Katja always enjoyed cycling as a mean of commuting in her home town of Berlin (Germany). She started doing sportives in 2010, which back then always were a kind of ‘long-distance pub crawl’. She found her real passion for speed and cycling longer distances whilst living in Worcester, Massachusetts – a fabulous area for cycling. A superb bakery was a perfect destination for hilly weekend rides, and many fast guys were kind enough to let her join their rides and chase them – but she was never able to do the ‘intelligent / strategic’ riding you need for road racing. So she was trained well for taking up time-trials after her return to the UK in 2013, and they suit her mental attitude of ‘it’s just me against the clock’. Her first race was a 100 mile TT, the only chance to complete the BAR in her first season of racing – and she still loves the long distances much more than the short and hard pain of a 10. Katja pushed the ‘loving long distances’ to a new level by riding 12 hour events in 2016, and surprised (almost) everybody, including herself, by becoming National 12 h Champion in her first ever 12, and couldn’t believe it herself when improving her 100 mile time for the 4th time in a row by yet again another almost 10 minutes.
Becoming a member of Born to Bike moved the racing to a different level, by providing the team spirit, support and happy banter which is needed to get through the tough periods, and the thought of riding for a team kept her going when it became difficult to keep pushing in some races.
The 2016 season was clearly the best so far. The goal of getting on the All-Times Fastest lists was finally achieved for 4 distances (25, 50, 100 miles and 12 h), and becoming National Champion was the icing on the cake. But defending the position of age group Champion over 100 miles, and contributing to the team gold medals in the 50 and 100 mile Nationals were other exciting moments of 2016. Katja also achieved her highest ranking and fastest average speed in the BAR – so no reason to complain. 2017 was a mixed bag, with plenty of success for the team and some superb rides, with a 3:55:15 for 100 being the highlight of the year.
What are the plans for 2018? Definitely making the season less of a mixed bag and intending to improve the PBs over all distances again, and getting a better BAR time. The main focus is yet again on the long distances – they are addictive J
And of course being part of a wonderful team in the National Championships.
Lives: Milton Keynes
Occupation: Lecturer in Biology at The Open University
PBs: 10 miles – 22:38, 25 miles – 56:58, 50 miles – 1:56:01, 100 miles – 3:55:15, 12 Hours – 258.508 miles
2018 Targets: PB in 100 mile TT and properly racing a 12 hr again to get another PB; improving the average speed for the BBAR.
Welsh 12 Hour Competition Record (2016) – 258.036 miles