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Brenauer: “It couldn’t be better”

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RSNplusThe big interview at the end of your career

By Felix Mattis

Ponferrada 2014: In Spain, Lisa Brennauer became the world champion in the individual and team trials and the world runner-up in the road race. | Photo: Cor Vos

08/03/2022 | (rsn) – Lisa Brennauer (Ceratizit – WNT) has announced her retirement from professional cycling. With the 34-year-old from Allgäu, the strongest German rider of the last decade left the podium. In the evening before the public announcement of this step, spoke with Brennauer for a long time – about his own decision, but also about her career and especially the time of farewell:

___STEADY_PAYWALL___ The women’s Tour de France is over – the biggest event in the history of women’s cycling and the culmination of a development that has been going on for almost ten years, always parallel to Brennauer’s career.

The decision is made and it will be announced in a few hours – it doesn’t feel like it. what?

Brenauer: “It has a lot to do with emotions. There are moments throughout the year when I have to laugh or I’m happy – and I’m sure a tear or two will still flow. Today, for example, I ride a bike. With friends in the evening because I don’t want to be alone.”

But why this step?

Brenauer: “Many people say to me: you will notice when you need to stop, I never understood that, but now I do it. All: do the tour and then the European games in Munich, so close to home – kill God can’t think of a cooler way to end it.

The last title on the road: In Marsberg at the end of June, Brenauer became the German time champion for the fifth time. | Photo: Cor Vos

How do you feel when the time comes? Have you lost interest in racing?

Brenauer: “Not at all. I can continue mentally and physically and it’s not something I want anymore. But goals outside active sports have come into focus more. We built a house in the Allgäu, I want to have a family one day – these personal goals have become bigger, and also to do something different professionally.”

What will it be?

Brenauer: “I have been a professional soldier since last year, of course, there are countless ways – but there are still a few to connect with sports. I want to be able to pass on my knowledge and experience and be in the sport as much as possible. But it is not yet clear how it can be and how it will be.”

Last autumn you already indicated that you are not worried about the Olympics in Paris – in other words, a possible title defense. How far have you come with the topic of ending your career?

Brenauer: “Not yet, but Paris is always far away and it’s never thought of starting there and defending our title, so I guess that’s why I’m slowly moving towards that decision. But first this season, when I set my goal in the spring, the idea came that Munich would finish great, it became more, but I’m just talking in the last few weeks.”

What will happen if 2021 is not successful with Olympic victories, European Championships and World Championships in road and track and also a strong classic campaign for second place in the Tour of Flanders?

Brenauer: “Good question, I think I’ll get to that point, but it won’t feel complete. I’m looking back at a career where I’ve achieved everything I’ve ever hoped for. Complete in 2021. In any case, it’s easier than that, and otherwise I’ll leave feeling different.”

No more open bills?

Brenauer: “Of course, there are still some things that I didn’t win – a great classic, for example, I always gritted my teeth in Flanders. But you can find things like that – more is always possible. All in all, 2021 is simple that everything has become perfect. complete.”

Although Brenauer did not reach the top result in the Tour de France Femmes, she may not forget the experience. | Photo: Cor Vos

The Tour de France Femmes is now the last race in the professional team – what’s it like?

Brenauer: “It was emotional – especially the last two days, when I was really tired. The team surprised me on Saturday night. I thought all week that I had this farewell under emotional control. But I had nothing to control! I cried – and in the final stages, even in the competition, there were moments when I overcame a little emotion.”

And then we finally got on the Super Planche des Belles Filles – through a huge crowd…

Brenauer: “Yes! I still have serious moments in my eyes and in my ears – many details, people shouting, my view of the road and the letters Planche-des-Belles-Filles in front of the finish line. Then I bowed my head and thought to myself: ‘It couldn’t be better!’ I think it is the best that I can participate in the step size Big in the development of women’s racing.”

The rise of women’s cycling has run parallel to your career over the past decade. How proud are you to be a part of it?

Brenauer: “It’s good, but I also know that I’m not the biggest driving force, of course I’m involved, but I’m not the one who pulls the levers in all kinds of institutions. I think I understand too much in the last two times. Any year I have a real stand.”

Greatest victory: Olympic victory in the team track in Tokyo with Lisa Klein, Franziska Brausse and Mieke Kröger. | Photo: Cor Vos

You said that individual memories from your career are currently popping up in your head – which ones are the most vivid?

Brenauer: “Of course the Olympic victory – but maybe I should start at the beginning, because actually, the world championship for juniors in 2005 was very important. It was a total surprise and a decisive sign that the fence posts did not give. Cycling after graduating from high school participated in the 2012 Olympic Games in London and of course Ponferrada 2014.”

There you became the world champion in individual and team trials and vice world champion in the road – those are the years with the strongest road in the title?

Brenauer: “Yes, the world championship in the team time trial in 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015 is still part of it – in general, the whole season in 2015 was excellent with victories in the Energiewacht Tour, the Women’s Tour in England, the Holland Ladies Tour – and in Thuringia I only lost the yellow card on the last day, then the turmoil happened, probably because the fire in me was not burning much and I lacked a little fun.”

But 2016, 2017 and 2018 weren’t that bad, right?

Brenauer: “No, but you always want more, especially after the successful years of 2014 and 2015, things just didn’t go uphill anymore. Years ago I knew you couldn’t and shouldn’t expect more from yourself. What I remember from those years is that I always had to say in interviews after the World Time Trials why I wasn’t in the top 10 – you don’t forget that.”

Interestingly, you seem to have again, still on the road, since you returned to the road in 2018. What role does that play?

Brenauer: “It’s quite big. I remember my first day of training in Frankfurt / Oder during the track. There I knew after five minutes that that’s what I really love: not that I love the road is not love, but. That rumbling in your stomach when you press down on the corner and all that … In addition, I have The immediate feeling that I had done something right. The feeling of success on the track was definitely a turning point for me – especially the European Games in Glasgow when there were medals on the track and track in one week.”

Special victory: Gold medal in the mixed race at the Road World Championships 2021. | Photo: Cor Vos

During your career, you drove for the two big German teams at the moment: Canyon-SRAM and Ceratizit-WNT – what was it like?

Brenauer: “Comparing it doesn’t work. There are two very different teams at different times in our sport. At Specialized-lululemon and Velocio-SRAM (predecessor of Canyon-SRAM, editor’s note in 2014 and 2015, editor’s note). Red. ) We were very successful as a group, that was very special. In general, I made my greatest development in the year with Ronny (Lauke). I learned a lot there and I have a team to thank. The day before La Course I. Will not forget the year 2014 in Paris, when Ronny said to me for the first time: ‘Tomorrow we will drive for you!’ The work that helped me grow there is very important to me.”

Why did you leave there?

Brenauer: “I need a change because 2016 and 2017 didn’t go the way I imagined. It’s not that the team was bad for me at the time, but I had to do something.”

Then you switched to Wiggle-High5 for a year, which then broke and finally went to Ceratizit-WNT. How is it there?

Brenauer: “I came to Ceratizit as a driver who wants to help create something and pass on her knowledge – freedom, trust and a family environment make me feel very comfortable there. Succeed again, also the time I got here, after an intense 2021, that is very special!”

At the end of the work, it returned to Munich by train and road. But of course you don’t just want to roll through waving Bavaria. What do you expect?

Brenauer: “I hope to win the European Championship and I have all the motivation. I think it’s the right thing to do the Tour, of course because I was not in top form at that time and I still know this kind of load. Always hurt me in the front, but the race in the time trial was huge, last year I was third, but the race was huge, and in the road race this year I just lacked the feeling of achievement that shows: ‘Oh, me. “Here and I can compete in the Munich Victory”.

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