What's Cool In Road Cycling

Interview: World Champ PATRICK GRETSCH

At the Worlds this year in Verona, a young German better known around the track than the road surprised everyone, including himself by taking the Junior Men’s TT title. We caught up with Patrick Gretsch long enough for 8 questions! Here’s what he said…

Patrick, congratulations on your Gold medal in the Junior’s time trial in Verona! You did a strong 24 km race with an average speed of 47.328 km/h. What did you think when crossing the line?

PG: First, I was very happy that I reached the finish without any crash and flat tyres – and with a good feeling in my legs as well. Then I thought about how long my time would be stand there on position 1. My physiotherapist told me about the different times of the other riders who still were in the race – and it was looking good!

Which riders did you see as your main opponents, and when were you sure to be on the podium finally?

PG: I expected Roman Kreuziger from the Czech Republic to do well, he’s been the man during the road races and time trials all over 2004. But there were some others, like Viktor Renдng from Sweden (last year’s 3rd), Michael Schдr from Switzerland and Simon Spilak from Slovenia.

What did you do as preparation for the World Championships?

PG: After the Junior Track Worlds in LA, I took a short break and did the races relaxed and satisfied. When winning the time trial in the Niedersachsen-Rundfahrt (GER), the selection for the Worlds was looking good. 2 weeks later, I became German National TT Champion, which finally meant the ticket to Verona. I did 2 weeks of basic training when heading to the Mьnsterland-Tour (GER), where I could win the TT as well. Then we were heading to a pre-Worlds training stage to Landau to be prepared for the top-of-the-world field in Verona, doing some special motor training. We continued to do so even on the circuit in Bardolino, where the TT did take place a few days later.

Like your colleague and friend Stefan Schдfer, who got the bronze medal, you’re originating from track cycling. Which qualities and abilities from track cycling are essential for you to belong to the world’s top in time trialling?

PG: My strengths are time trialling and individual/team pursuiting on the track. In my opinion, the secrets on the track are the same as on the road: you have to be able to push yourself to the limit for quite a time and to go up to the max! Riding on the track a lot means you get a really good pedalling style and the ability to go for the big gears. I believe, racing the track means the basis for all my cycling success and especially for my overall-win in the “3daagse van Kontich” (BEL) and in Verona.

When did you start riding the bike and do you have a favourite rider?

PG: I started cycling in summer 2000, doing some mountainbiking first. My idols are the Aussies Bradley McGee and Michael Rogers.

What are your strenths? And what do you enjoy to do in your spare time off the bike?

PG: My strengths are the endurance events on the track and on the road like time trialling, team time trialling as well as individual and team pursuit. I like listening to Hard Rock from System of a Down or Slipknot as well as R&B or Dance. In my spare time, I enjoy hanging out with my girlfriend and friends – and sometimes I enjoy the silence when angling. J

2004 has been your 1st year in the Junior category. What are your aims for 2005? And for the further future?

PG: In my 2nd year with the juniors, I’d like to be able to keep my title – but riding the track successfully (maybe even better than this year) is another big aim for me. Within the next few years, it would be great to find a decent U23 team which should be the basis for a contract as professional. Personally, I’d like to finish school successfully in 2005.

Patrick, many thanks for this interview – and lots of success for the next year!

Name: Patrick Gretsch
D.O.B.: April 07, 1987
Location: Erfurt (Thuringia), Germany
Height/weight: 1.87 m/70 kg
Events: road, track
Personal website: www.patrickgretsch.de
Personal sponsors: Deutsche Sporthilfe, Stickeria Gretsch

Results 2004:
– Junior Track World Champs L.A.:
Individual pursuit, 3rd
Team pursuit, 2th
– Road World Champs Verona/Bardolino :
Time Trail, Gold Medal

About Florian Wenk:

Florian is an amateur road racer and PEZ- Man in Germany, studying medicine at the University of Wьrzburg. He’s currently doing his Ph.D. in endurance training and testing, focusing on metabolic and ergospirometric parameters in cycling performance. You can contact him via [email protected] or have a look at his website www.florianwenk.com

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