We are Stefan and Tizian, two guys who are passionate about cycling and also like to wreck themselves in races, to the point where we shut down our systems for a couple of days. The question why we are here now and what we have to do with BIKE AID is a good one.
After his internship at BIKE AID one and a half years ago and his current job as social media representative and photographer for the team, something new and even more exciting was needed for Tizian. Something where the Cologne student has all the freedom and can simply experiment. The topic of gravel came up immediately. Racing, getting to know a new kind of cycling community, travelling around and going on adventures.
"Gravel is the name of the game. We have seen the interest in this even among our pro riders. We simply can't let this opportunity pass by. During my time with BIKE AID, I have grown fond of everything: the people, the mission, the history. To be able to start a completely new project with the team is just great and I am extremely happy about new experiences, like in Aachen or a two weeks ago in Millau. In the beautiful region of Occitanie, France we rode the second Gravel race and it was just an incredible adventure, from arrival to departure, with cool people in a region you can call Gravel Heaven!" Says Tizian.
"As luck would have it, I met Matthias Schnapka last year while warming up for a cyclocross race. One thing led to another and a few weeks later I was on the road with my camera and the pro team at the Volta ao Alentejo in Portugal. When we started talking about gravel, it was all about when we were finally going to do the first race!" Says Stefan. Stefan, who has chosen to live in Freiburg, works for the sizing specialists Smartfit and Radlabor. In recent years, he has also been on the road as a photographer and content creator and experienced a lot at bike races in countries such as Benin or Burkina Faso. Stefan continues: "In 2016, I became fascinated with cycling! I left my career in investment banking and started a completely new time- and not money-oriented life. Shortly afterwards, I bought a gravel bike, which I then used to ride longer and longer distances. I noticed straight away that I really enjoy riding away from questionable or non-existent cycling infrastructure. Just off into the next forest, without a plan and no matter what the road was like."
This is how a gravel duo was created, which is now looking for the next adrenaline kick together with riders from the Pro Team, the MTB Team or the Masters. It doesn't matter where, as long as we race on gravel, produce plenty of lactate in our muscles and can nonetheless enjoy one, two or three beers for recovery, we'll be there!
Photos by Stefan Brencher