What's Cool In Road Cycling

Meet Thomas Ziegler: The Q&A

All is not gloom and doom on the contract front for the pros. Several young riders are finding places on pro teams, including Thomas Ziegler, who has just signed with the German TT1 Gerolsteiner outfit. We got to know Thomas a little better in this recent q & a from Michele Thomasi…

PEZ: How are you spending your time during this time?

TZ: In October I didn`t ride any km with my bike. I was in Austria (Sцlden) skiing with my girlfriend. At the first of November I stared with training for next season.

PEZ: What kind of training are you doing?

TZ: I go to the fitness studio and ride with bike, but not many kilometres at the moment. Sometimes I go mountain biking.

PEZ: Can you tell us your training program for the next months?

TZ: We had from the 24th to 27th of November the first Team meeting with Gerolsteiner and in early December I’ll go to the island Mallorca to train. In January we go with the Team to Spain for training.

PEZ: Have you already planned the new season? Which will be your first race?

TZ: I have planned the new Season. I start racing at the beginning of February with the Mallorca challenge. My highlights next year untill summer will be Paris – Nice , the Giro d`Italia and maybe Amstel Gold Race or Liege –Bastogne-Liege

PEZ: How did you get started in bicycle racing?

TZ: I started at the age of 12 with mountain biking. When I was 19 I changed to road racing.

PEZ: How did you get in touch with Gerolsteiner? When did you have the first contact?

TZ: I got in touch in 2002 when I was a U-23 rider. But last year they waited a long time to give me a contract and so I signed a contract in the German GS2 Team Wiesenhof. And during the Season I often had contact with Hans Holczer (Gerolsteiner Team Manager) and in September he gave me a contract for 2 years in Team Gerolsteiner.

PEZ: Have any of the more senior riders helped out with your guidance in the “big leagues”?

TZ: Jens Heppner helped me and the other young riders. He gave us tips in the races and training.

PEZ: After a year in a TT2, you’re going to join a TT1. What changes are you expecting?

TZ: I think the races will become more intense and I will ride for the first time a 3 week tour. Also everything in the Team will become bigger.

PEZ: What kind of rider do you think to be?

TZ: I ride the races with short steep mountains very well, like the European Championships in Bergamo 2002. I was 6th there. And I hope that I will be able to finish at the front of races like the Amstel Gold Race in future.

PEZ: If you could improve yourself in any way, what would you like to improve? About cycling and in normal life.

TZ: If I could improve myself, as cyclist I would become a better sprinter to improve my chances of winning races. And in normal life I am very impatient, I would change that.

PEZ: What do you learn as a professional racer that is valuable in other areas of your life?

TZ: You learn to fight. You learn to motivate yourself and work very hard.

PEZ: If you were not a racer, what do you think you would be doing?
TZ: I think I would work in with the computer. Maybe a designing websites.

PEZ: What advice would you give to a young rider looking to be successful in the pro peloton?

TZ: You must train much and hard for your dream “professional”.

PEZ: What is it your biggest dream as pro rider?

TZ: To win a Classic race – maybe Amstel Gold or Liege.

PEZ: What is it your opinion about the last World Championships?

TZ: I think it was a difficult circuit and a real big champion has won. I like Astarloa.
And I my opinion Rebellin and Bartoli should have been in the Italian Team. Both were in very good condition.

PEZ: Do you have a personal website that our readers could visit?

TZ: www.ThomasZiegler.com but at the moment the site is under construction.

PEZ: And finally, what’s your opinion about PezCycling News??

TZ: I like the site www.PezCyclingNews.com because there is more than just results, like at other cycling sites. But in Germany the Site is not so well known. (I think he means it’s ‘waiting to be discovered’ – ed.)

Thomas – thanks for talking to PEZ and good luck!

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