What has changed in your life since you signed with a pro team?

My entire environment has become much more professional, plus the races have become harder and faster. I can now focus on my training in more detail and on the best possible diet, as well as good recovery. My girlfriend and my manager support me extensively, and this allows me to focus even more on cycling.

How long have you wanted to be a professional cyclist? Have you ever wanted to be anything else?

When considering this question my mother told me that as a child, I always said: I want to be either a professional ski racer or professional cyclist. At the age of 15, I decided to give up skiing to fully focus on cycling. So, I guess you could say this is what I’ve always wanted!

What is your biggest dream for the future?

To win a stage of the Tour de France or to become world champion.

Do you have any passions besides cycling?

I prefer to spend time with my girlfriend; you really learn to appreciate free time when you are away from home so often.

What do you appreciate most about your new team?

Trust and professional work. My race calendar shows me that management is giving me the chance to develop in the best possible way.

What are your strengths on the bike?

I would say my physical condition as well as my determination and ambition. Hard one-day races and sprints from smaller groups suit me best.

What does family mean to you?

Everything. Family is the most important thing in my life.

What do you feel after a win? And after a defeat?

After a win, you’re happy that everything worked out. You had the necessary share of good luck, and you can give something back to the people who have always believed in you. After a defeat, you have more thoughts in your head – you think about how and why things went wrong. In the end, you have to learn to avoid these mistakes and become stronger in the process.

What do you think about cycling’s history? About its future?

I believe in my sport, even though it has a bad reputation and – thanks to its past – isn’t valued all that highly in Austria. I am happy to see positive changes happening,  and to see the trend is going in the right direction.

What is your favorite way to unwind? 

By enjoying the silence of nature with my girlfriend.

Would you share your recipe for success?

The balance has to be there. To give 100% in cycling, you have to sacrifice in other areas, which is a big part of why I appreciate free time all the more now.