Interview: Christina Perchtold
Interview with 18 year old Austria's rising star Christina Perchtold. Rider of Kuota Speed Kueens and fifth at the road race in the Junior World Championships in Copenhagen.
Christina Perchtold is an 18 year old cyclist from Carinthia (Kärnten), Austria. She is a very talented bike rider winning a prestigious bike race in Italy and finishing fifth at the Worlds RR in Copenhagen. Perchtold competes on the road, the MTB and the track. An interview with this very multi-talented rider.
Can you introduce yourself?
I am born on 11 May 1993 in Klagenfurt and become 19 years old next year. Klagenfurt is also my residence at the moment. I am in the 9th Class Gymnasium (High School) doing the A-Levels. It’s a Gym class for competitive sporters in which you get the best possible support both in sport as in school. It is very stressful to combine it both but it’s very well organized and it works fine for me. My personal strengths include my spontaneity, my determination and my joy for life. As my weakness I would mention my stubbornness and my desire for perfection.
How did you get involved with cycling?
My dad is a passionate cyclist and competes in races for over 20 years, so I grew up with cycling since I was born. At the age of five I started with cycling and competed in my first race.
What type/kind of rider are you?
I probably don’t belong to the strongest racers, but with strategy and having a nose for being in breaks and placing in the sprint you can do well too. I am good in positioning in the field and I am not scared for others. The nervousness before every race is one of my weaknesses, but I am working on it. Especially my sprinting is very good, but I am not that good in time-trials.
Christina Perchtold. Photo ©
2011 Christina Perchtold
How do you look back at your final season as a junior?
I am very satisfied with my season. It had a lots of highlights, for example my fifth place in the road race at the World Championships and my win in Italy (Nove) previous to the Worlds. It was my first big international win.
What do you expect for your first season with the elite riders?
I will try to come along in the bunch and try to be active in races when possible. I hope to have some good results but when I don’t succeed I won’t be disappointed. I am still young and have enough time to become a good rider.
You are currently riding for the Kuota Speed Kueens. Do you stay with the team or do you have any other offers after your excellent season?
I will still ride for Kuota Speed Kueens next year. I feel very good in this team and can get along very well with my team mates. The entire atmosphere in the team is very pleasant.
You are competing on the road, MTB and the track. Over the next years are you going to combine all disciplines or do you prefer one of them?
I will mainly concentrate on the road, but also want to compete now and than in mountainbike and track races. Unfortunately the closest track is in Vienna which is 300 km from where I live, therefore I can rarely train on it.
Christina Perchtold. Photo ©
2011 Christina Perchtold
Who are your role models both in and out cycling?
I am a big fan of Philippe Gilbert and Mark Cavendish, both have a very good sprint and they are total natural and very sympathetic. Apart from cycling I am a fan of Kevin James and Mila Kunis. Both are wonderful actors who are fantastic on stage and fascinate the audience with their act.
I suppose you are still going to college as well. What do you study?
As said in the first question I am still at school. I am in the 9th Class Gymnasium (High School) doing the A-Levels. It’s a Gym class for competitive sporters in which you get the best possible support both in sport as in school. You have less hours so you are able to train more. Contrary to the normal gymnasium students my education takes one year longer. After that I am done with gymnasium I want to study Journalism or Law.
What will be your goals next season?
I hope to qualify myself for the U23 European Championships an hopefully to get a good result there. To compete in the Elite World Championships is a dream but I will try to fulfill it, we will see.
What will be your goals on long term as a person and as a cyclist?
Next to cycling I want to build up a second career by having a job or doing another study.
Furthermore I want to stay with both feet on the ground in good and bad times, never loose the reality, never want to talk arrogant and don't want to put my self-esteem only on cycling and if it folds to become a psychic wreck. One of my goals, just as most of the others, is to start at least once in the road race at the Olympic Games.
In action at the Junior World Championships in Copenhagen. Photo ©
2011 Bart Hazen
How do you see the future of women’s cycling in Austria and also world wide?
I just hope it will develop positive and that it will gain more attention to the people and the press. In Austria it is very difficult as most of the people don’t know that women’s cycling exists. But it shows a tendency that it is improving. More and more people come to watch the races. I am always euphoric when, for example in Italy, so many people come to watch a women’s race. That is something you don’t really see in Austria.
What are you doing when not riding a bike?
Because I am going to school and are a competitive cyclist I don’t have much time to do something else. But when I have some time I am going out with friends or I am going to sunbath in the summer. We have so much nice lakes in Kärnten (Carinthia), that you have to take advantage from that.
What do we have to know from Christina Perchtold what most people don’t know?
There isn’t much to tell about me as I am a very open person. Maybe that I am very sensitive if it comes to my hair. Many people try to convince me to cut them but that I will never do. My long black hair is my trademark.
Final question. What is your motto?
“Wenn dir das Leben eine Zitrone gibt, mach Limonade daraus” (translated “when life gives you a lemon, make lemonade from it”), I just think that everyone has to make the best of every negative or tough situation. Life goes on.
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