Lisa Brennauer is a pro rider from Germany, currently with Ceratizit-WNT Pro Cycling. She finished second at the Ronde van Vlaanderen last week, and as the current German road champion with almost 40 pro road wins to her name, she is one of the most well known riders in the peloton. But there’s always more to know, so we decided to find out a little more about her!
Where are you from?
I was born in Kempten, a city in the very south of Germany in Bavaria.
Where do you live now?
I still live there, just outside the city in the village of Durach.
How did you get started in cycling?
My older brother started cycling when I was 12. I always looked up to him, and still do. So it didn’t take long until I also wanted to race and get into cycling, and follow him.
At what point did you realize that cycling was more than a hobby?
The year I qualified for junior world championships led to this change. I suddenly had become national champion, so I was allowed to race the world championships and then I won, which was totally unexpected. It felt a bit surreal and took a while to sink in, but it was the point from which I knew that this is what I really want to do.
What’s your most cherished memory in your sporting career to date?
The moment I became world champion in the time trial. Or let’s say the week of those world championships 2014 in Ponferrada. First, the victory in the team time trial, which was very special. Then gold in the individual time trial and a silver medal in the road race. It was during this exceptional week when everything played into my hands and to this day, when I think back to those moments, I can still feel the goosebumps that I had when I received the gold medal.
What are your goals for the Olympics?
I’ll go to the Olympic Games with the aim of winning a medal. I’d like to be the best that I can be there.
What will your training look like as the Games approach?
I’ll take a small break after the classics season to recover and find renewed strength for the second part of the season. I’ll then do more training on my time trial bike as well, which I haven’t done so much of yet, and will hopefully have the chance to concentrate on more specific time trial training.
Which athletes inspire you?
There’s no one in particular, but in general when people keep fighting for their goals, come back stronger after a setback, and just never give up. That’s what is inspiring to me.
What keeps you motivated during difficult times?
The memory and moments of great races, good teamwork and being on the podium, as well as my goals and hopes for the future. It’s easy to vividly relive the memories from those moments when the national anthem was playing as you’re on top of the podium, or the pure joy of hugging your teammates after you’ve just won a race together. Those are the things that make you want to go out and train hard every day.
Advice for younger riders striving for the Olympics?
Follow your dream and build yourself a network of people who support you in this. Don’t be afraid to change something when you’re not moving forward anymore.
If you weren’t a pro rider, what would you be doing now?
I think I would have become a teacher.
Favorite coffee ride snack?
Favorite coffee ride stop?
Wherever there’s a good coffee machine and a nice piece of cake 🙂
What’s your spirit animal and why?
That’s a hard question. I’d say that when I’m racing, it would be a lioness: confident and in control in the big hunt for the victory. As for off the bike, I’m actually not sure!
One thing you can’t live without on the road?
My own pillow.