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Meet Daniel Schnider – 2003 Swiss Champion

The “new” Team Phonak just met in Lugano Switzerland for their first official training camp. We have full reports to come, but to get you started, we talked with the Swiss National champ – Daniel Schnider. Here’s the Q & A…

Francis Kelsey from Inside Track Tours was at the camp for a few days, and interviewed several riders. This is the first of his reports.

FK: How special does it feel like being Swiss champion on a Swiss team?

DS: Well, it was always a dream of mine to be Swiss champion. For the last several years, I had come close but was never able to be first, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th always there at the end of the day but never first. Always missing that little something, so now that I have won, I am really very happy. Being the Swiss champion is something very special.

FK: How do you see Phonak’s results in 2004 with the new team?

DS: We have made a big step for not only next year but for the next few years. Better everywhere, the bike, the staff, the equipment, two new leaders; we are definitely going to have some good results next year. Having a real leader on the team will automatically motivate the other riders to perform better and ride harder – I am sure of that. Even the general atmosphere is better. Sometimes it is only the small details that make the difference between winning and finishing in the peloton. In 2003 we finished something like 30 times 2nd. I think in 2004 we will have that little extra something and we will be able to win.

FK: You had a great season on ’03, what are your aspirations for next year?

DS: Well I have not yet spoken with my team director but I would like to ride a grand tour. Which one I do not know yet but it is sure that would be my goal. Of course it is every professional rider’s dream to one day ride in the Tour de France. The Tour de France is bigger than both the Vuelta and the Giro combined and is would be very special to be able to ride in “le Tour”.

FK: Will you have a specific role to play during 2004?

DS: No nothing special, I am a good all rounder. I am not especially good in one area but I can time trial, I can climb, so I can help almost anywhere, mountains team trials…

FK: What would be the one thing you found about this past week that was your best souvenir?

DS: The walk we did Tuesday morning together, 4.5 hrs, in the rain, the fog, the cold but we did it. We did it together as a team. It creates bonds. Sometimes we don’t get to see each so often during the course of the cycling season other than at the breakfast or dinner tables, on the bike. But you never see one another walking on foot. It was something special in a different context that was very interesting for the team. It was a strong feeling.

FK: I read somewhere that you are an F1 fan and you love cars. Is this true?

DS: Yes I love the cars. Especially the technical side of F1. The small technical changes that make big overall differences. I am also interested in mechanics and studied to become an engineer. I am also crazy about bikes. The little things on the bike, for example last years bike was so great. I loved, light, rigid, comfortable, handled well. But this year it weighs 1 kilo less than last years! That is enormous!

FK: Do you have a sports car?

DS: Of course I have an Audi A3 turbo, but I am going to sell it and get the new one. It has V6 motor….

FK: If one day you given the opportunity to drive a formula one car, would you do it?
DS: That’s for sure! Just a few weeks ago a few of the Swiss guys on the team got together to go karting. I organized everything, it was a blast! It was fantastic.

Schnider Facts
Date of birth: 20.11.1973
Country: Switzerland
Turned prof.: 1996
Height: 180 cm
Weight: 65 kg
Hobbies: Bike, Long-run, Formula 1, Cars
Strengths: Allrounder, Prolog

Palmarиs 2003
Schynberg-Rundfahrt: 3rd
7th stage, Tour de Suisse: 4th
Postfinance-Sprint, Tour de Suisse: 1st
Suisse Championship, Ruggell: 1st
2nd stage, Sachsen-Tour: 3rd
4th stage, Sachsen-Tour: 9th
General final classification, Sachsen-Tour: 3rd
General final classification, Poitou – Charentes: 9th


Read our Interview with Oscar Sevilla.
Get more info at the Team Phonak website: www.phonak-cycling.ch


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