Sport / 14 April, 2017

Cape Epic – Well, it’s Epic!

The Cape Epic is epic. I don’t have to tell you that. The name gives it away but just how epic it is showed the 8 days between March 19-March 26, 2017. The year that saw the first time in the history of the race that a stage needed to be shortened due to the extreme conditions. A race that would teach much just how much stronger than I though my head and body are.

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Travel / 25 Oktober, 2016

Gloria Serenity Resort – A Turkish Paradise

“I am sitting on a plane, enjoying a fabulous curry chicken served by a Turkish Airlines chef who looks like he has been put here directly from the set of a French cooking movie. Taking a bite of the succulent chicken I am drifting off, imagining what to expect from my first trip to Turkey. Endless beaches, great country side, a never ending well of architecture and history and of course sunshine, the ocean and perfect training conditions at the Gloria Sports Arena. After all I am following the call of the Gloria Serenity Spa & Resort with it’s adjoining Gloria Sports Arena to find out if the name of the resort is program. Can a week in Turkey turn my lifestyle of insanity into a moment of serenity?”

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Sport / 29 September, 2016

Cape Epic – World’s Toughest MTB Race

“March 13, 2016. The sun is burning in the vineyards, the rotors of the helicopters are humming in the sky and the dry dust is settling on the lungs. In the fight between man versus mountain bike I am racing up the hills in my trail shoes trying to hit the first trail traverse before the top German Epic pros with Manuel Fumic, Tim Böhme and Karl Platt are flying by. When reaching the peak my heart is hammering in my lungs and the incredible views over Meerendal Wine Estate lying beneath me make me forget the pain and where I am for a second, before the ‘wup, wup wup’ of the helicopters suddenly pull me back into reality. Only seconds later Team Bulls 2 with Tim Böhme and Simon Stiebjahn are appearing on the horizon creating a majestic picture chased by media helicopters trying not to miss a single moment of this Epic prologue through the vineyards”

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Sport / 11 August, 2016

SRAM Force 1x and a Coffee

Frankly, when we built this bike and the SRAM mechanic told me that I would be just fine with one chain ring (54) on the front for a course like Ironman Lanzarote I wasn’t sure if he knew what he was talking about or if he just hit too many granite walls freeriding but there I stood with the SRAM Force 1x ready to try out what everybody seems to love on the MTB but oddly enough doubt on the road or tt bike.

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Sport / 22 Juli, 2016

Race Day Bike Set Up by the Pros

Endless hours of training put in, all the money spent on a fancy bike, the sacrifice, blood and sweat that goes into race preparation and then your bike malfunctions. YOU DON’T WANT THAT!

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Sport / 29 Februar, 2016

Project „Dream Bike“ – The Build

Riding an awesome bike is one thing, building it to your specs with a little help from friends – Specialized, Zipp and SRAM – that’s just friggin‘ awesome.

Here is the bike built video of a super cool Specialized Shiv featuring some true innovation like the SRAM 1x and more cool stuff!

What’ya think about the awesome sound track made of sounds created by the tools used to build this bike! Recorded and mixed by ‚AllesAndrs‘

Shot entirely on GoPro for TalkToTill

Also check out our first report from the built with a lot of cool pics here.

Sport / 15 Januar, 2016

Project „Dream Bike I“ – Completed

It is a wrap baby!!! Project ‚Dream Bike‘ is pretty much done. Only some minor finishing touches like putting the Garmin on and getting the race set up ready.

As promised I kicked the year of with a cool project. My own little project ‚Dream Bike‘ and with a little help from friends we got it done just in time before hitting the road and traveling to Stellenbosch / South Africa.

Riding a cool bike is always fun but getting to be a part of building up your own to your specs – that just rocks. (And yes. There is no doubt that this bike is above my cycling abilities but let’s face it. We all love nice toys for our sport).

The bike built work bench

Setting up the work space for the big built day.

When thinking about the project I had to decide what I wanted to build the bike with. The approach for a dream bike can be motivated by many different factors. Do I wanna go for innovation, sentiment, pure performance, coolness factor and so on.

I decided I wanted a good combination of the above. After riding the Specialized SHIV frame last year there was no doubt that’s the frame I wanna build on. I loved the handling of the bike in the flat, the fast and turning descents and the heavy cross winds at Ironman Lanzarote. Another thing I love about this bike is the aerodynamics while still maintaining a frame set up that one can handle without being a bike mechanic. Easy access to the breaks for switching break pads for example and the Fuel Cell for all my gear and nutrition in the race making sure I can keep the bike as ‚clean‘ as possible.

Cable Work on the Specialized Frame

Getting the ‚wiring‘ done on the Shiv.

But as well all know – you can’t ride on a frame alone. So I looked around for a gear group and of course the first thought was ‚electronic‘. I had ridden the Shimano DI2 in 2014 and was intrigued to see what SRAM was up to with their eTap that is just about to hit the market but besides the interesting features and innovations of it, the SRAM 1x for road got more and more of my attention and after taking a closer look I knew I wanted to try it out.

I loved the switch to one chain ring on my MTB years back so I am thinking it is definitely worth a try on the TT-Bike. It is a neat little gadget with a lot of thought through details. So much more than just switching to one chain ring. (Before going all crazy here on what the changes are – we shot a little video for you that I will publish in the coming days. It’ll explain all the innovations and ideas of the SRAM 1x Force built on my bike)

Just to give you a general idea: Special teeth on the chain ring, chain suck reduction, cage lock for the derailleur to make switching chains and wheels easy.

Building the Specialized Shiv

Clear roles. One knows his bikes – the other not so much -)

The next thing to focus on was the wheels. There is a lot of great wheels out there and I wanted to combination of coolness, sentiment and performance in the wheels which quickly brought me to Zipp. Zipp is still for wheels what google is for search engines and the Firecrest 808 is the set up I rode in my first ever Ironman. So between performance and sentiment this was a no brainer.

Building the Specialized Shiv Bike

Team work and focus for the bottom brackets.

As for the cockpit there were a few options I was looking at. In the past I had ridden the Haero Carbon which was focused on performance only and always left me with a little sacrifice in terms of adjustability. I also looked at the Syntace C6 that I first saw when announcing the 24hour cycling world record with Christoph Strasser who was riding it on the way to the record and it with no doubt looks like a great cockpit but in the end I opted for the perfect combination for performance, adjustability and sentiment again. The Zipp Vuka is not only a neat top performing cockpit but also the one my brother was racing on his TT-Bike when he inspired me to start triathlon myself (on an old aluminum road frame with Ultegra 105, Mavic Aksium aluminum wheels and clip on bars). The first ride on my new Vuka setup felt real nice and I am excited to see what we can do with it during the coming bike fit.

Setting Up the Zipp Vuka Cockpit on the Specialized Shiv

Team work again for the final touches.

After setting up the frame, wheels and cockpit it is time for the details. The basic idea is to make the pretty bride even a little prettier. Some X-Lab cages for the race set up, Quarq Power Meter,  Specialized Turbo Cotton tires with latex tubes and my ISM Adamo saddle and this little beauty will be ready to fly. A detailed first ride report will follow 😉

So what’ya think about the setup?

P.s. enjoy some more pics from the built below oh and hey: Stay tuned for the making off video. We had a super cool DJ with us who is building a soundtrack for the video made out of the sounds of a bike and bike built. Cool stuff!

The SRAM work space for the Specialized bike built

A look into the work space from the outside. Men at work 😉

Measuring the drop for the Specialized Shiv.

Size does matter overall. At least when it comes to fitting the bike.

The work bench for the bike built.

The is an order in the chaos.

SRAM Force 1

One of the key elements for the bike. The SRAM Force 1.

GoPro watching the Specialized bike built.

Building under the close watch of the GoPro. There will be a making off video.

The ready built Specialized Shiv with SRAM and Zipp.

Got a little excited there about the awesome couch.

The ready built Specialized Shiv.

The men and the bike! Mechanic, presenter and Shiv. Happy Days.

Travel / 1 Oktober, 2015

10 Reasons To Train On Mallorca

Mallorca is one of the most popular training islands for cyclists, triathletes and trail runners around the globe. For good reason. Mallorca has stunning views, great training facilities, 300 days of sunshine on so much more to offer at an affordable travel cost. There is a gazillion reasons to go to Mallorca and here are 10 reasons that will convince you to go if you have not been yet!

1. Mallorca has some of the most stunning cycling routes in Europe and offers anything from flat riding to some serious climbing or the rolling hills in between. Pick a tour that passes one of the many famous sights and climbs. Orient, Kloster Luc, Cap Formentor, San Salvador and many, many more. If you can’t get enough then check out the ‚Kuesten Klassiker‘ – a tour that takes you all the way from the beautiful fishing town of Port Andratx across the Tramuntana mountains.

Our Tip: Kloster Luc on a Sunday or prepare for some slower downhill riding.

JU0A9479

 

2. If you are a triathlete or just enjoy having your family around or fancy some cross training there is plenty of great training resorts around. For example the Ferrer Hotels, Beach Club Font de Sacala or the Viva Blue offering wetsuit and bike rentals, swimming pools, bike maps, gyms and plenty of other services for your training camp. Of course staying at a beautiful Finca is a nice alternative on Mallorca but let’s face it – do you really wanna cook after a long day of training – go and attack the buffet instead.

Our tip: The Viva Blue Resort definitely has a rockin‘ buffet and is worth the extra Euros. Our favorite on the island.

12063582_10201162765549401_3690501623948980010_n Ferrer Hotel Mallorca – one of the many great training resorts

 

3. There is a lot of great open water swimming spots that can easily be combined with some sightseeing.You can take the car to some rather isolated areas and just hit the water in the Alcudia area for a chance to catch up with some other athletes working on their open water skills.

Our tip: Bring your wetsuit as the water is still rather cold in April / May and take advantage of the early hours when the water is nice and calm.

JU0A0097 Swimming and sightseeing go hand in hand on Mallorca

 

4. The views on Mallorca are often simply spectacular. This one is looking from one of the riders favorites: Cap Formentor. The roads have been renewed recently and you are in for a real treat cycling up there. On a good day you might get a chance to pet the goat and take a selfie with it 😉 It might be worth bringing some bike lights for 2 reason. You are passing a short tunnel on the ride both ways and it is worth doing this ride in the later hours of the day to enjoy the ‚golden hour‘ and setting sun on the way back.

Our tip: Bring some change to reward yourself and your friends with a piece of cake and a coffee at the lighthouse restaurant at the Cap.

12027588_10201160800820284_8151183971474845179_n A bike tour to Cap Formentor is an absolut must do.

 

5. Skip the gym from time to time when you are on Mallorca and hit some trails or go scrambling in the Tramuntana. The views are spectacular and it will recharge your batteries and after all there is studies suggesting that the strength and core training of trail running and scrambling can replace a gym session.

Our tip: Pack a light back with some food and drinks as the nature around there invites you to spend way longer in the mountains than planned.

JU0A9452 Trailrunning on training days or hiking on off days. The Tramuntana mountains offer it all.

 

6. All the small villages show the true side of Mallorca. This is where the locals hang out. One of our favorites is Soller – a small village in the mountains on your way up Puig Major. Find some shade in the shadow and grab a fresh orange juice to recharge.

Our tip: Stop at the Sa Fabrica des Gelats for some wicked artisan ice cream

JU0A9634 Soller is the perfect place for Mallorca sightseeing or a stop on your climb up the Puig. Don’t miss out on the oranges.

 

7. If you are a triathlete running is part of your training, as a cyclist it could be some good cross training for your spring camp and as a runner – well nothing to add to that. Mallorca offers and endless variety of running tracks both trail and road. Take advantage of the many trails and allow your deep tissue to work a bit if you are only running on roads at home but definitely don’t forget to stop and enjoy the views for a second. No matter if you are running in the mountains or enjoying a sunset run along the beachfront.

Our tip: If you are staying in the North-West make sure to run past some orange farms and grab a fresh orange to refresh – just don’t get caught 😉

JU0A9584 Trails or road – there is plenty of stunning run courses along the island.

 

8. It is for good reason that the pros come to Mallorca to train here as well. Follow their lead and take advantage of the perfect conditions. If you book the right times – preferably April-June and pick some of the places such as Ferrer or Viva Blue to stay at you might get a chance to train with some of the pros and pick their brains. One way or another. Even just seeing them is great motivation for your own training.

Our tip: The pros don’t bite. Don’t be afraid to ask them for tips & tricks but once it is dinner time they deserve a break. The dinner table is not the place to approach them. They won’t send you away but we would say the respect demands you give them some space.

12042631_10201162669707005_2707047960866553399_n(1) Join one of the endless sports competitions on the island. Trail running, cycling, swimming, Ironman triathlon and many more.

 

9. Sunshine, did we mention the sunshine? Mallorca offers 300 sunshine days a year. We’ll take our chance and say that is worth the risk as a perfect training getaway.

Our tip: If you’ve been hanging out in winter and look as pale as a wall leave the vanity at home and bring some propper sunscreen. 30-50 is recommended for the first days but once you are used to the sun go to one of the many, many market squares and get a bocadillo from one of the local restaurants while tanning.

JU0A9665 Sunshine. Did we mention the sunshine? 300 days a year.

 

10. This shot was taken during Ironman Mallorca 2015 – just one of many, many sports events on the island. From trail crossings of the island, to cycling races and festivals to Ironman triathlon or smaller triathlon events. Mallorca offers and endless number of sporting events to either test your form towards the end of your training camp or to plan a vacation around your main season event. Time it right and you will be rewarded with sunsets like this one at the finish line or the well deserved cold beer after the race.

Our tip: bring your family and turn your race into a family vacation. From fishing villages, to art galleries, fincas, vineyards and great restaurants. Mallorca offers plenty not only for athletes but also for couples, kids and families. Take advantage of it and make Mallorca one of your favorite islands ever.

12042761_10201160880102266_1935463430033228323_n This shot was taken during Ironman Mallorca – join one of the many competitions on the island and be rewarded with views like this one at the finish line.

 

 

11. Ok we are adding a little bonus for all the young kids or everybody who just swims, bikes or runs for fun and with less ambition. Palma de Mallorca is offering a great party scene with fashion shows and classy parties away from the all so popular ‚Ballerman‘

Our tip: Make it a day in Palma. Start with late breakfast and coffee at Cappuccino, enjoy some shopping in the city, grab an afternoon snack at the harbor and then hit the party scene later at night but remember: It’s still Spain. Everything happens a little later on Mallorca.

JU0A9966 Still got energy? Hit Palma de Mallorca for party nights and fashion shows.

Pictures by Ingo Kutsche & Julian Schiemann

Sport Talks / 11 August, 2015

Horst Reichel & The Team Sport for Good

The Ironman European Tour held it’s next stop at the Ironman 70.3 European Championships in Wiesbaden and so did the Talk To Till Mercedes Benz V-Class.

With Horst Reichel a member of the Team Sport for Good made the way over to our lounge chairs and we talked ‚Wiesbaden race course‘, ‚training‘ and of course ‚Laureus and Team Sport for Good‘.

Are you a member yet?

Course Reviews / 11 Juli, 2015

Challenge Roth – Bike Course Review

„Race the Legend“ is the motto of Challenge Roth 2015 and a legend it is. So we took the Shiv out and gave the 2 loop bike course a close look. It’s said to be a fast course in a beautiful rural setting. 95km later here is what we saw.

Once you exit the Main-Donau-Kanal it is a quick transition to grab your bike and out onto the bike course. You have a gentle climb to start with and it is suggested to take your nutrition in as quickly as you can as you are making a 90 degree left hand turn towards Rothsee after just a couple of hundred meters and from there you are picking up the pace for the next kilometer and a half.

DANGER: around the 2km mark is the first time you need to pay serious attention. In a fairly fast, slightly downhill turn you are hitting 3 cracks across the road as you are riding past the the impressive floodgate of the Main-Donau-Kanal.

The first 13 kilometers are very lightly but gradually uphill. So don’t get too excited and if you are riding with a power meter monitor it closely. You don’t wanna push too hard that early in the race.

At kilometer 13.5 you hit the first climb which is about 700 meters long. Let the others go here. You will see a lot of athletes pushing too hard here already and they will pay for it later as there is more fun awaiting on the mostly rolling bike course.

Only 3 kilometers after finishing the first climb you are hitting the next one at km 17.5 which is more or less the same length as the one before…

…but the fun doesn’t start until you get into the town of Greding. After entering the town in a nice little downhill section you make a right hand turn and roughly 150 meters later another one straight into a steep, steep climb. Shift down before that turn and prepare to climb a little for the next 700 meters but be aware: It doesn’t stop there. It evens out a little but yet you keep riding uphill for a total of almost 4km with only a very short flat bit in between.

From here on you continue on a nicely rolling course and then enter a beautiful downhill section which leads you partially through the woods where you can find some shade on a hot day out there. DANGER: be aware of the turns in this downhill sections. There is hay stacks put up in the turns for a good reason. Control yourself and enjoy the downhill as a bit of recovery rather than pushing too hard and risking everything in those turns.

At KM 62 you hit another 2 little climbs which seem fairly easy after riding the ones before and then at KM 69 the fun begins. You have a short and fun climb as a little preview of what to expect from Solarer Hill. This climb is just before entering the town of Hilpoltstein and every spectator that is not at Solarer Hill is putting up shop there to scream and shout you up this hill. If you think this is awesome then you will love Solarer Hill 1km later.

SOLARER HILL: Climb the legend within the legend. If you have not ridden Solarer Hill on race day yet forget everything you think you know about Solarer Hill. This climb will make you forget all your suffering out there and will exceed all your expectations. Don’t even dream about ‚hammering‘ this hill up. There is no passing other athletes anyways as spectators are at least as nuts (in the best way) as they are at Alp d’Huez. Enjoy and don’t push.

From there is is nice and rolling and you will pass some of our highlights on the ‚Challenge Roth Top10 Must do Things‘ list on the last klicks before heading into loop 2 to enjoy the fun all over again.

As you finish loop 2 at the Biermeile – one of the many, many hotspots along the course – you are not heading left in Eckersmühlen as before but go on straight for another 3.5km into T2.

The course has about 700 meters of climbing per loop and your top speeds will range somewhere between 60-75km/h depending on how hard you push the pace!

Time to run! Enjoy race day and be awesome!

DATE TIME!

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Complete Garmin Profile: https://connect.garmin.com/modern/activity/828948581

RIDER: Till Schenk, 174kg, 182cm tall.

BIKE: Specialized Shiv Pro, Ceramic Speed upgrade, Roval wheels.

POWER METER: Power2Max

BIKE COMPUTER: Garmin 920