Lisa Brennauer : "Very excited by this new challenge"
August 31 st 2021 - 16:09 [GMT + 2]
Winner of the CERATIZIT Challenge by La Vuelta in 2019 and 2020, Lisa Brennauer, who beat Elisa Longo Borghini by twelve seconds in a famous thriller in the streets of Madrid last November, puts her title on the line after finishing sixth at the Tokyo Olympics, in the road race and in the time-trial as well. The German, crowned world time-trial champion in Ponferrada in 2014, will lead her CERATIZIT-WNT Pro Cycling Team at the start of the event in the Cabeza de la Manzaneda mountain resort (September 2-5).
Lisa, what non-sporting memories do you have of your second victory at the CERATIZIT Challenge by La Vuelta last year?
Congratulations from Primoz Roglic! Obviously, under these circumstances, together on the podium as the two La Vuelta winners, we didn't have time for long conversations but I quickly understood that it was a very big victory for him and he was still very nice to me. I remember an exceptional moment of sharing. For me, too, it was a major success in my career. To have been crowned world champion remains above but I saw and appreciated the great media attention my two victories at the CERATIZIT Challenge by La Vuelta represented. It was also special for my team and for the sponsor of our team who is strongly linked to this event.
What do you take away from a sporting point of view?
Last year's race on Sunday was truly exceptional. It was a big battle for every bonus second up for grabs. We were all very close to each other in the overall standings. My team supported me so well that I managed to put in the seconds I needed to win. It remains a great memory of a collective effort.
How was the atmosphere around the circuit in the streets of Madrid? We were still in a context of strong restrictions related to the coronavirus and despite that there were so many people to encourage us, it was great. We felt like we were completely part of the men's event coming after. We felt a strong audience thanks to the media presence and, above all, the communicating warmth of the people of Madrid.
It will be different this year because La Vuelta does not end in Madrid but in Santiago de Compostela. What do you expect from Galicia? Do you know this region?
I’m very excited about it. I only know Galicia from books and it makes you want to go there because it looks so beautiful. It's not far from Ponferrada where I was crowned world champion (time trial in 2014). I know this because my parents had gone to visit Santiago de Compostela just before they came to see me race. Getting back to the area around where I got the rainbow jersey is special. I look forward to it!
The racing is going to be different from what it was in Madrid...
Yes, very different from the last two editions! It will be really difficult for me to win the CERATIZIT Challenge by La Vuelta for the third time because there will be stronger competitors than me in the uphill finishes and the uphill time trial, but I'm going anyway with a very positive mindset. The last stage may suit me and we will have a very strong team. It is possible that I ride in support of my partners.
It’s brave to put your title on the line!
I am in a period of my season in the form of a roller coaster because I got sick after the Olympics. So we had to modify my race program and we opted to skip Plouay (where Elisa Longo Borghini won) and to focus on the CERATIZIT Challenge by La Vuelta because it is a superb race, because I've had great success there in the past and it's great for me and my team to go back there with ambitions.