Ilaria: Who is Martin Kohler? The most of Allez Andy readers are very 'Schleck focused' so please introduce yourself :)
Martin: I'm a swiss rider.
Ilaria: When were you born?
Ilaria: Your height and weight?
Martin: 177cm / 70kg
Ilaria: When did you start cycling? and when did you became a pro?
Martin: I started cycling in 2000 and I got pro in 2008.
Ilaria: For wich teams did you race till now? and wich is your actual team?
Martin: As a pro I was always with BMC! Before, as elite, I raced for Bürgi's Cycling Team.
Ilaria: Wich were your best results and the more important races you took part in?
Martin: I won a stage in Tour de l'Avenir 2007. As pro I was 10th in the prolog of the Tour de romandie, 11th in Sarthe, 12th Ireland. The most important races are Tour de Suisse, Paris-Roubaix, Paris-Tours, Tour Down Under.
Ilaria: So Martin, you started your season with a wonderful exploit in Tour Down Under: you were at the top of almost everything after stage 1! tell us about that experience.
Martin: Yes, I had a really good start in Australia. It was really nice to wear a special jersey at a pro-tour race. But I was only replacing a team mate, so my shape was not the best. After the long breakaway in the first day I had to pay a lot. I was tired after this and so far I had no chance to defend the best young or points jersey. But I'm happy I started well and hope for more in this coming season.
Ilaria: Also in Tour of Qatar you showed something great with that long break in the desert...
Martin: Qatar was fun. The wind was not as strong as in the last 2 years, so there were more chances for breakaways. I tried and on the last stage we only got caught 4km to go. With Gretsch and Terpstra we were a strong group, but finally we were caught on the circuit in the end. I felt good and tried to be top 3 in the young riders classification, but in one big echelon day I flated when I was in the first group and lost positions. But I love Qatar, I'll be back :)
Ilaria: 2009 instead wasn't such a great year for you. Which was your best day and which the worse and why? Did you lern anything last year?
Martin: Last year I had a lot of bad luck. I was in more than ten breakaways and none of them made it to the finish! I also had a lot of flat tires in the final of races. For example: West Vlaanders, Tour of Belgium, Wallonie, Fanco-belge and Paris-Roubaix, with a double flat! it's hard to get droped of technical problems...it makes it also hard for the head.
Once I was supposed to race in America (Tour de Gila). It was already hard for me not to race Tour de Romandie... and after more than 20hours travelling and the jetlag, they told us that we're not allowed to race...so I had to travel back home, again more than 20hours with jetlag! I was in a really good shape and lost everything after that.I had big problems in my head because of always being flicked of everything!
Yes, I learnt a lot by that season! cycling is a hard business, and when you're not ready with your head, you can't compete. But you must learn by things like those ones happend to me and watch to the good things, that makes yuo stronger! I learnt to keep thinking why I am racing and that I have the most beautiful job around the world! I started enjoying cycling more and after a while I could forget about the bad things...
Ilaria: BMC is a pro-tour team now and you have very strong mates as Evans and Ballan: does that make any differences for you?
Martin: The BMC Racing Team is not a pro tour team yet but still a pro continental with wild card status. And because of the big names we are allowed to take place in almost every big races. Yes, it is a big difference to have riders like Cadel Evans, Alessandro Ballan or George Hincapie in the team. I can learn by them even more and I can also take part in biger races than before. That makes it harder, but also more interesting. For me it's a pleasure riding for Ballan, Evans, Hincapie etc. I hope I can help them to win some good races!
Ilaria: Which are your main targets for 2010?
Martin: Of course, as I said, to take part in big races and to help there as much as possible our leaders. Taking place in Paris-Roubaix would be great. But also in Tour de Suisse (as a swiss rider for sure). Maybe I can do the Giro. But my main target is to be one of the best helper in the team. And if I can race for myself, for sure I want to win some races!
Ilaria: It would be nice to meet you here in Italy during the Giro so I hope you'll race it. But which is your dream race?
Martin: My dream race is Tour de France. I think every pro riders want to do this race. I watch that race since when I was 7 years old. I would do everything to be there at least once!
Ilaria: Which is the racer you like more in the history of cycling? And now? Which is your best quality? And the worse?
Martin: When I was young I was a big fan of Richard Virenque, he was always attacking and agressive. That's the way I like racing! but time changes and after all came up I was disappointed. Now it's hard to say, when you race against them every days. There are a lot of good, cool and nice guys. Things changes when you get to know these cyclists. I'm just happy I'm at this level and can race with/against all them!
Ilaria: Now tell us something more personal: family and friends are important for you? what do you like to do in your spare time? Favourite music? Movie? Book? Country? Food? That sounds a little curious, but we want know you better.
Martin: Yes, my family and my friends are really important. I think that to have people around you who listen to you and understand what you do is the most important thing. They have an ear when I have bad moments but I can also celebrate with them if I have good time.
In my spare time I like playing the guitar. I play in a rockband and that gives me a breack from cycling. It's not good if you're thinking about your job 24 hours a day. So when I come home from a race I really look forward to see my friends and play some good rockmusic!
My favourite bands are: Gotthard, Nickelback, Hoobastank, 3 doors down, Linkin park etc. I like action movies, don't read so much but if i do I prefer Clice Cussler and John Grisham... My favourite country is Australia. About food, I like every kind of pasta, but also a good pizza or sometimes fondue :)
Ilaria: Gnam! Very good! My last question, as usual, is about Andy Schleck. Did you ever met him? What do you think about?
Martin: I don't think I ever met him personally. I saw him during races, but I never spoke to him. The funny thing is I already raced against him when we were younger as junior.
Ilaria: Thank you very much, Martin. You were very kind to accept this interview. Good luck for your races and see you soon in Italy I hope.