the name) brothers was up there!

After the world cup in Offenburg

June 1, 2010

After the world cup in Offenburg I was death for two days straight. On Monday after the race we had a press launch the whole day, and somehow that squeezed the last energy out of me. I was more and less resting and relaxing at home for a week. Now looking forward to Trans Germany which starts tomorrow. Fresh snow is close to town here in Garmisch. It looks like we are going to mark it tomorrow at the highest point. Hope no pouring rain or snow during the whole stage...

World Cup Offenburg, GER

May 24, 2010

1 Start Loop plus 7 Laps, 36.8 km, Average Speed: 19.44 km/h

4th Place, 1.24min behind winner Julien Absalon

Hey, I was glad to be on the podium again! Even it was not the real real one, the one on the steps. But at world cups the top five can show up there.

Nino and Absalon were never in reach, except Nino came pretty close backwards on the last lap, but he might just played it save.

I was always in a group racing for 3rd. It felt so good playing tactics and feeling the tension of racing again. Not like all the other past world cups where I eater had a very poor start or mechanical, and after all that only pedaling your own speed and without adrenaline to the finish is not so cool.

Last lap I was just hanging on to Jaroslav Kulhavy. He burned a amazing fast last lap out there, which was the fastest of all. I barely could hang on, and on the last climb my legs felt like a bath of hydrochlorid acid...I had to led him go.

The course and spectators here in Offenburg are one of the best. Also our hotel is great. It is more a Hotel in a big garden park surrounded by vineyards. Very green, very colorful, especially right now in the spring.

8 laps, 43km got disqualify

May 10, 2010

8 laps, 43km got disqualify It must be the first time ever that I got disqualify in a race. I had a flat tire 5 meters after the tech zone. I did keep on riding for a few meters, until I change my mind. I did not wanted to brake my proto carbon rim, which we do not have many of them yet. So I walked back to the tech zone, and there was not only a fresh wheel waiting for me, it was also the UCI commissar who has spotted me walking back on the course. I knew I will get disqualify, but still better then abandon the race 2 laps before the finish, or riding around on the rim to the next tech zone. At that time I was riding in 3rd place, behind Absalon and Vogel. Felt super good on the climbs, but on the very long flat asphalt part of the course, I missed the leaders "train draft" on lap one, and I could not catch up with the two leaders any more. vvvv

world cup houffalize

May 3, 2010

1 start + 5 laps, 32km, 1.47h 8th place, 2.20min behind winner José Hermida

It was tire chaos before the start! After the women's race it looked like we are going to have perfect dry conditions, since the course dried out from the earlier morning showers. Unfortunately it started to rain again, just in time, 45min before our start. That put all the

mechanics under big pressure! Our 3 boys handled it perfectly, and I got my Sauserwind. 1.8 on my super light carbon wheels right in time!

I must say I have no idea what other tire I would liked to have out there. It is the perfect tire for any kind of conditions. Good rolling, self cleaning, amazing grip and light. I think I have never seen so many different tire setups before a race. From the biggest knobby spikes to dry condition setups...!

I had to start in 4th row. Not good for me, especially when Jaroslav crashed right in front at the start line. I am already not famous for very fast starts, so misfortune like that put me even more off, and I found myself already 2min behind the leaders coming through after the start lap. Luckily my moral stayed very well, since I could pass riders after riders. Finally I was pretty happy with my 8th place, especially I hardly did not lose any more time after the start loop any more.

I am now ranked 13th overall, and will start second row, in three weeks at the German's world cup.

Team dinner at the local Chouffe brewery was really cool! There is nothing better then Belgium beer, plus sharing it with the entire team is awesome fun!

It has already been 3 days

April 24, 2010

It has already been 3 days since we finally arrived in England. It was a very long trip, one of my longest trips ever! How lucky did we feel that we were on the first Lufthansa plane crossing the Atlantic Ocean again since the Volcanic eruption. One the other hand we got a little grumpy, since the check in lady did not want to check our luggage for the second Frankfurt-Manchester flight. We have always so much luggage, and rechecking is a pain in the a*+"

Anyway I would have taken that option by hand kiss, if I would have known what is still waiting for us ahead. Our Manchester flight got cancelled. We ended up making plans at Frankfurt airport, which took 6hrs. We finally left with a transporter van plus a Renault Picasso which was the riders car and Claire's home over 1200km, plus a midnight ferry ride over the channel.

Actually we wanted to sleep in a hotel in Calais or Dover, but we could not find free beds. Honestly we also did not put a big effort into it. Finally we arrived at 8am at our hotel in England. The car inside looked like there was a lot of history of eating and drinking going on during our drive. I was record tired, and my alarm woke me up after noon time. I might would have slept whole day long, since my body clock was still half way times in America time.

Many thanks to Claire for all the driving for us, plus the mechanics, who had to drive via Manchester to pick up the team vehicles! Some of them did not sleep for almost two days!

last race of soc:

April 19, 2010

Sunday, Cross Country 5laps, 1.24h, 4th place, 1.06min behind winner Burry Stander Race time wise it was not a cross country, so as track wise too. Almost road racing style! It definitely made racing interesting, since that very long asphalt stretch played a very tactical role in today's race. Unfortunately I lost it in lap two right there. Burry, Todd, Geoff and myself came off the dirt super fast into the asphalt. I just could not close that "famous" 10m hole between me and the three guy's. Off they went, and from there on I was riding by myself for the entire race by myself. Always around 45sec behind the guys. Man that asphalt stretch every lap felt so long alone. Wonder if we can fly to England tomorrow?? I bet the plane would not crash, because of the ash :-)

Short Track 20min only

April 18, 2010

Short Track 20min only, 4th place, winner Todd Wells This year it was a very demanding course, with a very soft, muddy, steep section after a right hand turn. That section already spread the field from the beginning on. My start was great, but on that section my left line was not good, and I had to go off my bike already. I still managed to move up to 4th, but my team mates Todd Wells and Burry Stander rode super strong. They were gone by long way for a short track race. Well done Wellsie! Third win in a row! Short Tracks should be easier track wise. It all should come down to the last 3 laps, with a possible sprint finish. After a few laps it was already single man riding. My 29er Stumpjumper felt really awesome pedaling in the soft grass, or smooth sections. So responsive, light, stiff and all the energy transfered into speed. But on the top line, where it was rough pedaling and also in the downhills, I did not feel as comfi as on my fully Epic. I was wondering if it only feels, or if it also looks so?? Obviously it also looked so... Ned Overend sharp spectator analysis came down to the same point, and that convinced me to ride my Epic for tomorrow.

Sea Otter Classic, USA

April 17, 2010

Sea Otter Classic, USA

For today's Short Track I am riding the Stumpjumper 29er. I am very looking forward to it. No idea how it is going to feel during the 20min race. If I liked it or not, you will see on what bike I am going to be for tomorrows cross country...

Weight: 8.6kg!

Pictures taken after breakfast, near famous 17mile drive

Sea Otter Classic here we come again!

April 17, 2010

Sea Otter Classic here we come again! Burry and I stayed one more extra day at Specialized's head quarter which is only 45min from Monterey by car where the Sea Otter Classic festival is held. We (all Mountain Bike teams and staff) spend almost 5 days at the office, got tuned up by the marketing division, spend a lot of time talking to the engineers plus joined the lunch rides, which is motor pacing style for 1h, especially if you are on the knobby tires! We realized again, how innovative and driven the whole company is. It is really great to be part of it, and to be able to add a few puzzle pieces to it's success as well.

Worcester-Oak Valley

March 26, 2010

123km, 2240m of climbing, 4.40hrs, second place, second overall

I am now actually really tired to write this. Have had some better sleeps in my live then last night. Hope for a good nap this afternoon, just before I can go on the massage table.

Today's stage was first pretty flat and fast, but mid into it the real climbing started. All those uphills started to take toll on many teams. Unfortunately I had a puncture 5km before the last monster one started. Tell you, it is not easy trying to chase back on the flat before hitting that climb. Especially some guy's tried to make use of our stop, and obviously increased the race pace. Luckily we passed all teams again, a third up into the climb. Except Trek who were gone,

plus the Bulls who sticked like "super glue" on our wheels. Well at that point we were also not "springy" any more. However we moved into second overall, which is great!

Ceres-Ceres

March 25, 2010

Ceres-Ceres

27km, 860m of climbing, 1.05min, first place, 3rd overall

Easy race report for me today.

I was basically drafting behind Burry from the start to the finish! At least I was suffering on a high level, because we won by 1.20min to MTN. Our performance values even more, when you have a look how close all the other teams are ranked behind us.

By the way, it was a easy morning, since for once we did not have to start at 7am. I woke up at 6am by myself, instead with "friend" calls alarm at 5am.

Easy camping breakfasts with the morning sun was awesome! But on the other hand with the 27km time trial in the back of my mind, tension was going through my body as well.

Ceres-Worcester

March 24, 2010

Ceres-Worcester (say wuuster) 86km, 1640m of climbing, 3.30hrs, firsts place, 3rd overall The stage profile for today's race brought a nice smile on my face before bed time yesterday. Lots of shorter steep climbs. Cross Country style. Burry and I lead almost for every climb and descent. We all got "cooked" a bit, we the least :-) and broke away on the last climb. At that stage we were only with Team Bulls and MTN any more. Luckily it was not so far to go, and on some flat stretches the wind blow us to the finish! We gained about 1.30min to the Bulls the overall leaders, so might around 9min off yellow.

From the coffin back into the sky!

March 23, 2010

How good I started to feel when I saw Burry is back again! Sport is such a mental game.

At the start I did not know if we are going to race 10min, 1h or finish the stage in 7hours. Burry still could not eat much (2 slices of bread with Nutella) in the morning, but he ate almost the feed station empty especially the last one.

Today we were lucky in the bad luck. I had a very slow puncture when we (Bulls, Brentjens, Trek and us) travelled with super fast speed through fast vineyard roads. I reinflated it with a co2. Just when we almost chased back, the guys took a wrong turn, so as the motorbikes.

We kept the eyes open, and followed the right signs, although we were doubting it too, since we have seen them down the road. From that on we were flying and made up almost 4min to the 3 teams.

Moral is so good again, and it will so much easier to wake up tomorrow at 5am again in our camper.

I feel very sorry for team MTN! From the leaders jersey back to normal. They had lots of mechanical issues.

Cape-Epic never been so crazy like this year. Every day a new unbelievable story(s)!

Ceres to Ceres

March 22, 2010

Ceres to Ceres 90km, 1620m of climbing,

Definitely not our day! Burry's head was down already in the morning. His stomach was just not right, so as the whole body for his pedaling performance.

After about 2hrs we got dropped, and after that we rode up the climbs in hobby speed. Luckily towards the Burry had a mini comeback, and we started to travel with speed again. It is a big petty we are out of contention for the overall now. It big season goal got blown into the air today, but everything has to come together over all the days.

Today we rode more single trails compare to any other Cape-Epic years.

Wondering who build all those trails. Like winding snakes!

Pick n'Pay Cycle Tour, Cape Town

March 15, 2010

Hey, if you ever have the chance you should take part of the Cycle Tour as well! I love it, even we had to start at 6.15 in the morning. But that is one of the facts which makes it so specials too. We start in the complete darkness and racing into the sunset. Lance Armstrong was racing too, and he definitely created a huge hype this year. We even had more spectators out there. Every one of them tried to watch out for the fast Texan, but it was difficult for them, since we were so many riders dressed in red. By the way I felt pretty proud when I could hear spectators cheering me on with my name. Did not make the breakaway though! With about 30min to go, I was together with Burry when things started to explode up a climb with crazy winds. We had to fill in gaps of blowing riders, and then when we reached the top we excelled to super fast speed going down the other side. At that stage I could not create enough power at 120rpm any more. Burry just closed it with Austrian's Rene Haselbacher, and off they went with about 12 other top riders including Armstrong. After that it was steady racing to the finish. I might ended up 20th, with a time of 2.40hrs for 110kms. That means I was faster then about 35'000 other riders today. Sounds good isn't it!?

Stage 4, Time Trial Cape Town

March 15, 2010

Stage 4, Time Trial Cape Town 5.5km, 13.36min, 18th Place, 12th Overall I am not a good time trialist even uphill I suck. Probably because I have never been under pressure before, and this time it was not any different too. My SRM power meter was my pace maker. I wanted to finish with at least 400W average. During the race I checked my current average wattage after most of the climbing was done. The display showed me 435W. But I knew the last flatish section will cut it down again. Finally I finished with 395W For who ever wants to do the power to weight calculations. My body weight is 67kg and the bike 6.8kg.

Stage 3, Paarl 171km

March 11, 2010

Stage 3, Paarl 171km, 4.28hrs, 21st Place, around 15th Overall One pass at the beginning, one pass at the end, and in between flat for a long time which was boring. It was good racing, especially on the passes. I always felt comfortable and here and there I could set the pace. At the very end I tried to keep the tempo high in our breakaway group, for to make Burry's sprinting live easier. He finished second, still very good! But I know after the win yesterday, he wanted to repeat it again. For the overall it will all come down to the time trial up Signal Hill tomorrow. From the beach up to the house mountain of cape town. A stunning road with a unbelievable view over the city on top. No pressure for me, but for Burry, David George and Kevin Evans it will be a matter of seconds for the overall win.

Giro del Capo, RSA

March 10, 2010

Stage 2, Paarl

143km, 3.22hrs, 14th Place, 12th Overall

That was a really cool race! Finally I managed to get into a breakaway, which got formed on lap one of three over a steep climb.

Already before the race I told Burry that I will work hard for him over a steep ramp just before the finish. All that in the hope for to get rid of the good sprinters.

The plan really worked out well! Also Thomas Zahnd helped us at the very beginning of it. Loved it when my turn was to come, and finally Burry got away with a hand full of good climbers. He then easy fixed it in the sprint against those boys. We only arrived a few seconds later.

Burry is now also the leader, so that means I gotta bring him more cold Coke tomorrow during the race :-)

Stage 1, Wellington

104km, 2.24hrs, 28th Place

Unfortunately I missed the breakaway. It is about time to ride more in the front when it is flat, especially when cross wind in predicted!

I felt very good on the last pass. We were a very small chasing group going over the top, but on the descent we got caught again by small bunches.

Tomorrow we do a 3 lap circuit race, with a tough climb before the finish.

On the road again!

March 8, 2010

On the road again! I have just left home to South Africa. On Tuesday I start racing the Giro del Capo a road stage race until Sunday. It feels good that all the training is done for now. I think that I am in good shape, but there is always a difference between training shape and racing shape. So the Giro will be great build up for the following Cape-Epic. Zürich airport is one of the coolest.... "Chocolate is in the air!" Even more before easter! All the chocolate brands trying to top each other with all kind of different Bunny's. I love it, especially the sampling makes me happy!

Today it was the first time

February 19, 2010

Today it was the first time that it was a bit warmer. About 5 degrees, and it felt great.

On the other hand the snow melt next to the roads, so there are always big super wet spots over the pave. Not nice! Especially the roads are so dirty at the moment. No cleaning rain, plus all the salt makes the splashing water ugly creamy thick. I think only riders who know winter, know what I am talking about.

Why do American hotel rooms.....

February 12, 2010

Why do American hotel rooms all looks the same, smell the same, furnished the same plus the fridge is so cold that my apple is frozen now.

But on the other hand everything is very practical. Big parking, big sliding doors, big elevator, big tv, big bathroom just BIIIIG everything!

As you can see I am on the road again.

I am visiting the Specialized Head Quarter near San Francisco for a few days. Also my mechanics Benno and Sandy are with me. It is all about testing new secret products. Very exited about it!

After my return from South Africa I only stayed at home for one week. Man, I was sleeping a lot at the beginning! I had to catch up, plus I had to recover from hard training the weeks before.

After a few days into winter, I was ready battling it. I enjoyed it! Had a couple great days on the backcountry skis, and loved riding through sunny snowy covered country side, with the huge mountains in the background. The most beautiful days on the bike. No kidding!

We have been out for a evening ride

January 25, 2010

We have been out for a evening ride yesterday, and it is super peaceful back the in the Jonkershoek bike valley. By the way, many thanks to the guy's who are building all those fun trails!!

The town is pumping at the moment, since the students are back from summer holidays, and for the next 3 days it is carnival time.

It was Africa hot today

January 17, 2010

It was Africa hot today, and we sat 6hrs in the saddle at more then 40°C. By far my longest ride, since I am training for the upcoming season. Ok, we actually splited it two. We started at 7.30am and the ride took us along the Indian Ocean to a beautiful golf resort. I was so ready for breakfast, and man that buffet was big!

By the way I felt so shit before breakfast, because of the head wind plus I was so emty, and I felt so shit after breakfast because I was over eaten!

we won the Total Sports Challenge again!

January 9, 2010

Huhaaa, we won the Total Sports Challenge again! Not that I was crazy fast on the bike leg, but we all did very well. At the start at 6am in Gordon's Bay it was super windy, so the surf ski and the swim got cancelled. Burry Stander who was our very strong road rider on the time trial bike, dropped everybody on the main climb and gain more then 3min to second. Triathlon Olympic champ Jan Frodeno showed his class on the road run, and our k1 canoe man Gavin maintained a good lead over to me for the mtb. I was really not happy that our team manager Bobby, who nervously ordered me so early to the transition. He cut at least 20min off my great Arabella golf resort time, where I enjoyed coffee and toast! I bet he was just jealous! I lost a bit of time during my bike split to Kevin Evans, but the 2min lead I handed over to the worlds toughest runner Warren was way enough for the win.

Back in South Africa

December 21, 2009

I am back in South Africa, and as always at that time of the year my butt needs to be kicked again.

Have been out on the road bike for 3.5hrs yesterday. It felt quite ok at the low speed we were going, but I was pretty death afterwards. Must have been the 30 degrees temperature change from home :-)

It is cool to make plans for next season, especially with our charity project songo.info. Things are taking off, and we just got two big sponsors on board. I will keep you updated as soon as everything is completely definite.

I also went for a shorter MTB ride with Songo itself, 2 kids from the township plus a other friend.

The kids really rock, and it was great to see them riding so well. They are only 19 years of age, and just got a entry for the Cape-Epic!

Township kids are very though! I know they will race very well over all the 8 days, and will have a lot of fun too.

It's been almost a week ....

November 17, 2009

It's been almost a week since I am back home in Switzerland again. What a boring week! Recovering from a cold, that just not healed up. I was moving around like a lame duck, if I have been even moving.

Now it looks like my motivation is back again, and I might go out for a first spin since almost 2 weeks.

For more from Christoph visit sauserwind.com

Stumpjumper report

November 10, 2009

Two weeks ago I was racing a 6 day stage race in South Africa as a two man team with

Bobby Behan. Every day around 100km. It was rocky, dusty and plenty of water crossings.

It was very tough on our equipment, and a very good test ground for it.

Bobby carried the luggage and I was the service man for our bikes. Bobby rode the Epic,

me the new Stumpjumper. The official race service washed our bikes down, and I was

looking over it afterwards. Basically I only had to lube it :-) All the bearings stayed

smooth, non got loose! Also our suspension worked great and did not need any work. Not

even lube.

The Stumjumper was the very best bike for it. I really enjoyed the 14cm of travel. But for

real racing like the Cape-Epic stage race, where I am racing for the win it would be too

much of suspension. The problem when I have to sprint out of the saddle and the brain

kicks off and I lose way too much energy into the suspension. Sure for 90% of the riders

who are racing against the clock and not against other fast competitors, the bike is superb,

but for real racing I still prefer the Epic.

It looked like the S-Works Epic was the most common full suspension bike at the race.

I have the feeling that most riders are very sceptical about a 140mm travell bike. They

think this is a „big bike“ and for freeriding only. I am so sure they would have so much

more fun on it, compare to a Epic, not even talking about the hard tails!

cape pioneer

October 26, 2009

26.october:

I am back at my second home here in Stellenbosch. Recovery time from from all the riding, plus even more from the after race party. The kings stage on Thursday was a night mare! Bobby and I had to ride 30kms all by ourself in strong head wind, over endless hills on a open gravel road. Finally we got caught at the last water point by 5 teams. What a relieve we don't have to ride alone any more. But right after that Bobby got a bad chain suck! We were 6.30h in the saddle. Man I was ready to get off my bike that day! I have no idea why, but Bobby got so competitive before the final stage. This was all fine for me, since I was hoping to carry more speed over the hills, and yes we were carrying it on that day. We won by over 12min! Thanks to the two leading teams who let us go :-)

21. october:

We are having lots of fun here at the Cape Pioneer Trek!

I have no idea how to call it, but maybe a riding holiday is the best form how to describe it. We ride through beautiful landscape, challenging trails and the best of all it is summer weather.

To do this with Bobby is such great fun. Compared to the other teams we do not have any tactics, or lets just say we ride stupid.

The first day Bobby cramped so hard in the last 40kms. I have never seen somebody cramping so hard at such slow speed! Well now he rides with two water bottles and sport drink as well. Luckily me, so now I can finish my own water bottle.

Yesterday we were going well until the last monster pass. But somehow one of us had a double flat tire left and right mid way up. Man we were going walking speed only...

But today on day three we were killing it!

We finished second in a real exciting road style finish. We played perfect tactics or lets say team Squirt did not think so, on the last 10 asphalt kilometers with strong head wind.

I have not spend much time at home

October 7, 2009

After the last world cup in Schladming I have not spend much time at home, since riding in autumn is fabulous especially with a new bike like the Enduro. There will be a cyclingnews.com diary of mine soon online, where I talk a little bit more about the bike. I can not describe it here again, otherwise you think I am a marketing "prostitute"! But honestly there is only good things to talk about it. I definitely never had any better off season bike, ever!

I hope you enjoy the pictures? We have found new spots in the Wallis/Valais I have never dreamed off. It is Disney Land times 10!

Now I am off to Roc d'Azur the last racing of the season. All the freeriding gave me lots of leg power, but it will be scared being back on race geometry, small tires and little suspension!

A very short race again!

September 21, 2009

A very short race again! To me it feels like everybody goes even harder since the chance of blowing is smaller. Not good for me, because I am only a good starter when I am in my best shape, and that never really happened this season.

The whole week my legs were crap, but no wonder after that long ride on Monday after the Champéry wold cup. I mean I knew this will not be the very best preparation, but it was great to show Burry some nice Alp passes. That day I trained way in comparison adding all the training for the rest of the week. My longest ride was on the day before the race when I spend 1.5h on and off the race track.

My race was pretty steady with a lot of suffering. At the first lap I came through about 30. and at least I improved it to 12th at he finish.

Now only 2 races are left. I am sure Roc d'Azur in southern France will be a great traditional season finish again!

By the way the party afterwards was classic and we had so much fun! Burry, Todd and myself turned up with bathrobe. Hotel Royer please forgive us...

Champery

September 16, 2009

1 start lap plus 6 laps 1.44h race time, 10th place, 2.49min off winner Burry Stander First off all big congratulations to my team mate Burry who won his first world cup! Very well done, you rock!

Short pre race story written by our Scottish man Sandy also called the "dirty dog": Susi being the pro that he is is also looking for ways of improvement and likes to test us mechanics out. The course at Champery was getting quite cut up and Susi always likes his fast tyres SLK’S, well just before the start in the holding box he decides to change the front wheel to a LK tyre no problem you think except he also wanted to change to thin brake rotors and thicker end caps, that done he rolls to the start line then he says can you cut out the centre knobs please the perfect gentleman he offered to hold the bike while I started to cut the tyre so with 3 mins to start all done and he flew off to one of his better starts this year. You are a star Susi. Many thanks for sharing this with us Sandy! You are a start too who keeps cool at any time!!!! For once I had a great start, even it was not easy battling up the very long asphalt road and then sprinting into the first single trail. For half of the race I was racing in a group for the podium, until I had a nasty crash down a super steep wet chute. From that point on I was not good enough to gain any time any more. Ha, but I still managed to step on the world cup podium and this has been a while ago. Finally we won the team competition! The three best riders of each trade team are counting for this competition. The weather forecast looks awful for the next world cup in Schladming. It does not give you much room for hope. So Burry and myself will ride our road bikes to my home, and Claire our soigneur will drive the car. Like this we get a very nice long road ride done, and after our arrival on Tuesday in Schladming we can watch the possible rain outside.

Canberra

September 2, 2009

Just spilt a half bottle of flax seed oil plus Amaranth pops over my room floor... Luckily the carpet is dark! I bet it is my job to clean now. Otherwise everything is going smooth. I had a few very good training laps on course, where we chased each other around wheel on wheel not giving up a inch. There was a lot of traffic in the technical sections, and it was thrilling to pass somehow.

Today and tomorrow I only ride easy on the road. On Friday -the day before the race- I will do one more lap on the course. It is a real full suspension track where you constantly hit small bumps at high speed, and if the bumps are not small there are short steep drops. Passing is only possible during two fire road stretches, the feed zones plus at the start start/finish.

Now also all our mechanics arrived. Finally! Now I don't have to clean my bike at the car park any more, and Burry making fun of me from his room out :-)

Marathon Worlds...

August 24, 2009

104km, 3'700 altitude gain, 4.40hrs racing time

3rd place, 4.40h racing time, 4.39min behind winner Roel Paulissen

Start time at 10.30, and that meant pushing the pedals for 4.30 hrs full on. The whole race felt like a cross country race, or that is how it felt to me. The climbs never ending, and for most of the time you could only ride in the saddle because the ground was too washed out. It was very monotonous! Those were the sections I suffered the most. My legs felt like sausages who got grilled more and more with every meter I was climbing. But only a short downhill and I completely recovered and could go very fast into the next climb, but after 10 min into it the legs got so tight again.

After the second long downhill we caught the breakaway with Roel, Paez and Medvedev. Many thanks to Dario Cioni who worked very hard for me to chase back. We know each other from the early racing years when I was still a junior. He switched to the road though, and he finished the Giro d'Italia 4th a few years ago.

It was Roel and Medvedev who broke a away again, this time in the downhill. It was simply chaos there, because we caught the women's (they did start after us, but shorter course) and passing was very difficult.

From that on it was more and less every body racing for itself. I was in 3rd position 40km to go, but a never ending climb to the roof of the race hit me hard and I got passed by Lakata, Kurschat, Dietsch and Soukup. I really really tried so hard to hang on to them as long as possible.

In the second last feed I got a big bottle. Sprayed half of it on the ground. Weight is everything! Man I wished I would have more to drink towards the end of the roof. On top I more and less squeeze a red bull bottle into me at the neutral feed. I definitely got wings on the technical downhills towards the end, but somehow my stomach could not handle it. On a short climb I got a monster cramp, and I had to jump off my bike. "What I am doing now...." walked a little and finally pushed the pedals slowly again. Luckily it got better and I was ready to chase more riders back. I don't know how much time I made up in the last 45min. but I passed 4 riders. Ok, Dietsch was really unlucky and had a flat tire.

After all that suffering I was happy with my 3rd place. I had a very bad diarrhea after crossing the finish line. The Red Bull gave me stomach wings from the inside out!

Mrathon Pre Race

August 22, 2009

I had a few very good days here in Graz, and it is nice to be on the road with the team again. Although, I am the "single child" for this world championships, that means I even get spoiled more. But at cross country world champs we will be all together again.

Today I will go and check out the first hour of the race, and then I have seen it all.

The course is very selective and the downhills are just made for me.

It looks like I can not just turn up at a marathon race and have a easy win

August 17, 2009

88km, 3900m altitude gain, 4.41hrs racing time 4th place, 15min behind winner Alexander Moos It looks like I can not just turn up at a marathon race and have a easy win as it used to be. This time I did not even raced for podium. When Moos, Bucher and Buchli early attacked I was surprised. I though I will catch them sooner or later again, but there was no acceleration in my legs. I was just not good enough, and I was so tired from the very intensive training the days before. I was pedaling only with two gears. Yeah you can call this leg mechanical :-) For the last tow hours when the podium place was out of reach I took it steady. With my todays race time I still would have won 4 years ago, when I raced the last time. This year the 3 podium finishers have all smashed the race record time by about 10 minutes! Sure this race was very good preparation for the upcoming world champs next weekend. Monday will be about packing and the day after I am off traveling to Graz.

I love racing in Bern.

August 10, 2009

I love racing in Bern. It is only a half hour by car away, amazing venue on top of Bern's house mountain, great technical course plus lots of spectators. This year also the weather came together. It rained during the night though, but I was ready for my Fast Track SLK tires, which are pretty close to a semi slick. Such a great rolling, light tire. Some pessimistic riders were on they're mud setups. Probably they could not believe that it can be dry again. Ok, during the first couple laps it was still wet at some points, but for 90% it was dry and fast.

I had a ok start being around 10th just right behind Julien. When he and Flückiger made the move to the front I could not hold on at that stage.

After racing one and a half lap together with Florian Vogel, I ended up riding the whole race by myself. Nobody I could see in the front, nobody in the rear. All in all pretty boring, but the great home crowed kept my excited, plus I was very happy to be on the podium again.

Thanks so much to all the very great fans out there again!

The demanding course, and high racing pace split the field in pieces, and the time gaps have been big.

Results:

1. Julien Absalon (FRA) 1:56:00.

2. Mathias Flückiger (SUI) 0:39.

3. Christoph Sauser (SUI) 2:46.

4. Moritz Milatz (GER) 3:48.

5. Liam Killeen (GBR) 3:52.

6. Fabian Giger (SUI) 4:43.

7. Lukas Flückiger (SUI) 5:14.

8. Sven Nys (BEL) 5:41.

9. Marco Fontana (ITA) 6:24.

10. Balz Weber (SUI) 6:47.

top of Niederhorn mountain.

August 10, 2009

I got a later afternoon call that it will be THE filming evening on top of Niederhorn mountain. I was still in Bern, so I rushed home trying to make my way through summer tourism traffic, packed my bike and off I was. Thanks to the gondola manager who opened the gondola just for me after 8pm, two hours after they're closing hour.

I was in time (can you believe it) but the helicopter with crew not. (technical problem). I enjoyed one of the most beautiful sunset together with mountain goats, and cows.

Finally the helicopter arrived (difficult missing a helicopter on a designated mountain) but the sun was down already. What can you do? The heli parked right next to the nearby mountain lodge, and for me it was too dark to ride home at that time.

Many thanks to the lodge owner who cooked a awesome meal still at 10pm, plus having a few rooms left to sleep in. It was a stunning evening with full moon.

As booked, the next day our sun rised up on the other side where it disappeared the last night. How cool was that ride at 6am in crispy clean air, with the "romantic" noise of a helicopter :-)

World Cup Bromont, CAN

August 4, 2009

13th place, 6min off winner Geoff Kabush

I am sick of racing in the mud at this stage! 3 times in a row is a head breaker, but we have to take it as it is. At least it was not cold despite the rain was pouring down on us.

I did feel very good on the long climb and always made up some time. On the technical long traverse single trail with lots of drops, stones and roots I was not at my best. I can make up time in dry technical sections, but somehow in the mud I can not get it together as much. Ok the complete rear brake failed for the last two laps. I was running out of pads, because the sand was like sandpaper on the disk. I lost about 5 places and I burned up all my courage on those downhills and I think for the next days I will only stay inside drinking tea and building new courage for the next races. I was not alone with having troubles out there. Racing in the mud takes it's toll on our racing machines.

I am traveling back home today. I am looking forward to the the upcoming races, the cross country in Bern and the Eiger Bike. Great home racing!

that rock garden was cool...

July 30, 2009

that rock garden (MSA World Cup course) was cool, and it had been a long time in xc racing that it needed some courage in a downhill.

the race here in bromont will be very technical too. have no idea how you can ride it with a hard tail. weather forecast is sunny so, all cool and i will ride with more tire pressure!

I enjoyed a weekend in the mountain city of Chur

July 7, 2009

I enjoyed a weekend in the mountain city of Chur, except for my race, which was not so fun. Coming down one of the last bumpy very steep downhill corners, I saw a new fast line that got formed from the downhill Swiss Champs the day before. It was a quick instinctive decision to go down there and it was the wrong one! I came off the track, got a little back on again, not clipped into my pedals and my wheel already hit the next drop... my heart was in my pants but did not let go, and I finally stopped in a barrier. I first thought my front wheel must be finished, but all was ok, so I was off again, still my heart was pumping in the pants.

From that point on I was riding in 5th the whole time. No chance for winning, no one from behind. It was pretty boring. Well I still caught Ralph Näf and during the last lap, motivation came back after I heard that I made up much ground for second place. I saw Flückiger and Gujan just around the corners but I could not make it.

Vogel showed awesome performance today and his win was never in doubt. I really need a start of a race again, where I am up front from the beginning, where I can ride with excitement. Only this can help me to ride over my limit and be really exhausted after the race.

The Swiss Champs have been awesome this year. It was organized by my friend Silvio Bundi & friends. The race site was right in a city where we finished at the same line as the downhillers. The big and great amount of spectators found a interesting and fully packed loops of action and we racers made up

Weekend off, Backpack Rides

June 2, 2009

Having a great weekend off racing. Doing "backpack" rides at home and in the southern alps.

It almost feels strange to be at home for almost all summer long! The overseas world cups are not on until late July. Like this I can take it seriously easy at the moment, and saving all the good energy for the end of the season. Or probably better, I have to use that energy for building fitness again.

I am still racing here and there though. For example this Wednesday I am taking part of a 1h race in the old city of Prague. Steep climbing up, and super rough descending down stairs.

I am on my way to Madrid for world cup nr.4.

May 21, 2009

In each of my pockets I am equipped with old school cotton handkerchiefs. One for my cold, the other for my spring allergies. Also I don't wanna forget to buy some eye drops at the airport. My last year ones I cant find them any more. They really work wonder. At the moment as soon as I go out of the door I am looking like a crying baby!

Hopefully the cold is nothing serious, and I will be full power charged by Sunday again. I skipped my riding session yesterday, and feeling already better toady.

World Cup Houffalize, BEL

May 5, 2009

I felt like a old steam train during one of my favorite races. My throat was sore, my breathing was hurting and the worst was the mucus.

At least my "pipes" cleaned up with during the race, so as I passed around 20 riders on the last laps. I hate not to be part of the front action... have had to ask Benno who finished in the top five at the end!

Luckily Burry won a 3l Chouffe beer bottle. He likes to share :-) Wish I could have shared some of mine!

Houffalize

May 4, 2009

I am glad that I did not travel home after Offenburg. Here in Houffalize weather is pretty good, at home almost snowing. Even the drive would have been pretty short, and my own bed a treat after 2 month of any kind of hotel linen, I prefer to train in the dry, and get spoiled from the team.

Todd is not doing so well though. Not as bad as the swine flue, because he can still ride the bike a little and we can do jokes, but he does not look so springy and is in quarantine in his own room for lots of the time.

I am racing here in Houffalize since 1999 around 7 times. I won it one time, 2 times second and I think also third 2 times. One of the most classic races on the circuit, with great spectators. The town is tiny, very characteristic and filled with traditional bakeries, butcheries and restaurants with the biggest beer density!

Sea Otter Classic

April 24, 2009

Saturday:

Short Track 25min, DNF due flat tire

Sunday:

XC 1.5laps, 2.03hrs, First Place

Pietermaritzburg-Johannesburg 1h

Johannesburg-Frankfurt plus 10hrs

Frankfurt-San Francisco plus 10hrs

That was our flight schedule for one week for The Sea Otter Classic and not talking about waiting at airports and driving from and to the venues. Despite all, to me it felt quite short since I slept a lot in the planes.

The first day of our arrival we spend time at the Specialized office, doing media training, lunch ride was on the program, plus I got to see lots of new exciting equipment I better don't talk about it right now.

This was also the first time I have not seen any rain during the Sea Otter Classic week, so I was all happy and motivated.

Unfortunately I burped my tire at the short track. It was all exciting riding off the front with my great team mates Burry and Todd. Short track racing does not have any tech zones, so I was forced to spectate the end of the race. Was great to see Todd taking the win and Burry save in second.

I thought California spring heat could not bother me. But at the beginning of the Sunday's cross country I got cooked. It took 20min into the race until I got used to it and suddenly I started to feel good. In our leading group of 6, 5 were on Specialized bikes! The Sho-Air team is equipped by the big S as well- so it was almost confusing who should ride for who. Burry was definitely leading for the most for the first half lap, but had to "pull the plug" due a cold. So it was my turn, and I could break away on a asphalt climb. For the entire last 1.5hrs I was riding by myself, not getting bored at all since the course was very fun to ride.

I am racing the Sea Otter Classic since 1999, but never finished better than 3rd. All the traveling was worth for it and also to catch up with all the Specialized people at the office and race side was great!

World Cup Round 1

April 11, 2009

Every year the World Cup opener is something special, and adds a little extra nervousness to it. After a half of a year without any XC racing, everybody gets their hopes, doubts and pressures!

My morning race routines plus packing for the race, uses more brain power than the normal automatic process. One more race then I am in auto mode again!!

All in all I am happy with my 4th place. I got the feeling of how hard our sport can be, but despite this I am looking forward to the European classics. The South African crowed was huge and awesome! They made me feel like I am one of theirs. Well no wonder they call me the "adopted South African"!

Now I am heading to California for the Sea Otter Classic. This is not ideal with so much traveling, time zones and busy schedule during the event, but I am positive that I can improve my 4th place one week later in Offenburg, Germany.

South Africa Cup Pietermaritzburg, RSA

April 6, 2009

We arrived here in Pietermaritzburg on Thursday before the race. Pietermaritzburg is a 2h flight away from Cape Town, located near Durban. The vegetation is completely different compared to the Cape region. It feels a little bit like in the jungle. Very humid, very green, very hot!

It was a great to race this SA-Cup on the original World Cup course of next Saturday. It was like a mini world cup, since many European and American riders took this opportunity as well.

After the Cape-Epic I took it super easy on the bike, plus I had to catch up with sleep. Well, I still do! Had some energy lows on Thursday and Friday. That is the time when you feel every step you have to do, or getting out of a car feels like climbing Everest...

For me it was the first Cross Country race of the season, and I was surprised how well the start went. Not that I was in the lead, but I rode about 15 sec for the first 4 laps behind the small leading group. Unfortunately I ripped off my rear tire in lap 4. I landed a little bit sideways after a jump. The same happened again at the following lap! I promise, it was not at the same spot, at least! The soil here is super grippy, and now I know only straight landings at the world cup!

Elite & under 23 men

1 Wolfram Kurschat (Ger) 1.54.45

2 Jose Hermida (Spa) 1.32

3 Burry Stander (RSA) 2.02

4 Nino Schurter (Swi) 4.10

5 Florian Vogel (Swi) 6.10

6 Jochen Kaess (Ger) 6.18

7 Kristian Hynek (Cze) 7.33

8 Rudi van Houts (Ned) 8.29

9 Matous Ulman (Cze) 9.10

10 Christoph Sauser (Swi) 9.3

We did not take it easy once!

March 23, 2009

Stage 5, 111km (with 2233m climbing), March 26th 2009

It is nice to start out on a hilly paved road for the first kilometers, but soon after we hit a big climb, where Burry and I tried to split up the field, especially isolating Team Bulls from their second team. This move quickly formed a group of about six teams riding towards water point two. It felt like we were on holidays compare to yesterday's full on chasing!! Bart and Jongewaard attacked in the feed zone! I have no idea why they did it, but probably you have to when your chances are getting limited...

Burry and myself did take it steady, leading for most of the time towards the fast roads an feed 3. The real racing started there, and everybody knew it. The cross country race was on, and the small field

broke into pieces over hard steep climbs towards the end. Despite racing so hard yesterday, we still felt very crispy. With about 10km to go, we finally chased back Bart / Jongewaard and rode the

victory in to the beautiful Oak Valley Estate.

We need a whole lot of luck, or even better “supersonic legs” in order to win the Epic. That fifteen minute penalty might be too great to make up.

Tuesday:

75km, 3.10hrs, First Place, a few seconds ahead Team Trek

Right from the start the course brought us up up a loose climb, and after a short descent we went up up up for ever again, but most of it carrying or pushing the bike. Sure in total I have been walking for about a hour, but in full ridged carbon bike shoes. It felt like going freeriding in autumn, where we push our bikes a lot too. At least the Specialized Epic feels super light on the shoulders compared to the Enduro bike with all the spares on.

On the very fast descent down that mountain, I had a flat tire. It took us about a half hour to chase down the leaders, together with Team Bulls, and Merida.

On the last two short climbs, under the lead of Burry we could break away again, and maintained the lead until the finish.

Now we almost have a lead of 7min. to the Bulls, but this is nothing compared to what still can happen in the next 4 stages.

Monday:

100km, 3.54hrs, First Place, 2.19min ahead Team Bulls

It was a bit tactical at the beginning, because there was a long flat stretch before mid way until we hit the real climbs. We preserved energy and hit it really hard on the last climb where we broke away, just 30min before the finish.

There were so many thorn bushes on the way. I had 25 of them only in my front tire. I don't know how you could have this race, before tire sealant was invented!?

Teams who had to change to tubes, they had been in huge problems, and a lot of them were forced to ride with flat tires all the way to the finish.

Unfortunately there are no more neutral tech zones, so what ever you need, has to be carried or lent from a other team.

Sunday:

110km, 4.50hrs, First Place, 2.13min ahead Team Bulls

When we hit the dirt the first time we got away with Trek/Brentjens. We did not lead once, but then broke away on the first real climb.

I felt super up Groenlandberg, this is almost a hour climb, but the descent was so rocky and for ever. Everything went numb!

On my stage profile the last 35km look easy and fast, but it took for ever and my energy went low. Burry also had a big side cut in his front tire with 10km to go. Luckily we were far ahead.

Today we have a nice camp side on the grass. Even I have a big lack of sleep I can not have my afternoon nap. The heart is still pumping, so as the air conditioning in the camper is vibrating. But there is no option to turn it off, otherwise I am getting roasted like a sausage!

Don‘t think I can take it easy the week before the Cape-Epic!

March 18, 2009

Ok, training wise it do it, even I dropped the squat bar off my back with 150kg in the gym this early morning. Luckily I did not hurt myself.

Now I am in the plane towards Johannesburg where I attend a live TV sport show in the evening.

Tomorrow we have the official launch of our 2009 songo.info initiative in the township of Stellenbosch. We will hand over more then 30 bikes, with all the equipment that goes with.

Thursday I will finally have the time to setup my new racing bikes, shoes plus packing for the race.

On Friday we will mostly stay in Cape Town for registration, training on the time trial course plus team presentation.

I am really looking forward to Saturday! Burry and I we will start at 14.30 for the prologue. There will be a huge amount of spectators cheering us on, plus to race at the slope of table mountain just above the city will be already stunning itself!

Giro del Capo, RSA

March 6, 2009

Final Wrap Up:

It was so windy!

Before the start I have seen two riders blown off the road, and some Toi Toi plastic toilets flat on the ground! I now assume there was nobody in there while it went down?! I thought they will cancel the race, but since ours was together with the famous and world biggest cycling race „The Cape Argus“ the organizer must have been under pressure. I bet many of the 35‘000 participants would not have been happy at all to go home again, and not been able to ride around the beautiful cape peninsula even in this grueling wind. Sure we were first heat, but that meant start at 6.15 still in the darkness!

Towards the end I started to feel very good, and I was in top five coming over the last climb towards the city. But there is still 15km to go until the finish line and it regrouped a bunch of about 50 riders again, battling for the win. This race is like African world championships for the South Africans. A huge thing to win! Medscheme‘s Arron Brown surprisingly outsprinted Tour de France stage winner Robby Hunter on the last meters. I finished around 25th place right behind, so I got to see all the action.

Friday:

I changed my heat strategy for the today‘s 170km stage, which brought us over two big mountain passes. Since my body did not cool me down yesterday naturally, I was cooling myself down with ice water the whole time. I have no idea how many bottles I poured over my head, back and legs. It was even hotter then yesterday. The skin of my feeds got very soft due the water and sweating, and are now more sore then the legs.

At the moment when the real attacks are taking place, I just don‘t have it to keep up with the top shots over the long climbs, but definitely I felt better then yesterday.

I might finished around 40th place, 2min down. The stage won again team Barloworld by Stephen Cummings(GBr).

Tomorrow we have a rest day, and we will go and check out beautiful Camps Bay beach in town.

Thursday:

It was a oven today!

There even was a heat warning on the radio to stay inside and not getting exposed to the heat. And we had a circuit race in Bellville which is famous for it's hot temperatures.

On my srm computer the average temperature was 42°C and on the main climb it raised up to 50°C. Luckily my radio ear piece was not made out of metal, otherwise it would have burned my ear off. Lots of riders even cooled down the shoes, because the feet were burning. I was completely cooked on the last half lap, and not even tried to stay with the strong boys over the last climb. Anyway there was a successful breakaway right from the beginning on. They made almost 6min on us. I finally finished 37th.

By the way on the start I lost my srm computer, and it took me quiet a while until in found it. I was chasing for 15km behind our team car until I was back in the peloton again!

Wedenesday:

Back to racing!

It was a shock to my system. On Sunday I was still on my ski's and toady racing in 35°C in crazy cross winds. This wind spread out the whole field into pieces, and some riders got even blown off into the gravel shoulder.

I finishes about 60th in a third main bunch. The stage got won by Barloworld's Robert Hunter

20 (well 16) Questions for Susi

February 18, 2009

What Specialized bikes do you ride?


S-Works Carbon Epic for racing, S-Works Stumpjumper and Enduro for the real fun, Tarmac SL2 and Roubaix on the road, Stumpjumper hardtail 29er for commuting

What's your favorite food?


Marroni, fresh bread, pizza, homemade burger. Actually I like anything, it just depends on quality and how it is cooked.

What‘s your favorite fluid?

Water, draft beer, red wine, coffee, and nothing else really.

Who are some of the most important and influential people in your life and career?


My first Team Manager and friend (Parkpre) Bruno Diethelm, who looked so well after me for my 5 years of racing, and still does. Otherwise my family and all my friends who I share time with. And for sure the whole Specialized Factory Racing team!

Any hobbies outside of cycling?


backcountry skiing, reading, snowboarding, relaxing, cooking

If you weren't a pro mountain bike racer, what would you be?
road pro, military pilot, ski jumper

What has been your best riding experience?


Freeriding with backpack from hotels to hotels after the racing seasons. This is a great way to have fun with friends and still being active. Well, it can get also over the top for after season fun. The routes on the hiking maps look always short in time, and we end up riding into the night. The one day years ago we did not find the trail in the darkness any more and it was midnight after we arrived in a small mountain village. Luckily there was something like a holiday apartment we could sleep in. Now I always have a light in the backpack with me!

And the worst?


On a long road trip to Italy I stopped the car near Brescia and went for a road ride. On the way back it got dark, and I did not find my car any more. It was freezing cold, and had to ride in the rush hour without lights. It took me for ever until I found the car again!

In racing I have to say the 2008 World Marathon Championships, a title that was robbed from me.

Where's your favorite place to mountain bike?


Alps, Colorado, Monaco

What kind of music's on your iPod, cd player, whatever?


Lunik, Depeche Mode, Franz Ferdinand, Gorillaz, Robbie Williams, Akon, Mattafix. The Thing Things, Gwen Stefani, Led Zeppelin. All in all I need a lot of varieties.

What is the best part of racing? 


Crossing the finish line first, and seeing an excited team staff and fans!

What is your biggest strengths?


technique, mental, confidence, preparation, experience, equipment

What is you biggest weaknesses?

combination of cold and wet weather, explosive, sometimes I think too positive like for tire choices, or not taking spares with me.

Any advice to beginners?


Have fun with the right bike from the beginning on. So have a look at the Specialized S-Works!

What's your best idea of having good time?


Being healthy, and independent in the mountains. Riding the whole day on cool single trails with friends and my freeride bike, with a great dinner afterwards.

Why do you ride?


The is no better way to get around in the nature, with friends or alone. The perfect traveling speed. Actually it is amazing how far you can go with a bike in just one day with the energy of your body only!

My words about.........

February 17, 2009

Coffee:

I love coffee! After the season I drink a lots of it, but I am cutting it back as soon as I start training seriously again. So quick you get used to caffeine, and then I don‘t feel the boost any more. I prefer to have a good caffeine impact before a race, and that helps!

Chocolate:

There is always some good dark swiss chocolate in my traveling bags. I always buy too much at the airport in Zürich. To me the shops present it so well, you can not resist. It feels like they through it at me! And before I eat it all by myself, I like to give away to team or friends.

Sleep:

I am not a long sleeper in the mornings. I am more a morning person, and I am the most productive with my head at that time. Not physically that much. I am not into the 6 or 7am rides, like most of the South Africans do. I just can not get my pedals around at that time, even the air feels crispy and the sun is beautiful.

After a long night out I have no problem to to be active the next day. Sure I have sleepy eyes, but despite I can feel very strong on the bike.

What makes my life easy:

remote control, good plane seat, dry weather, bright hotel rooms, wifi, traveling bags on wheels, relaxed check in staff (she does not have to look pretty),

And what no so much:

too many remote controls, standing, waiting in lines, answering questions like this, heavy bags, traffic jam, noisy hotel rooms, mosquitos during the night

Groupies:

We just finished the Cape-Epic, and celebrated at the final dinner gala. A nice lady came up to me, as asked if I can not make a baby for her! I thought her biological age already passed it, unfortunately!

School:

I was a absolutely minimalist in school, who only learned for the teacher. I loved to play soccer though, and I was counting the seconds for to go out and play. I don‘t know how many hours I was daydreaming at the watch in the class room.

After school I made my metallurgy degree, and worked in a laboratory for four years. It was one of the greatest moments when I turned pro!

Embarrassing moment:

It was at Roc dʻAzur 2008, where I double fatted. Luckily a spectator helped me out with a second tube. He was dressed in a black jersey, white helmet and sunglasses. I told him to come around our team setup, that I can give him a new tube back. Around noon, a guy-dressed in black jersey, white helmet and sunglasses- was looking over out team barriers. Off I went, grabbed two tubes and handed it over to him with a big thanks. He looked very confused to me, but as he was standing there with the tubes, he shy asked me for my autograph too. A while later, a guy -dressed in black jersey, white helmet and sunglasses- was looking over the fence, and asking me for his tube. Now I was confused, and thought what a demanding guy, does he wants even three tubes for one!? And I told him that! But after checking him out better, I realized THIS is my man, and sure we still had tubes for him in our truck.

First transalp 1993:

This was my third time doing a long bike trip, and a promise that one was a real tough one.

We stayed in mountain huts, pushed the bikes over glacier and carried the bikes on the other side down again. I think we were going more on our foots then pushing the pedals!

But all those memories stay with me for ever!

My sporty background story

February 16, 2009

I grew up in a sport oriented family so I had a lot of support and encouragement to participate in many different sports from a young age. Some of my favorite sports when I was young were: rollerhockey, skiing, football and wrestling.

As a child I rode my bike a lot, but only back and forth to school. For me the bike was for transport and not really for pleasure. But I always appreciated that my bicycle was for me an efficient and independent form of transport.

When I saw a mountain bike the first time I got very excited as I could see the big potential of riding off road and having fun on the technical downhills. Before bikes came out with the triple chainring, climbing the steep trails to get to the top of the very fast downhills would have been impossible.

Since I had a long history in competitive sport it was natural for me to wonder what it would be like to race mountain bike.

In '91 I found some information on a big mountain bike race in Switzerland called the Grand raid Cristalp. It looked like it was going to be a fun event for my first mountain bike competition. That race is a beautiful ride in the alps with a lot of competitors and for me that was a great experience. So I was excited to race a few more races in '91 and '92.

One night in a bar a friend of mine challenged me to apply for a racing license, and he even offered me to find a team to ride for. I started the '93 season as a member of the Parkpre team. It had just started that year and was perfectly managed. I raced for the Parkpre team for the first five years of my career.

In 1998 a big dream came through and I signed my first contract with a international team, Diamondback. That year was also the first time I stepped on a world cup podium, I won the U23 Euro Champs, plus finished second at worlds in the same category. I was very happy with my position on the team, but unfortunately the sponsorship situation for the next season was a little bit cloudy.

Lucky for me I had an offer from the number one team in the world in the name of Volvo-Cannondale at the end of the season. This of course was something I was very excited about and I had four great years on this team until 2003.

At that time Volvo pulled out of mtb-racing, but with Siemens-Cannondale I found another great team for the following 3 years, which was controlled under a completely different management. Only the bike was more or less the same.

Now I am going into the 4th year with Specialized Factory Racing team. We are a bunch of great people with the focus of racing and professionalism, but having lots of good fun next to it. With Specialized as such an innovative company we have the very best brand in our hands for winning races and being well promoted. We are Specialized!

Stats for Christoph Sauser are coming soon.