Women’s Cycling Profiles: Clara Koppenburg

Clara Koppenburg

Date of Birth: 3rd August 1995
Nationality: German
Team: Bigla-Katusha
Former Teams: WNT-Rotor
Career Achievements:
1st – GC Setmana Ciclista Valenciana (2019)
2nd – GC Setmana Ciclista Valenciana (2020), GC & Stage Tour de l’Ardeche (2019)
3rd – Stage Setmana Ciclista Valenciana (2020), Stage Emakumeen Bira (2018)
4th – GC & Stage Tour of California (2019), Ljubljana-Domzale-Ljubljana TT (2018), European Championships U23 TT (2017)
6th – Stage Festival Elsy Jacobs (2019)
7th – GC Tour de Bretagne (2019)

Who taught you how to ride a bike & how old were you?

I was always really sporty, tried every kind of sports like basketball, horse riding, gymnastics and lots of track and field. At 17 years old, my dad put me on a road bike! At this time he was the team doc for Trek and I could join the Tour of Colorado and I was falling in love with bike racing! At that point I just knew: I wanna race! I want to challenge myself and make the most out of my passion!

In the beginning, I was just riding with my dad and also only if we stopped for coffee and cake… from time to time I enjoyed riding by myself, discovering my beautiful area (Black Forest) and hunting some Strava segments.

What was your first ‘proper’ road bike & what colour was it?

My first road bike was a Cervelo r5 in black with pink handlebar tape and pink saddle … sooo cliche ????????????‍♀️… Haha but it really fitted my two braids ????

What’s the most important piece of kit/advice that has helped boost your performance?

Don’t ride with underwear ???? below your bib shorts!???? That was life-changing advice!

No, but for real: my coach always tells me that if I suffer like hell, everyone does… I always remind those words and it gives me an extra push. Sometimes I think I am the only one suffering and that would be demotivating, but knowing that it is hard for everyone to make the pain feel less!

What’s your favourite routes/places to ride?

No doubt: my home area the south of Black Forest near Switzerland!

Clara Koppenburg (1)

What tips do you have to keep the love of cycling going amidst all the training?

For me, it’s not hard to keep motivated in training since I truly love training! For me, it’s almost every day (yes, of course, I have days where I seriously don’t want to train or even think about my bike) a combined feeling of escaping and feeling powerful and fully in my element.

It’s the part of the day where I feel the strongest and often the happiest because I’m outside either by myself or Meeting training partners which makes me just happy. Also, hard intervals are a good feeling (if they go well) because you can challenge yourself and later in the races your opponents!

What experiences are still to do on your cycling ‘bucket list’?

I absolutely want to do a nice bike packing trip: first route will be from Basel to Venice via the Alps. If I like it I would like to ride from the bottom of Scandinavia to the Arctic Circle or a great tour in America!!!!???? another experience I would like to do is winning a big race in great style!

Uhhhh and setting a world record would be also a point on my bucket list… not sure yet what kind of record but something like altitude meters, hour record or something that doesn’t exist yet so that it’s not hard to beat????????

Thanks for reading about Clara Koppenburg – more Women’s Cycling Profiles can be found here