You don't like rain at all. How did you do on Sunday?
"No, if it rains I basically never go cycling. I've had to ride in the rain too many times in the past. The organization had asked me to enter, we had a quiet weekend at the guest house last weekend and I felt very much like riding, so Gerda (ed. Johnny's wife) said, "Just go Johnny!" But I was a little bit mistaken about the weather, which made it extra tough."
How did you get through it?
"The rain in the first few hours made me really cold. In the valley between Paß Thurn and Gerlospaß I even briefly considered getting in the car. Then I drove up the Gerlospaß hard. Besides the fact that it made me feel warm, we were up front with 6 riders, so you might as well go for it. After the Kerschbaumer Sattel I remained together with Paul (Verbnjak, eventually 2nd). Paul and I occasionally train together, so we know each other well. We had enough of a look to set up a good cooperation and Paul's father took care of us together. We let the Horn (the last climb, ed.) decide who was going to win. Paul had a heavy gear (39x30) for the climb to the Horn, there I had the advantage with my 35x32."
So you can still handle the "youth"?
"Haha, yes definitely. But I also just have to train for it. I still enjoy cycling a lot so you can often go the extra mile. Paul is a great talent by the way, we are going to hear a lot about him in the years to come. He comes from ski mountaineering and has an huge engine, but just lacks some experience. I like the fact he's eager to learn and I can give him a bit of race simplicity from time to time."
But what about the Kitzbüheler Horn, isn't that a brutal climb?
"It's not a normal climb. Even if I lived next door, I would never ride up the Horn! I have at my home in Velden also with the Wurzenpaß, also a monster. I rode 35x32 that was still doable, but you should not try this with a 39. But this climb makes the KRM legendary and very special!"
Will see you at the start in the next few weeks? World Cup in Trento for example?
"I haven't planned anything yet. It's busy at the guesthouse for the next two months. The Ötztaler is in my agenda. The World Cup in Trento is close by and the course suits me, but I haven't made a final decision yet. We'll see, the main thing is to enjoy it. That is also the main reason for participating in cyclo's. Fun, conviviality, good cycling. Fun, friendliness, cycling with friends and a beer afterwards!"