German Andreas Dreitz is the new fast riding man from Germany and this year he already grabbed the 70.3 Mallorca and 70.3 Raleigh titles, but you can expect much more from him.
Slowtwitch: Thanks for spending time with us Andreas
Andreas Dreitz: You´re welcome. Thank you for your time.
ST: How did you spend your time after Mallorca?
Andreas: The time after my victory in Mallorca was not as easy as it looked. This Race was tough the weather conditions hot and I lost lot of energy. It took me quite a while to get back on track and to into training. To be honest, I was struggling and thought about changing my race schedule. But just in time I got back in the rhythm. Two weeks after Mallorca I raced a small time trial near my hometown and was right back on my way to get my second 70.3 title this year in Raleigh.
ST: That Mallorca win was your second one there. How do those two titles compare?
Andreas: Every victory is something special. Last year, almost nobody expected me to win. They all just talked about Raelert, Llanos, Aernouts and Rana. I just took my chances on the demanding bike course and for me it really was a breakthrough race. I had a tough time early this year. After our team camp of Erdinger Alkoholfrei in January I got sick with Mononucleosis. I was in the shape of my life and preparing for Challenge Dubai, but I couldn’t think about racing and I also couldn't think about training. I just wanted to be able to move again. After 4 weeks without training I needed at least another 2 weeks to get back on track. I had to change my racing schedule for the season. No Challenge Dubai, no race at Oceanside, and no race in Brazil. However, I travelled to Oceanside and took it as a little training camp and got in touch with my new partners Cannondale and Sugoi. We did some amazing video and photo shootings. A second training camp brought me to Mallorca. Biking and swimming was great, running not the best yet. Winning Mallorca for the second time was unbelievable and getting back after tough times feels even better.
ST: Talk about that Raleigh win.
Andreas: Winning always feels great and every race has something special. I really liked the bike course: some great rolling hills and some long curves through the forests of North Carolina and very smooth pavement made it fast!
ST: Was that your first visit to North Carolina?
Andreas: Yeah. First time in North Carolina and I really liked it.
ST: Last year the 70.3 Worlds were a big target for you, but 22nd place was likely not satisfactory.
Andreas: No, not at all. I am a pro athlete and I’m racing to win races. And getting 22nd is nothing you can be happy about. Unfortunately I got sick during the week of the race and was just somewhat better feeling on the race day. But as you know you can win a big race if you are not in a [perfect] race shape. Swimming was good for me and at the half time of the bike leg I saw the lead group very close in front of me. But then my legs just got tired and the gap was growing again. The last k´s on the bike have been very tough for me and on the run I just went just for the finish line. However it was a great learning experience and I have learned quite allot from it. You need to take risks when you want to win big titles.
ST: What in your view makes someone a professional athlete?
Andreas: In my opinion there are 2 major criteria to describe a professional athlete. Your sport is first priority and you can make a living out of the sport, and maybe another one - you are competing at the top level races in your sport.
ST: I think you also had the Ironman Mallorca on your schedule in 2014.
Andreas: I planned to race the Ironman in Mallorca in September 2014. But after my great results in spring and the announcement of a new big race [Challenge Bahrain and Triple Crown] I changed my plans and I don´t regret at all.
ST: In Bahrain you had ended up in second place after another dominating bike performance of 1:57:21. Talk about that race.
Andreas: Challenge Bahrain really was a Game-Changer. A new very high professional middle distance race came out and set new standards. In summertime I was not in best shape anymore and not happy with my results so I was still very hungry to go for Bahrain. I just trained for this single race with trainings camps in Mallorca and Gran Canaria. While racing I just put the hammer down and tried to catch the lead car. The atmosphere in Bahrain was so familiar and taking the double-win with my teammate Michael Raelert felt like a movie.
ST: You mentioned a new relationship with Cannondale as a bike sponsor. How is that going?
Andreas: Having Cannondale on my side is the best what could happen to me. Cannondale provide me a lot of support and it is a lot of fun to work with this amazing Team. Cannondale has great experience and very high quality due to their involvement in pro cycling. Their bikes are prestigious and I simply love them. Riding those bikes is awesome. So light & stiff!!
ST: Did anyone help you with your bike fit?
Andreas: For bike fitting I go to Jürgen Schulz (myposition.biz). He is very detailed and we already made a lot of improvements. He also has been fitting the German national team for many years and other great athletes from cycling and triathlon. Last year we added aero tests at the Velodrome to optimize the position.
ST: Which Velodrome did you go to?
Andreas: We went to the Velodrome in Augsburg and got great support from Dr.-Ing. Rainer Völkl of the University of Bayreuth for the analysis.
ST: Are you detail oriented when it comes to bike gear and components, or do you just sit on it and mash the pedals?
Andreas: Jürgen is very detailed and often has new ideas and we are very close to perfect position. I just go out and like to push hard when I am racing, but thankfully I’m having with SUGOI, Medisana, On and Erdinger partners, who provide me best possible training and racing solutions
ST: This year 70.3 Worlds are in Europe, a seemingly nice advantage for you and other Europeans.
Andreas: For sure! Having the 70.3 worlds in Europe is great. I can easily prepare at home and know exactly what I have to do. That´s a great advantage for sure!
ST: Who do you think will be the main contenders for the title?
Andreas: There are a lot of German guys who recently had great races: Michael Raelert, Nils Frommhold, Andi Böcherer, Jan Frodeno and don´t forget Sebastian Kienle. And there are many more international guys such as Bozzone, Reed, Don and Gomez just to name some of them.
ST: You did not mention yourself.
Andreas: If betting on triathlon races is allowed, I will put all my money on myself. [laughs]
ST: What else is on schedule until then?
Andreas: I will race Challenge Heilbronn on June 21st. Most of the German guys I named before will race there, too, so it will be tough to defend my title.
ST: Any other races on the calendar or is that still undecided?
Andreas: So far, just the Challenge Bahrain on November 20th. But probably there will be at least 2-3 more races.
ST: When did you start with Team Erdinger.
Andreas: I have been part of the Erdinger Alkoholfrei Team since 2012 and started with the Junior Team. 2014 was my first year in the Pro Team and I’m getting constantly great support during this long and lasting partnership during training and races across the globe. By the way, Erdinger Alkoholfrei beer is coming over to US starting in Californa first. You just need to try this amazing Isotonic Recovery Drink!
ST: I think I am in Germany more often each year than in California, but I guess you did not particularly mean me.
Andreas: Haha, so you have been very lucky then.
ST: Anything else interesting we should know?
Andreas: In 2013 I was in the US for 4 months doing a study abroad semester in Lincoln, Nebraska. It was a great experience and I also met a lot of US triathletes. Now I have almost finished my study program [Master of Sports, Business & Law], and this is now the final stretch of a long and hard learning time.
ST: Will you be even faster when you no longer have to dedicate time to studying?
Andreas: I hope so. I still have a lot potential to improve my performance.
Images 1-3 courtesy of Sebastian Kuhn / drehmomente.de