Aggressive and fast: characteristics which aptly describe Jonas Koch. Jonas often presents team colors in leading groups.
With his offensive racing style, he temporarily took over the lead at Bayern-Rundfahrt 2015 in two special votes: in addition to the jersey for the best young rider, he also wore the sprint jersey, which he finally had to give to John Degenkolb.
Jonas celebrated his greatest successes so far in the Tour de l’Avenir in 2015. After his stage victory on the first stage, he also convinced in the further course of the tour. That made him win the points classification. A rating, of which the winners were all able to make the leap into the World Tour for the past six years.
What has changed in your life since you joined a new team?
It hasn’t changed that much. You have to work hard to live the dream of being a “professional cyclist”. I’m especially motivated because I have the chance to start in big races in my new team. For example, I worked a little on my diet and gave even more effort in training.
Since when have you had the desire to be a professional cyclist? Did you ever want to be anything else?
As a small boy watching television, I admired the athletes at the Tour de France and was excited by cycling. At eleven I got my first bike, and off I went. I developed the absolute desire to turn pro when I was 19 years old and raced my first year in the men’s division. I liked traveling with the team a lot, discovering the world and at the same time improving my performance. This hasn’t changed to this day. I then began to work hard on myself. I reduced my weight from 83 to 74 kg; that wasn’t easy… but it was worth it.
What's your biggest dream for the future?
Clearly: the Tour de France. But that is still far away. I have decided to continue to work as hard as I can on my development. And always with the certainty of being able to look in the mirror, with the knowledge that I did my best.
Which race would you most like to win?
Clearly: the Tour of Flanders. Next to the Tour, it is my favorite race. On this day as an athlete you have to give and do everything you can: the technology, endurance and fighting spirit, it all has to be optimal…
What was your biggest success so far?
I celebrated my greatest success at the Tour de L’Avenir. It was a mysterious day: I already decided before the start that today I would try my luck in the lead group – as so often in my career. When I attacked, no one followed me. So I tried my luck and went solo. In the end I had raced 130 kilometers alone against a field of 130 riders and arrived at the finish with an advantage of just eleven seconds. The crazy thing about these eleven seconds is that my roommate asked me that evening if it had also rained on me during the downhill after the first KOM. I had to smile. When I raced downhill, there was no sign of rain and I could go full throttle. That is where I gained the eleven seconds; it helped me win. Crazy but true!
What do you appreciate most about your team?
That I can take a shower after the race in the team bus… no, just kidding. I immediately noticed that it became much more professional from day one. And I really appreciate it.
What are your strengths?
I would describe myself as a racer for the classics. I feel at ease in hilly terrain and I am also able to win a sprint from a decimated field. In addition, last year I was often able to prepare the sprint for our fastest man perfectly. I think I am a very aggressive racer, because I like to try my luck in breakaways.
What does family mean to you?
Family means a lot to me. Without their support, I would have not gone this path and still could not go down it today. I am very grateful to have such a great family. They always back me up and support me.
What do you feel after a win? After a defeat?
In my opinion, this is the crazy thing about cycling: you race a lot of races in one season and you usually don’t win. Nevertheless, I feel the desire to continue. To fight until you eventually reach the goal of your dreams: to stand on the top step of the podium. Experiencing this moment is indescribable for me. The hard training days, the hardships one suffered through. Then almost all defeats are forgotten. It’s worth it: that’s why I became a professional cyclist.
Do you have a role model?
My role model is Niki Terpstra. He won Paris-Roubaix and last year was second in the Tour of Flanders. He is also an aggressive racer like me; I like that about him.
What do you think about the past of cycling and about its future?
The many scandals shocked me a lot; as a neo-pro I still feel this era’s consequences. Big sponsors – not only here in Germany – have almost completely retreated from the sport. And yet I am convinced that a lot has improved for the better now. In particular, the anti-doping control system. We have to name a time window of one hour every day in which we have to be 100% reachable at an address we have previously indicated. We also have to indicate every day where we will spend the night. Quite frankly, that’s a significant invasion of privacy. But if it contributes to a clean sport, I stand fully behind it and am willing to take on these responsibilities.
What do you do to relax?
If I find time, I like to draw, go to the sauna or rest my body with yoga. For a while now, I also like to read.
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