2nd place for Hannes Hessenberger in the 24 hour race in the LEDSCHENDS team for children with cancer as solo starter
The LEDSCHENDS team was founded by Sascha Poth in 2013 to provide top sporting performance, a mix of professionals, ex-professionals from cycling and motorsport, ambitious amateur riders, fun, for a good cause at the 24 hours Rad am Ring to drive the legendary Nordschleife at the Nürburgring. Names like Manuel Reuter, Timo Scheider, Rene Haselbacher (RH77), Roger Kluge (Orica-Scott), Christian Knees (Team Sky), Karl Platt (Team Bulls), Paul Voß and many more were and are there. The LEDSCHENDS are also very international with the nations Germany, Austria, New Zealand, Portugal, Hawaii and South Africa. The team is rounded off with physiotherapists, mechanics, doctors and one or two times with a professional DJ. The atmosphere is always very familiar and sporty they set standards on the ring.
Hannes Hessenberger was the first SOLO starter of the team to show 2nd place this year.
Hannes, why did you do the 24h on the ring and how did you prepare for it?
I find ultra cycling exciting because it is not just about physical fitness, but mental strength also plays a very important role here. You always reach limits, be they physical or mental, that you have to overcome. The most fun is actually the preparation, because I try to feel my way to the limits and to cross them from time to time. Only those who know their limits learn to be able to overcome them or find a way to move them.
Did you reach your limits on the bike on the ring and how did you overcome them?
Yes, I've always had ups and downs in an ultra marathon. The Rad am Ring was my first ultra race with a mass start, my previous starts have always been in time trial mode without slipstream. At the mass start, one likes to be tempted (because it is also fun from time to time) to keep up with the drivers of the relay. Of course, you need a lot more energy, which you also have to supply. At the wheel on the ring I slid a little into it and due to the higher energy requirements, my stomach started to rebel again a little and didn't drink anymore. I helped myself by drinking only water, Redbull Cola and Zeus Protein Soda and also the usual energy gels.
The second hurdle I encountered was that I lost some time due to the loss of energy or moved a few places back. The whole thing in the night at about 3 am, a time that is critical anyway, since the body is actually used to sleeping deeply at this time. I made the mistake of getting off the bike on the track to throw up and relax a little. The frenzy almost turned into a nap (I was already lying in the meadow). My wife Susi, who passed the times, called me at that moment and said that I had made up a place in the last lap. She said I should throw up on the bike and get on again. At the moment a very motivating instruction.
The third hurdle was that my tendons closed something because of the sometimes very low cadence (the ring is sometimes around 18% slope). But our Physio Patrick was able to improve that during an 8 minute break (my only break) and I was able to put more power into the pedal again.
What is your conclusion?
I am glad to have reached my limits again, to have overcome them and all with this end result. The LEDSCHENDS team was a very big mental support in the background. Just lovely!