Archiv der Kategorie: History

ESCAPE FROM HELL – (V/V) 2023: Alison Jackson

2023: Alison Jackson
In the end, it’s not always the strongest who wins. Certainly not in cycling, and most definitely not in Paris-Roubaix. On the roads of the Hell of the North, the „strongest“ can just as easily win in the legendary velodrome as get bogged down in the Trouée d’Arenberg. Year after year, the cobblestone crushers crash in the Mons-en-Pévèle sector or collapse in the Carrefour de l’Arbre – and one cannot underestimate the traps of the asphalt either. On these unique roads, an aspirant for glory needs to be strong, but also brave and lucky. Paris-Roubaix smiles on the bold, even those who have been out there the longest. In a race where chaos is always the order of the day, early attackers create unsuspected openings. Conquerors of the Hell of the North, they tell us about their heavenly day on the cobbles.

Alison Jackson : “Don’t think, just do”
“In the three editions that we’ve seen, Paris-Roubaix Femmes avec Zwift has been won in a different way on a different part of the course”, Alison Jackson (EF Education-Cannondale) celebrates as she gets ready to defend her crown in the French Monument. In 2021, for the grand premiere, British icon Lizzie Deignan powered to the front as soon the race hit the cobbles, flying to victory through a magnificent one woman show. A year later, the favourites raised hell on the cobbles and Elisa Longo Borghini eventually resisted her fierce rivals. In 2023, Jackson invented another scenario.
A seasoned rider, the Canadian champ enjoyed her first tastes of the Hell of the North (24th in 2021, 13th in 2022) and felt she had the means to pave her own way to victory towards Roubaix. It was all a matter of creating the right opportunity, emulating the long range attackers who have historically shined in the men’s edition of Paris-Roubaix.
The opening circuit gave Jackson and the baroudeurs the proper terrain to get away. Once they reached the cobbles, an absolute thriller was on, marked by a mass crash in the chase group with 37 km to go and an extraordinarily tight finale. Ten kilometres away from glory, the gap was down to 15’’. In any other race, it would have been a done deal… Not in Roubaix. Three decades after Steve Bauer saw Eddy Planckaert pipe him with the smallest margin on the André-Pétrieux velodrome, Jackson became the first Canadian to ever win a Monument.

KM 0. ROLL WITH INTENT : “Always better to be ahead”
“I had done quite well in the previous editions and I always said: ‘If I have a clean run, no crashes, then I think I could win the race.’ I came with the attitude that it’s always better to be ahead. Any moment when you find yourself at the front of a bike race, be aggressive, make an attack. So that was gonna be my approach to the race although I thought I would be doing that later in the race, more in some of the harder parts. I had a few other teammates that their role was to try and get in that early break but there was a big group going and it was important that we were in it, so I went. It was the right moment and, no second guessing, the reaction right away was to jump in it. Here’s the break! And then you have to believe that it’s gonna work out. You don’t go in a breakaway if you don’t think it’s gonna go far.”

KM 25. GIVE THE BREAK A CHANCE : “Every little bit mattered”
“The key was just to ride. I believed in this breakaway and that showed everyone that they could also believe. It was leading by example. Susanne Andersen was up there for Uno-X. We were teammates once upon a time and she’s a very smart bike racer. Knowing that she was always pulling through, I was always pulling through, and the same with the others. Even if the group catches us later on, we’re still in the finale, we can get a great result and we’ve put ourselves in a position to avoid crashes, chose our lines on the cobbles… So I have full commitment and it encourages others to have full commitment, so the gap grows. I’m hearing on the radio: ‘You’re doing too much work.’ People told me all the time that’s what they said when they watched: ‘Oh she’s working too much, she’s not gonna win.’ But that’s how we maintained that gap. Every little bit mattered to keep it going.”

KM 80. THRIVE THROUGH CHAOS : “I got word through the radio there was a big crash”
“I was not so much aware of the situation behind. All I knew was the time gap – up to six minutes, that was really good. And just listening and watching, hearing from the team car where that time gap was, you could get a sense of what was happening behind. But because we had almost every team in that front group, I knew that the chase behind wasn’t gonna be very strong. So the gap was coming down slowly. I got word through the radio that there was a big crash behind so that let our gap go up. I didn’t know who crashed or what it looked like. And also you don’t know what the tactic is behind. At one point, [Lotte] Kopecky attacked but she dropped her teammates from SD Worx, so she was alone and she couldn’t chase the whole group… These dynamics didn’t help them behind. But you know, the gap was coming down closer and closer. At one point, it was nine seconds.”

KM 135. TOO LATE TO GIVE UP : “That’s what I love about bike racing”
“I remember looking behind and seeing the group was very close. Such a small gap usually means the race is over for the breakaway. With 5km to go, I thought : ‘We’ve been out here on the road, alone for 140k, we’re not giving up now!’ You have to commit to the very end. And Roubaix is a very rough race, everybody is tired, so 10 seconds means more than in other occasions. Even if I pulled the group all the way, I would still get 5th and that would be a great result. I’d rather be a part of the front action than change the tactics. Expressing that to the other girls also allowed them to get on board. Three of us drove all the way into the finale. At that moment, if you’re behind, you think you’re gonna get back and you already think of the finale. So they think they’ve caught us and they slow down, while we think they’ve caught us and we go full gas. It creates a new separation and that’s what I love about bike racing, the games, the tactics… Because it’s not just the decisions we make, it’s also the decisions they make behind at that timing that made it so positive for us in the breakaway.”

KM 145.4. GLORY AND PARTY IN THE VÉLODROME : “It’s not your imagination, it’s real life”
“I’m not a track rider, I’m not used to sprinting on a velodrome, but I always asked the trackies how to manage this one. But I mean… On my handlebar, my notes are: ‘Don’t think, just do’. That’s really what it came to. As long as you don’t get boxed in, it’s about what you have left in the legs so that was the plan, to sprint absolutely full gas. Once you cross the line, you know you can own it. This. Is. My. Win. It’s a bit of relief and a bit of knowing you’ve accomplished something so big. No Canadian had ever won a cycling Monument. So to be the first is super meaningful. And then it’s just so exciting. Bike racing is fun but winning is a special type of fun. You ride around the velodrome on the recons, imagining what it would be like to win. Now, it’s not your imagination, it’s real life and you get to experience it. You just want to celebrate with all your teammates and friends and all the people that know you. Of course my teammates are not there yet but it’s whoever, friends that were in the crowd, some journalists, photographers, the team staff… And we start the celebration.”

Alison Jackson :
Born on 14 December 1988 in Vermilion (Canada)
• 3 participations in Paris-Roubaix Femmes avec Zwift
Winner in 2023
• 3-time Canadian National Champion
Road race in 2021, 2023 / ITT in 2021
• 9 participations in the UCI World Championships
6th in 2021

ESCAPE FROM HELL – (IV/V) 2016 : Mathew Hayman

2016 : Mathew Hayman
In the end, it’s not always the strongest who wins. Certainly not in cycling, and most definitely not in Paris-Roubaix. On the roads of the Hell of the North, the „strongest“ can just as easily win in the legendary velodrome as get bogged down in the Trouée d’Arenberg. Year after year, the cobblestone crushers crash in the Mons-en-Pévèle sector or collapse in the Carrefour de l’Arbre – and one cannot underestimate the traps of the asphalt either. On these unique roads, an aspirant for glory needs to be strong, but also brave and lucky. Paris-Roubaix smiles on the bold, even those who have been out there the longest. In a race where chaos is always the order of the day, early attackers create unsuspected openings. Conquerors of the Hell of the North, they tell us about their heavenly day on the cobbles.

Mathew Hayman : “I won in the year when I had the least chance”
Is the early breakaway to Roubaix an Australian specialty? Riders from Down Under waited until the turn of the 21st century to impose their panache on the Classic born in 1896 but they’ve done it in unique fashion. Henk Vogels was the first to break into the top 10 (in 1997 and 1998). Then, in 2007, Stuart O’Grady triumphed in the North after attacking in the first hour of the race. Ten editions later, in the spring of 2016, Mathew Hayman joined him on the list of winners, overturning all the predictions.
At 37, the native of Camperdown, an inner western suburb of Sydney, is a seasoned expert on the cobbled Classics, but he’s no guaranteed winner. Prior to his Roubaix triumph, his professional honours list includes the Challenge Mallorca (2001), the Sachsen Tour (2005), the road race at the Commonwealth Games (2006) and Paris-Bourges (2011). He headed into his 15th appearance in the Hell of the North – he will push his tally to 17, a record in the French Monument – with a wealth of experience at all levels of the race (8th in 2012, OTL in 2002), but with little certainty about his form: six weeks earlier, he fractured his right arm on his first cobbled race of the season, the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad.
For a month, the Australian stepped on his home-trainer and trained on Zwift. In his garage, he prepared to topple the oracles, dazzled by the stars Fabian Cancellara, Tom Boonen and Peter Sagan. For the first time, Paris-Roubaix was broadcast in its entirety on television, from the start in Compiègne to the finish in the André-Pétrieux velodrome. For six hours, the race was breathtaking and, in this extraordinary setting, Hayman delivered a masterclass, making the breakaway before surviving the return of the favourites and frustrating the legend Boonen.

KM 0. PREPARE FOR BATTLE : “Roubaix was on my mind, but I had a lot of doubts“
“When I broke my arm, the doctors put it in a cast and told me it would be six weeks. I looked at my phone and I said: ‘Okay, that’s one day before Roubaix…’ The team doctor was there and he said: ‘That’s not gonna happen’. You think of all the effort you’ve done for the classics, and it gets taken away… I have a track background, from Australia, and I’m used to training indoors, living in Belgium. Zwift wasn’t so big at the time but I decided to give it a shot. I did a lot of double sessions, there were a couple of days I even did three or four sessions.
Roubaix was on my mind, but I had a lot of doubts. I went and raced in Spain the week-end before Roubaix. I had done four or five days on the road before that. And I had one week left. By that point, I was pretty confident but other people in the team were still unsure. In the recon, I had to do a pretty hard ride. I think I did four and half hours on Wednesday and I went pretty deep to make sure… I had missed a lot. But I was pretty happy on that evening. I had good legs, my arm was holding up and I was gonna start in Roubaix on the Sunday.”

KM 80. MAKE THE BREAK : “It was starting to get hard and I was still pretty fresh”
“Actually, I wasn’t supposed to be in the breakaway. I was supposed to kind of wait longer. We had three riders that were designated to jump with the early breakaway. But we’d been racing 70-80 kilometres and those roads out of Compiègne are quite rolling. It was starting to get hard and I was still pretty fresh because I had just been waiting, sitting in the bunch. I actually went twice. The first time, on a little rise, I thought maybe this is the break and I jumped in. And the next time, I actually already had a teammate, Magnus Cort Nielsen, and I didn’t see that until I had already jumped. The group became bigger and bigger and we were 21 in the end.
The collaboration was really good. There was some good riders in there, really good riders. And most of the guys, when you’re in that situation, you want to make the most of it. We never got a lot of time, about one and half, two minutes. We kind of had to keep pushing but at the same time, we weren’t racing each other for the sectors, except for Arenberg of course. Even then, being a group of 20, still you want to be in the front. But every other sector, we just went onto the sector and just rode. I think that’s where you save the energy.”

KM 198. CONTAIN BOONEN : “Tom really tried to make it hard”
“I was like: ‘Okay, I’m just here to get ahead, first I want to get through the first sector, then I want to get through Arenberg’, and then a big one for me was to get through Mons-en-Pévèle, but we got caught before. Some guys like Fabian [Cancellara] had missed the split and there were more splits in the group. They had also been racing since Arenberg and the guys that came across, by the time they got to me, they were pretty fatigued. Luke Durbridge was among the 15 riders who came back. He was one of the leaders for our team that day. He was looking very strong.
Tom [Boonen] was doing a lot of work, the group was too big and he wanted to thin it out. Onto Orchies, he really tried to make it hard again, he didn’t have so many teammates and I think he wanted to get rid of as many people as possible, and at the end of Orchies, Luke punctured. If he was in front of me, maybe I would have given my wheel but he was already behind and stopped before I could react. And then I was: ‘Oh well, I’m by myself now.’”

KM 257.5. BRING IT HOME : “Coming into the Velodrome, I probably had the smallest palmares”
“On Mons-en-Pévèle, there was a big acceleration, I was caught behind a rider, maybe it was [Marcel] Sieberg… And I could see Sep [Vanmarcke] or Ian Stannard going really fast. I hesitated, I was thinking: ‘I’ve been in the break, maybe I just stay there…’ But I understood I had to go. Still, I didn’t believe I could win. Then on the Carrefour de l’Arbre, I was knocked off the wheel, I managed to come across and that’s when I started believing. Coming into the Velodrome with Sep Vanmarcke, Ian Stannard, Tom Boonen and Edvald Boasson Hagen, I probably had the smallest palmares. But I wasn’t thinking like that, I was just thinking of racing, having moves, covering attacks, trying to get to the finish line.
Then, as soon as I crossed the line, I came back to reality and tried to understand what had happened. In other years, I was in great shape and something always happened. And I always put pressure on myself to have a good race in Roubaix. I knew that when Tom and Fabian accelerated on the cobbles, they were impossible to follow – for me and for everyone else! So I looked for other ways. It’s just a race I fell in love with. And I won it in the year when I had the least chance of doing well.“

Mathew Hayman :
• Born on 20th April 1978 in Camperdown (Australia)
• Sports director for Team Jayco AlUla
• Holds the record for most participations in Paris-Roubaix – 17 :
Winner in 2016 / 8th in 2012 / 10th in 2011


2011: Johan Vansummeren (III/V)

In the end, it’s not always the strongest who wins. Certainly not in cycling, and most definitely not in Paris-Roubaix. On the roads of the Hell of the North, the „strongest“ can just as easily win in the legendary velodrome as get bogged down in the Trouée d’Arenberg. Year after year, the cobblestone crushers crash in the Mons-en-Pévèle sector or collapse in the Carrefour de l’Arbre – and one cannot underestimate the traps of the asphalt either. On these unique roads, an aspirant for glory needs to be strong, but also brave and lucky. Paris-Roubaix smiles on the bold, even those who have been out there the longest. In a race where chaos is always the order of the day, early attackers create unsuspected openings. Conquerors of the Hell of the North, they tell us about their heavenly day on the cobbles.

Johan Vansummeren : „At Roubaix, I knew I had a chance“
4 + 3 + 2 = 9. From 2005 to 2013, nine editions of Paris-Roubaix were dominated by three major forces. There was Tom Boonen, Flanders hero, winner of the Hell of the North on four occasions, like Roger De Vlaeminck in the 1970s. Swiss icon Fabian Cancellara also made his way into the Roubaix legend with three triumphs. The other two editions contested during their reign crowned long-distance attackers specialising in the cobbles, who eventually found an opening to upset the pre-established (but rarely respected) scenarios of Paris-Roubaix.
In 2007, Stuart O’Grady achieved his conquest by taking part in the early breakaway before he surged in the final. In 2011, Johan Vansummeren was “at the back of the pack“ when the breakaway set off. The Trouée d’Arenberg was his winning launchpad, almost 100 kilometres away from the André-Pétrieux velodrome. At the same time, Boonen was lamenting a puncture. As for Fabian Cancellara, he remained behind, alongside the other main favourites, led by world champion Thor Hushovd, Vansummeren’s teammate in the ranks of Garmin-Cervélo.
Winner in Roubaix a year earlier (ahead of Hushovd, 2nd), Cancellara eventually unleashed his power. The gap to the front of the race had shrunk to around twenty seconds with 30 kilometres to go. But Vansummeren didn’t wait for anyone en route to the greatest success of his career. The Belgian suffered right to the end, with a puncture just outside of the Vélodrome. Still, he fulfilled the prophecy of his boss Jonathan Vaughters, who was convinced that Vansummeren, even more than Hushovd, held the key to breaking the Boonen-Cancellara lock.

KM 0. TOO EARLY TO MOVE : „I wasn’t going to jostle and lose energy“
„At the start, I was free – I didn’t have to do anything for the team leaders. Thor Hushovd had two riders working for him, [Roger] Hammond and [Andreas] Klier, and I could do my own thing. Up until the first sector in Troisvilles, I stayed at the back of the pack. You have to make a choice: either you try to get into the breakaway, or you try to preserve your legs as much as possible. That’s also a risk. If there’s a lot of wind, you can’t afford to lag behind. But that day, I told myself that I wasn’t going to jostle and lose energy. My idea was not to worry about the race for the first 100 kilometres. It was only in the last ten kilometres before Troisvilles that I started to work my way up to the front of the peloton.”

KM 98. SURVIVING THE FIRST COBBLES : „There are crashes, the peloton splits“
„The first cobbles in Paris-Roubaix are always dangerous. I was talking about it again last week with a friend: ‘We never talk about the first sectors, it’s not five stars… But there’s always tension.’ You have two hundred riders and everyone wants to be in the top ten. There are crashes, the peloton splits… OK, it comes back, but it takes energy. You have to fight beforehand and if you enter the cobbles in fifth or sixth position, you can even allow yourself to drop back a little. It’s all about being in the safety zone and staying well placed to avoid any splits.”

KM 172. ARENBERG, THE LAUNCH PAD : „Lotto pulled and pulled and pulled“
„At Arenberg, there isn’t really a safe zone any more. Even in second place, if the guy in front of you crashes, there’s no room. And if you have a mechanical… I was able to go through without having to push too hard. And as soon as we came out of the cobbles, [Jurgen] Roelandts attacked. I was on his wheel and off we went. We quickly caught up with the breakaway and then Lotto had three riders [Roelandts, André Greipel and David Boucher]. It was magnificent. They didn’t ask for anything, they just pulled and pulled and pulled… And I was around tenth place [he whistles]. They carried me for nearly 70 kilometres, until we battled it out in the finale with [Lars] Bak, [Maarten] Tjallingi… At no point did I think about the gap or the chasing riders. Anyway, the situation changes a lot. And as soon as there are only three or four of us in front, it’s a mano a mano.”

KM 242. THE RIGHT TURN ON THE CARREFOUR : „Tjallingi was five metres away“
„I felt really good. And I know the Carrefour de l’Arbre quite well, the corners, the first left-right… And after about a kilometre, there’s a left-hand bend… And that’s where I went really fast. Tjallingi was five metres from my wheel. He never came back. I had good legs, a clear head and my experience of Paris-Roubaix, the recons… Even today, you leave me in Troisvilles and I’ll take you to Roubaix, with my eyes closed! But there, I wasn’t at ease. In the last sector before Roubaix, my wheel hit a cobblestone. I thought to myself: ‘ouch…‘ And in the last three kilometres, my rim was touching the road. It was a bit of a panic, I was really stressed. On the videos, you can see that I entered the velodrome with a soft tubular. But it worked out.”

KM 256.5. ELATION IN ROUBAIX AND LOMMEL : „I bought a few tons of beer“
„It was total madness. I was so proud, so happy. When I signed my contract with Garmin, I told Vaughters: ‘I know I can’t win many races… But Roubaix, I can do it.’ Then, just because you can doesn’t mean you’re going to win! But at Roubaix, I knew I had a chance. The team organised dinner that evening, then we left around midnight. And when I arrived in my town [Lommel], there must have been 2,000 people in the streets. The police were there, the roads were blocked, there was the mayor, the TV cameras… I bought a few tons of beer, stayed for an hour, an hour and a half, and then went home. I was dead.“

Johan Vansummeren :
Born on 4th February 1981 in Lommel (Belgium)
9 participations in the Tour de France
9 participations in Paris-Roubaix :
• Winner in 2011 / 5th in 2009 / 8th in 2008 / 9th in 2012
• Winner of Tour de Pologne 2007 (stage 7 and general classification)
• Winner of Liège-Bastogne-Liège Espoirs in 2003


2007 : Stuart O’Grady (II/V)
In the end, it’s not always the strongest who wins. Certainly not in cycling, and most definitely not in Paris-Roubaix. On the roads of the Hell of the North, the „strongest“ can just as easily win in the legendary velodrome as get bogged down in the Trouée d’Arenberg. Year after year, the cobblestone crushers crash in the Mons-en-Pévèle sector or collapse in the Carrefour de l’Arbre – and one cannot underestimate the traps of the asphalt either. On these unique roads, an aspirant for glory needs to be strong, but also brave and lucky. Paris-Roubaix smiles on the bold, even those who have been out there the longest. In a race where chaos is always the order of the day, early attackers create unsuspected openings. Conquerors of the Hell of the North, they tell us about their heavenly day on the cobbles.

O’Grady: “It was like having an out-of-body experience“
Stuart O’Grady knew everything about how to power victory in a velodrome when he lined up at the start of Paris-Roubaix 2007, his “finest road result”. His last victory before he tamed the French Monument actually came in the Athens Olympic Velodrome, during the 2004 Games, where he won the Madison. In his 33rd Spring, the Australian veteran also had a wealth of experience to share in the Classics and he approached with high confidence his 9th participation in the Hell of the North, a week after finishing 10th in the Ronde van Vlaanderen.
These stripes didn’t make O’Grady a favourite to raise the famous winner’s cobble in the Vélodrome of Roubaix. In these years, all eyes turned to Fabian Cancellara – especially O’Grady’s, who was a teammate of the Swiss icon – and Tom Boonen, the two of them claiming seven victories in the nine editions raced between 2005 and 2013. It appeared the only way to escape their dominance was to anticipate, as O’Grady showed and Johan Vansummeren confirmed, in 2011.
On his special day, „Stuey“ the Aussie was greeted by exceptionally high temperatures in the North of France. He made the early breakaway to launch a trailblazing conquest. A puncture and a crash got in his way, the bigger guns got back to him… But O’Grady surged again on the Carrefour de l’Arbre. „Today, I was going to win or die trying“, he said as he became the first rider from Down Under to conquer Roubaix and its iconic Vélodrome.

Km 0. Let them go : “Everybody goes full gas in the first 15 kilometres”
“Fabian [Cancellara] was the protected rider, especially as the defending champion. I was more of a plan B, along with Lars Michaelsen and Matti Breschel. My objective was to get in the breakaway with a couple of teammates, to be ahead of the race, be ready to help Fabian deep in the finale. Getting in the break is probably one of the most difficult things to achieve. Every directeur sportif tells his riders he wants one or two of them in the breakaway. It’s very fast, it’s very hard. You need a lot of experience. Everybody goes full gas in the first 15 kilometres, which isn’t the best way to go about it. It’s more about picking your opportunities from that 16, 17km mark, when the road starts taking a few little small climbs, which makes a good launchpad to create a breakaway.”

Km 19. Feel the move : “Come on, it’s a good opportunity!”
“When the breakaway initially went, it had Luke Roberts and Matti Breschel in it. I thought it was a good group but I also thought I really need to be in it as well. I used my experience to jump across at a favourable moment and we were three riders. It was a real defining moment. It was very important for us to have multiple riders in the breakaway. Obviously, we didn’t realise it would be 30 riders, which kind of worked in our favour. I remember yelling at the riders: ‘Come on, it’s a good opportunity, the further we get ahead the better’. And I managed to get the breakaway very.

Km 163. Survive Arenberg : “I thought my race was finished”
“We were hoping to get to Arenberg and in the end, the breakaway went much further… But it didn’t work out like that for me. I was always entering the sectors first or second wheel, to chose my line, try to avoid stupid crashes or incidents. I was feeling really good. Everything was coming to plan. But I punctured in Arenberg. I was devastated, I thought my race was finished. But that’s where my experience from the previous Paris-Roubaix helped me. The younger Stuart would have tried to time trial back to that group and probably explode a few sections later. The more experienced Stuart went: ‘You know what, let’s just get to the end of the section, let’s get a musette…’ It was a very hot and dusty day, which made it really difficult to eat and drink. That puncture was probably a blessing in disguise.”

Km 215. Get Cancellara’s approval : “If you can, just go”
“Once I got caught, I spoke with Fabian. We shared room the night before and we were very close friends. I was told to attack on the next section… And I crashed on a corner, which was unusual. I was usually pretty good on the cobbles but I think with the pressure, having to attack for Fabian, I had a little lapse in concentration and I crashed. I was really mad at myself. I thought I had let Fabian down. With that anger, I rode back to the peloton. And that’s when Fabian said: ‘‘I’m not on a good day. You obviously are. If you can, just go.’”

Km 234. Go go go : “What have I done?”
“I followed Steffen Wesemann and Roger Hammond, who had just attacked. They rode me to the front of the race. At that moment, something inside my head just said: ‘Go’. I didn’t know how many kilometres were left to go, I didn’t know anything… I just saw the moment that everyone was really tired and they all kind of sat up. And at that moment, my head just said ‘attack, just go’. I saw an opportunity and then I saw the sign that said 25 kilometres to go… Holy shit, what have I done? But I felt really good on the Carrefour. My goal was to get a one-minute advantage. Then, the riders behind would start looking at each other and racing for the places of second and third.”

Km 259.5. Feel the legend : “Is this really happening?”
“It was like having an out-of-body experience. You’re racing, you’re off the front in Paris-Roubaix, and you’re kind of asking: ‘Is this really happening?’ Your legs are on the verge of cramping. Your arms are absolutely wrecked. Your neck, everything is hurting. But I guess that desire, that will to win, is just screaming at you: ‘Just keep going there, this is your day!’ It doesn’t happen very often in your career, at least it didn’t happen very often in my career! So I pushed as hard as I could push and it worked. The winner’s cobble is the only trophy I have on display at my home, in Australia. It’s in the entrance and I still touch it most days. It brings back a lot of incredible memories.”

Stuart O’Grady :
• Born on 6 August 1973 in Adelaide (Australia)
• Director of the Santos Tour Down Under

17 participations in the Tour de France :
• 2 stage wins (1998, 2004) / 9 Yellow jerseys (1998, 2001)
14 participations in Paris-Roubaix :
• Winner in 2007 / 5th in 2008
• Track Olympic Champion in 2004
• 3rd of Milano-Sanremo 2004
• 3rd of the Ronde van Vlaanderen 2003
• 3rd of Paris-Tours 2003 and 2006

Escape from Hell – 1988 : Dirk Demol (I/V)

1988 : Dirk Demol (I/V)

In the end, it’s not always the strongest who wins. Certainly not in cycling, and most definitely not in Paris-Roubaix. On the roads of the Hell of the North, the „strongest“ can just as easily win in the legendary velodrome as get bogged down in the Trouée d’Arenberg. Year after year, the cobblestone crushers crash in the Mons-en-Pévèle sector or collapse in the Carrefour de l’Arbre – and one cannot underestimate the traps of the asphalt either. On these unique roads, an aspirant for glory needs to be strong, but also brave and lucky. Paris-Roubaix smiles on the bold, even those who have been out there the longest. In a race where chaos is always the order of the day, early attackers create unsuspected openings. Conquerors of the Hell of the North, they tell us about their heavenly day on the cobbles.

Dirk Demol : “When De Vlaeminck told me we were gonna stay away…”

Numbers hardly break down the brutality and magnificence of Paris-Roubaix. 120 editions held since the first one, in 1896. Some 250 kilometres of racing, with over 50 kilometres of cobblestones in the modern version of the „Hell of the North“, featuring sectors classified from one to five stars, based on the challenge they represent. Countless feats and even more dreams shattered. And extraordinary breakaways, since the French Monument ignites a special fire within the most daring attackers. How long was the longest successful breakaway in the history of Paris-Roubaix? „We did 222 kilometres at the front“, the winner of the 1988 edition Dirk Demol recalls. That year, his team AD Renting had come with a hot favourite: Eddy Planckaert. They had stellar rivals: Sean Kelly, Laurent Fignon, Marc Madiot, Eric Vanderaerden… But it was the „manneke“ („little guy“) Demol – hailing from Kuurne, some 25km away from Roubaix – who surged to an unexpected triumph, getting the better of his breakaway companions while resisting the bigger guns. „Numbers are unforgiving“, Jean-Marie Leblanc wrote on his way to Kuurne, as he pondered for L’Équipe the mathematical impossibility for Fignon to bridge a gap of 2’52“ in the very last kilometres. The Frenchman eventually crossed the line in 3rd position, 1’55“ after Demol. Fignon never got the numbers right in Roubaix while Leblanc went on to steer the French Monument, as well as the Tour de France. As for Demol, he now shares his unique insights as a sports director for Lotto Dstny after he worked with icons such as Tom Boonen and Fabian Cancellara.

KM 0. Go to the front : “I was covering the early breaks for Planckaert”

“Roubaix has always been my favourite race. I remember doing it with the Belgian national team as an Under 23 in 1980. Back then, you had to wait for a letter in the mail and I was so happy when I read I was gonna do Roubaix! I finished 2nd in a sprint against Stephen Roche, with a similar scenario to my victory in 1988. It was a long breakaway, gone before the first cobblestones, and we had the same number of riders at the front – 13 – until it gradually came down to only two. Then, I got to do it as a professional. In 1988, I was covering the early breaks with another Belgian teammate, Luc Colyn, for our leader Eddy Planckaert, who had won the Tour of Flanders a week earlier. We wanted to have somebody up there so we could avoid chasing in the bunch. There were many attempts and I was somehow lucky because I was eventually part of it when the breakaway went after some 40 kilometres of racing.”

Km44. Make the most of the break : “I was lucky to be with Thomas Turbo”

“We had quite a big group and I was already thinking my director would be happy with the job I had done. Of course, you pull. But you stay on the reserve, because you have to be able to help your leader if he comes later. I wasn’t strong enough to be a leader, not physically, not mentally. When I was on a good day, I made the top 10 of several semi-classics. But I never raced the finale of a big Classic, except for that year in Roubaix. I was lucky to be up there with Thomas Wegmuller. We used to call him Thomas Turbo, or Terminator, because he was always going full gas. A couple of years later, he attacked with Jacky Durand in the Tour of Flanders and they stayed away as well. But I was also the only one able to go with him. Gerard Veldschoten was in the breakaway, Allan Peiper… When these guys were dropped, I figured we were going really fast.”

KM 220. Listen to Mr Paris-Roubaix : “I can do it!”

“My first leader when I turned professional, in 1982, was Roger De Vlaeminck, Monsieur Paris-Roubaix. If he liked a young rider, he would teach you. In Roubaix, positioning is essential. I also learned from Roger how to go smooth over the cobbles. In 1988, with about 45 km to go, press cars moved past them. One of them slowed down as they passed us… Roger was their guest. He rolled down his window and told me: ‘‘Dirk, you know, you’re gonna stay away! It’s still three minutes. It’s the chance of your life to win.’ From that moment, I went all in. In races, I was often doubting. But that day… For some reason, I was thinking: ‘Ok, Roger said we can stay away, I feel good… I can do it!’ On every level, physically, mentally, it was the kind of day a rider likes me maybe gets once in their career. I also knew Thomas couldn’t sprint at all while I could defend myself, especially in small groups. And the wind had blown a plastic bag in his derailleur. It was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and everything came together.”

KM 266. Step into the legend : „It’s true, I won Roubaix!”

“When you cross the line, you don’t really realise. Especially someone like me, a gregario, a domestique… It was already my 7th year as a pro. I went to the podium, then I had to speak to the media, do the doping control… My best supporter was there, picking me up to bring me home. We had a small fan club in a café. And it was incredible how excited everyone was. At some point in the night – I stayed celebrating with them until 3 or 4 AM, even Jean-Marie Leblanc was there as a journalist for L’Équipe – they brought me the newspapers from Monday. I was on the front page and then I said: ‘Yes, it’s true, I won Roubaix!’ I went to bed, I was so tired but I couldn’t sleep: ‚is it true? did I dream?‘ It was a dream indeed.”

Artur Tabat – Radsportlegende Mr. Rund um Köln

Ich habe mich sehr gefreut, bei der diesjährigen Challenge Mallorca wieder einmal Artur Tabat, den langjährigen Organisator von Rund um Köln, bei bester Gesundheit treffen zu dürfen.
Dort feierte er am 2. Tag der Challenge seinen 82. Geburtstag, mein Foto zeigt die 2 Kölner Jungs Artur Tabat zusammen mit Nils Politt in seinen neuen Teamfarben (UAE) in Ses Salines.

Alles Gute weiterhin, Artur!

Plomi Foto

Andreas Egerer RC Herpersdorf bleibt unvergessen

Am 09.12.1985 ist Andreas Egerer im Alter von 76 Jahren verstorben.

Manfred Marr hat uns zum Todestag von Andreas Egerer eine Würdigung seines Lebens und seltene Fotos zur Verfügung gestellt.

Walter Neretter, Andreas Egerer und Willi Fuggerer (Foto Archiv Manfred Marr)

„Eigentlich müsste die Straße An der Radrunde in Herpersdorf Andreas-Egerer- Straße heißen, denn was dieser Mann für uns alle, für den Verein und für den gesamten Radsport geleistet hat war unglaublich „, sagt der 12-fache Deutsche Meister Fritz Neuser. Als einmaliger Radsport- Idealist, Mäzen und Funktionär wird Andreas Egerer, der am 9.Dezember 1985 im Alter von 76 Jahren verstorben ist, den fränkischen Radsportlern für immer in Erinnerung bleiben! Durch seinen unermüdlichen Einsatz und sein großzügiges Engagement entwickelte sich der RC Herpersdorf im Laufe der Jahrzehnte vom kleinen Dorf-Verein zu Deutschlands größten und erfolgreichsten Radsportclub!

Als begeisterte Hobby-Radler schlossen sich 1926 der 17-jährige Andreas Egerer und sein vier Jahre älterer Freund Konrad Schwab dem kleinen Verein an. Gemeinsam fuhren sie wenig später erste regionale Straßenrennen und freuten sich über ihre kleinen Erfolg. Ihre Begeisterung für den Zweirad-Sport wurde dabei immer größer. Ab 1927 übernahmen sie als ehrgeiziges junges Führungs-Duo die Regie beim RC Herpersdorf. Mit Konrad Schwab als 1. Vorsitzenden und Andreas Egerer als Sportleiter entwickelte sich der RCH schon nach wenigen Jahren zu einem der erfolgreichsten bayerischen Rasporvereine.

Die bis heute einmalige Erfolgsserie des RC Herpersdorf begann im Kriegsjahr 1940 mit ersten Meistertiteln, die Karl Kittsteiner und Arthur Maul errangen. Zwei weitere Jugend-Titel kamen noch während des Krieges hinzu.

Noch steiler aufwärts ging es beim RCH dann in den entbehrungsreichen Nachkriegsjahren.

Die Asse aus Herpersdorf waren nun auf Bahn und Straße bundesweit kaum noch zu schlagen. Unter der Regie von Andreas Egerer gewannen die „Heperer“ Jahr für Jahr deutsche Mannschafts-Meisterschaften in Serie, bei den Amateuren ebenso wie in der Jugendklasse. Zu gefeierten „Rekordmeistern“ wurden Fritz Neuser (mit zwölf DM-Titeln), Willi Fuggerer (neun) Werner Löw ( sieben ), und Gotthard Dinta mit fünf Titeln. Willi Fuggerer holte 1964 bei den olympischen Spielen in Tokio eine Bronze-Medaille, Gerhard Scheller 1983 in Zürich eine WM-Silbermedaille und Horst Gnas als dreifacher Steher-Weltmeister drei Goldmedaillen nach Herpersdorf! Jeder der erfolgreichen Ex-Meister versicherte damals stets dankbar: „ Ohne Andreas Egerer, wären meine vielen Erfolge nie möglich gewesen“. Fritz Neuser (91) erinnert sich: „ Andreas war mehr als nur ein Mäzen, oder Funktionär und der RC Herpersdorf war damals für uns auch viel mehr als nur ein Verein. Andreas Egerer war rund um die Uhr zu jeder Tages- und Nachtzeit immer für uns und den Verein da. Wenn es um seine Rennfahrer ging war ihn keine Arbeit zu viel und kein Opfer zu groß“. Fritz Neuser schwärmt heute noch: „Der RC Herpersdorf, den Konrad Schwab und Andreas Egerer vorbildlich führten, war für uns alle wie eine große Familie“.

Treffpunkt, Zentrum und Vereinslokal der Herpersdorfer Radsportler war das renommierte Gasthaus Egerer, das Andreas Egerer ebenfalls sehr erfolgreich führte.

Foto Archiv Manfred Marr

Hier wurden Woche für Woche die Renneinsätze und Jahr für Jahr auch viele Radsport-Veranstaltungen geplant, die der RC Herpersdorf organisierte und perfekt durchführte. Absoluter Saisonhöhepunkt war alljährlich der „Große Express-Preis“ (später „Tucher-Preis“), bei dem Deutschlands beste Straßenfahrer meist vollzählig in Herpersdorf am Start waren. Auch zahlreiche Bundestrainer , Teilnehmer von Lehrgängen mit den besten deutschen Bahn- und Straßen-Nationalahrern waren regelmäßihg „ beim Egerer“ zu Gast.

Groß war der Andrang vor allem in den 1970er-Jahren jeden Dienstagnachmittag, wenn sich der Herpersdorfer Radsport-Nachwuchs auf dem Parkplatz des Gasthauses Egerer vor den obligatorischen Trainingsfahrten versammelte. Immer mit dabei war selbstverständlich Sportleiter Andreas Egerer, der stets ein waches Auge für junge Talente hatte. Nach den Trainingsfahrten durften sich die jüngsten Nachwuchsfahrer über Egerer´s Lob ebenso freuen wie über das Obst , dass der väterliche Sportleiter dann großzügig an alle verteilte.

Auch die Tatsache, dass Andreas Egerer bisweilen sehr streng und unerbittlich sein konnte, wenn es um das nötige Training und um eiserne Disziplin ging, haben die einstigen Meister bis heute nicht vergessen: „ Da verstand der Reser, wie wir alle Andreas nannten, überhaupt keinen Spaß. Wer nicht spurte, flog ganz schnell aus der ersten Mannschaft. Egerer konnte auch sehr energisch sein“, erzählt Fritz Neuser.
Ein Nachteil war die harte „Herpersdorfer Schule“ für die jungen Männer, die mit vielen sportlichen Erfolgen belohnt wurden, jedoch keinesfalls: „ Wir alle haben durch den Radsport, durch den
RC Herpersdorf und vor allem durch Andreas Egerer sehr viel an Fleiß, Ehrgeiz, Kameradschaft und Diszplin für unser ganzes Leben gelernt“, versichern die zahlreichen Ex-Meister noch heute. Andreas Egerer, dem sie so viel zu verdanken hatten, werden sie alle nie vergessen!

Manfred M a r r

Radsport Geschichte: Siegerpodium Auto Neuser Preis am 24.4.1983

24.4.1983: Großer Int. Alfa Romeo Auto Neuser Preis in Nürnberg: Veranstalter Fritz Neuser ( elfmaliger DM und Olympiateilnehmer auf dem Rennrad und erfolgreicher Autorennfahrer) gratuliert dem jungen Sieger Rolf Gölz. Zweiter wurde Peter Becker (RC Charlottenburg) und Dritter der niederländische Kriteriumsspezialist Snoeink. Fritz Neuser feiert am 14.2.2017 seinen 85.Geburtstag.
Plomi Foto

24.4.1983: Großer Int. Alfa Romeo Auto Neuser Preis in Nürnberg:

Veranstalter Fritz Neuser (elfmaliger DM und Olympiateilnehmer auf dem Rennrad und erfolgreicher Autorennfahrer) gratuliert dem jungen Sieger Rolf Gölz, der später eine erfolgreiche Karriere als Radprofi absolvierte. Zweiter wurde Peter Becker (RC Charlottenburg) und Dritter der niederländische Kriteriumsspezialist Snoeink.
Fritz Neuser feierte am 14.4.2023 seinen 91.Geburtstag.

Klaus Bugdahl mit 88 Jahren verstorben – Ein Nachruf von Manfred Marr

Text und Fotos von Manfred Marr

Wiesbaden – Im Alter von 88 Jahren verstarb vor wenigen Tagen der dreifache Europa- und siebenfache Deutsche Meister Klaus Bugdahl.
Der gebürtige Berliner, der als Jugendfahrer, Amateur und Profi fast 30 Jahre lang erfolgreich im Rennsattel saß, zählte neben Rudi Altig, Rolf Wolshohl, Hennes Junkermann, Dieter Kemper und Sigi Renz von 1957 bis 1977 als Profi zu den großen Stars des deutschen Radsports.

Den ersten Meistertitel holte Bugdahl auf der ASN-Bahn in Nürnberg

1954 gewann der 19-jährige Klaus Bugdahl auf der Nürnberger ASN-Bahn seinen ersten deutschen Meistertitel!
Zusammen mit Hans „Hanne“ Schliebener, Horst Sylvestrzak und Alfred Freytag fuhr Bugdahl mit dem Vierer des „RV Luisenstadt Berlin“ absolute Bestzeit. 1955 wurde Bugdahl mit dem Berliner Vierer Vizemeister. Seinen zweiten Deutschen Meistertitel holte er 1956 als er im Finale der Einer-Verfolgung den Münchner Otto Altweck bezwang.

1957 wechselte Klaus Bugdahl mit 22 Jahren als damals jüngster deutscher Profi in das Schweinfurter „Torpedo-Team“. Bei den Profis holte Bugdahl auf Anhieb den DM-Titel in der Einer-Verfolgung über 5000m.
Mit drei Siegen zeigte der Profi-Neuling zugleich auch als Straßenfahrer sofort seine große Klasse.

1958 gewann er nach eindrucksvoller Solofahrt die Deutsche Straßenmeisterschaft vor Franz Reitz und Hennes Junkermann, bei der Straßen-WM 1958 belegte er in Reims nach 276 schweren Kilometern den zehnten Platz!

Im Winter 1958 fuhr Klaus Bugdahl mit dem Schweizer Jean Roth in Antwerpen, in Frankfurt und Münster mit Valentin Petry (jeweils zweiter Platz!), seine ersten Sechstagerennen. Zum absoluten Publikumsliebling wurde der 23-jährige Klaus Bugdahl in seiner Heimatstadt Berlin, als er zusammen mit dem Holländer Gerrit Schulte als Lokalmatador sein erstes Sechstagerennen gewann.

Seine Leistungen bei schweren Straßerennen waren jedoch auch in den folgenden Jahren hervorragend: In Frankreich gewann er 1959 die „Tour de l’Oise“, einen Etappensieg erkämpfte er bei der „Tour de Suisse“ 1963 und die Deutschland Tour 1960 beendete er als Dritter.
Selbst mit 37 Jahren stand Klaus Bugdahl 1972 als Dritter bei der deutschen Straßenmeisterschaft noch mit auf dem Treppchen!

Obwohl Klaus Bugdahl als Straßenfahrer zahlreiche sehr gute Vertragsangebote aus dem Ausland erhielt, galt seine große Liebe immer mehr dem Bahnsport und den lukrativen Sechstage-Rennen, wobei er 1959 von neun Rennen mit verschiedenen Partnern sechs gewann und dreimal Platz drei belegte. Klaus Bugdahl setzte danach seine große Erfolgsserie auf allen Winterbahnen unaufhaltsam fort.
Von 228 Sechstagerennen konnte er 37 gewinnen! Zu seinen prominentesten Partnern zählten u.a. die großen Radsport-Ikonen Eddy Merckx, Rudi Altig, Jan Janssen, Patrick Sercu und Rik van Steenbergen.

Nach dem Ende seiner langen Karriere war Klaus Bugdahl, der seit 1963 in Wiesbaden lebte, als Teamchef der deutschen Profi-Mannschaft Kotter, als Verkaufsberater im Radsporthandel und Sportlicher Leiter des Frankfurter 6-Tagerennens im Einsatz.

2015 war Klaus Bugdahl auf Einladung des Herpersdorfer Altmeisters Fritz Neuser zu Gast in Nürnberg.

Zusammen mit einigen weiteren einst großen Radsport-Assen ließ er sich die Nürnberger Altstadt und das Industrie-Museum zeigen.
2016 habe ich Klaus Bugdahl, der inzwischen bereits große gesundheitliche Probleme hatte, zuletzt bei der schönen „Tretro-Veranstaltung“ getroffen, die der Kaiserslauterner Jockel Faulhaber alljährlich im Sinsheimer Technik-Museum durchführte.
Manfred M a r r

Bayerns Radsportler trauern um Anton Auer

Nürnberg/München – Bayerns Radsportler trauern um Anton „Toni“ Auer, der am 15. Juli im Alter von 87 Jahren verstorben ist.

Toni Auer
Fotos alle Archiv Manfred Marr

Der gebürtige Münchner, der seit rund 60 Jahren in Nürnberg lebte, war Radsportler mit Leib und Seele. Nach seiner rund zehnjährigen erfolgreichen Karriere, die er 1958 mit einem Deutschen Meistertitel krönte, war Anton Auer mehr als 50 Jahre als vielseitiger Funktionär unermüdlich für den Bayerischen Radsport-Verband, für den Radsport-Bezirk Mittelfranken, für den RV Union 1886 Nürnberg und als langjähriger Bahnchef der Nürnberger Rennbahn am Reichelsdorfer Keller im Einsatz. Auch bei der „Bayern-Rundfahrt“ zählte Anton Auer – ebenso wie seine Ehefrau Charlotte – ab 1982 Jahr für Jahr zum Stamm der ehrenamtlichen Funktionäre und Mitarbeiter.

Der Radsport hat Anton Auer seit seiner frühen Jugend fasziniert und ist sein Leben lang seine große Passion geblieben. „ Meine Mutter war gar nicht begeistert, als ich mit 12 Jahren ihr altes Damenrad zur „Rennmaschine“ umbaute und zusammen mit meinem Schulfreund Otto Altweck wie wild durch München-Daglfing brauste“, erzählte er oft schmunzelnd. Die erfolgreichen Profi-Asse Hans Preiskeit, Ludwig und Hans Hörmann, waren die großen Idole der beiden „radlverrückten“ Münchner Buben. Ab 1951 startete Anton Auer als 14-Jähriger für den „RKV Solitarität“, wobei er auf Anhieb enorme Spurtqualitäten zeigte. Als mehrfacher Bayerischer Jugendmeister wechselte Anton Auer mit 15 Jahren zum renommierten „RV Sturmvogel München“, in dessen Trikot er als Junior und Amateur zur deutschen Spitzenklasse zählte. Anton Auer gewann zwar auch einige schwere Straßenrennen, doch so richtig in seinem Element war er als Amateur bei Rundstreckenrennen, bei Kriterien und bei den rasanten Bahnwettbewerben.

Ab 1957 zählte Toni Auer zur deutschen Bahn-Nationalmannschaft, wobei er vor allem im Sprint, über 1000 Meter, auf dem Tandem und bei den schweren Zweier-Mannschaftsrennen sehr erfolgreich war. Mit seinem Freund und Partner Walter Sonntag gewann Toni Auer 1958 in Frankfurt die Deutsche Tandem-Meisterschaft.

Bei der DM im Zweier-Mannschaftsfahren belegten Auer-Sonntag kurz danach hinter den Gebrüdern Rudi und Willi Altig aus Mannheim den zweiten Platz und beim 1000m-Zeitfahrern stand Toni Auer als DM-Dritter erneut auf dem Treppchen! Mit 23 Jahren wechselte Anton Auer 1960 ins Lager der Profis, wobei er auf schnellen Winterbahnen ebenfalls sehr beachtliche Leistungen zeigte. Im Sommer des gleichen Jahres beteiligte er sich in Nürnberg an einem Steher-Lehrgang , doch die großen Jahre des Profi-Stehersports waren zu diesem Zeitpunkt leider schon vorüber. Es gab immer weniger Steher-Rennen und auch kaum Verträge. Trotzdem hat es Anton Auer nicht bereut, dass er damals nach Nürnberg kam, denn beim „RV Union Nürnberg 1886“ lernte er Charlotte Ruder kennen, die er 1962 heiratete. „ Ich hatte nun eine Familie zu versorgen und vom Radsport allein konnte man damals nicht leben“, sagte er , als er seine Karriere mit 25 Jahren beendete um sich eine solide berufliche Existenz aufzubauen.
Dem Radsport blieb Anton Auer jedoch weiterhin eng verbunden: Von 1972 bis 1982 leitete er als 1. Vorsitzender Nürnbergs ältesten Radsportverein „ RV Union 1886“. Zugleich war er unermüdlich bei Rennen in ganz Bayern als Funktionär und Kampfrichter und als Schatzmeister für den Bayerischen Radsportverband im Einsatz.

Die traditionsreiche Nürnberger Radrennbahn am Reichelsdorfer Keller lag dem einstigen Bahnspezialisten ganz besonders am Herzen. 1987 übernahm Anton Auer von Nürnbergs Altmeister Fritz Scheller und dem damaligen BRV-Präsidenten Hans Bandele die Leitung des „Verein Sportplatz“ , der 1903 die Nürnberger Radrennbahn erbaute und sie seitdem pflegte und verwaltete.

Toni Auer

Zwanzig Jahre lang fungierte Anton Auer „am Keller“ mit großem Engagement erfolgreich als Bahnchef, bis er 2005 aus gesundheitlichen Gründen die Leitung des Vereins an Andreas Zentara übergab. Unter Auer´s Regie wurden fünf Deutsche Meisterschaften , mehrere Länderkämpfe, zahlreiche Bayerische Meisterschaften und viele große Renntage durchgeführt. In den Sommermonaten konnte man den agilen Bahnchef öfter an der Rennbahn als zuhause antreffen.

Rückblickend auf fünf Jahrzehnte seines Einsatzes erklärte Toni Auer stets: „ Neben dem Deutschen Meistertitel , den ich 1958 auf dem Tandem gewann und den internationalen Rennen, die ich in der Bahn-Nationalmannschaft fuhr, sind mir vor allem die vielen schönen Jahre als Leiter der Nürnberger Rennbahn immer in guter Erinnerung geblieben“. Anton Auer durfte zu Recht stolz darauf sein, dass es ihn gelang, den regen Sportbetrieb zwei Jahrzehnte lang erfolgreich fortzusetzen, die Rennbahn zu erhalten und die Vereinsführung bei bester Kassenlage an seinen Nachfolger zu übergeben.

Für seine großen Verdienste um den Radsport und die Nürnberger Rennbahn wurde Anton Auer 1997 mit dem Bundesverdienstkreuz ausgezeichnet. Der Bund Deutscher Radfahrer und der Bayerische Radsportverband würdigten Auer´s langjährigen Einsatz mit diversen Ehrennadeln in Gold und Silber. Von seinem früheren Heimatverein RV Sturmvogel München und vom RV Union Nürnberg wurde Auer zum Ehrenmitglied ernannt. Bayerns Radsportlern wird Anton Auer , der ein großes Stück Radsportgeschichte erfolgreich mitgestaltet hat, unvergessen bleiben.
Manfred Marr