Mathias Frank will start his 11th and last Tour de Suisse on Sunday. We talked to him about his most beautiful successes, a sleepless night and birth during the Tour de Suisse, as well as about his last participation.
Tour de Suisse: «Mathias Frank, it has been 14 years since you started your first Tour de Suisse. Do you still remember that premiere? “
Mathias Frank: “Two weeks before the start of the Tour de Suisse, I won my first professional race at the Black Forest GP.
I can well remember how happy and excited I was.
I also remember that I was in a breakaway in one stage with Jens Vogt. What was a bit surreal for me back then – Jens was an idol of mine! “
TdS: «A few years later, in 2014, you experienced your big moment on the TdS. Tell us how it came about. “
MF: «2014 was the most emotional highlight of my entire career!
At that time I was able to grow beyond myself with the 2nd place in the general classement.
The preparation and the circumstances were anything but ideal in 2014.
After the second stage, I spent a night without sleep in the hospital when our first daughter was born. After that – without sleep – I arrived at the team bus half an hour before the start, changed clothes and off I went.
That I managed to finish second under such circumstances is an unbelievable achievement and I am still proud of it today. “
TdS: “It couldn’t just have been due to the lack of sleep – what made the difference back in 2014?”
MF: «I remember the last stage to Saas Fe, for which I started fourth or fifth in the overall standings. Back then, as a team, we showed a great number with Marcel Wyss and Johann Tschopp in the breakaway.
I then let the others go full and attacked. That was the cool thing – I had no doubts.
That was the nice thing!
The fact that in the end one was faster, in Rui Costa who won the TdS three times in a row, is just the way it is. It would of course have been the icing on the cake – but emotionally it was just as nice for me, without an overall victory. “
TdS: “And when you think back to 2013, there is disappointment involved, I suppose?”
MF:“Yes, after I was in the leader’s jersey for a large part of the Tour de Suisse, then losing the overall victory on the last day in the time trial on the Flumserberge, that was tough. In the end I fell off the podium. This was more difficult to cope with, back then I only lost. I won a lot in 2014. “
TdS: “And what are your feelings about starting your last Tour de Suisse on Sunday?”
MF:“The third stage to Pfaffnau is another emotional story. The route leads past my parents’ house. The club with which I took my first steps in cycling, the VC Pfaffnau-Roggliswil, organizes the stage arrival. The fact that this will now work out for my last Tour de Suisse makes it an emotional conclusion that I am really looking forward to! “
TdS: “Mathias, thank you very much for all the great moments and achievements and we wish you a wonderful last Tour de Suisse.”