How did I start cycling?
All about my sportive youth and
how I became a professional cyclist.

Swimmer
Born in 1983 in Rostock (Eastern Germany). My parents were very sportive, both attended a sport-boarding-school. When I was 2, I went to the swim hall with my mum every day. She was swimming trainer. With 2,5 years I could swim.

Running brought me into cycling
We moved to Hamburg (Buchholz) in 1991. I started playing table tennis, beside swimming. When I was 13 years old, I signed up for the 10km ‘Sylvester Cross-country-run’ in Buchholz. A lot of cyclists also did. After the race, I was asked to come and try cycling at ‘Blau-Weiss-Buchholz’.

Greipel, Haussler, Wagner
3 months later I raced my first competition. It went pretty well! In my second year as ‘youth-cyclist’ (U17) I became 3rd at the National Championships. Sven Kraus won and Heinrich Haussler got 2nd. As a Junior I rode the Bundesliga competition for ‘Team Greese’ (Rostock). Teammates: Andre Greipel and Robert Wagner!

Sport-boarding-school
When I was 16 (second year Junior), I moved to Frankfurt (Oder) to go to the sport-boarding-school. Better conditions to combine sport and school. In that year I also became National Track Champion Madison together with Florian Piper. I decided however to focus on the road.

I became Pro as a Time trial specialist
In the first 3 years of my Under-23 period I rode for ‘ISPO Lotusan Cottbus’. Heinrich Haussler was one of my teammates. In the 4th year I changed to ‘Team Ked Bianchi’. In that year I won the Bundesliga competition and became National Time trial Champion. I was also stagiair for ‘T-Mobile’. All 4 years I was part of the German National Selection. Oh, and I also finished my Gymnasium! My first professional contract came from the Dutch team ‘Skil-Shimano’. I accepted!

Interesting link: www.sportschule-frankfurt-oder.de