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05-02-2023 | Gray Skinner -

Interview with Stefan Kirchmair, the fastest man in the gran fondo peloton

In a collaboration between and, Gray Skinner (GFR Rating: 797). co-founder of GFR and MasterBorn CEO, sat down with perhaps the best gran fondo racer in 2022, Stefan Kirchmair (GFR Rating: 920). Stefan hails from Austria and won nearly every major race he entered in 2022.

Stefan, congrats on a nearly flawless season last year. Were you able to get some rest this winter?

'Yes, shortly after the Worlds I started to feel tired and took some weeks of off-season. Unfortunately I got ill, when I wanted to restart training in November, so I had a longer recovery than I probably wanted, but I am still glad that I did not have a bit of sickness during summer.'

What result were you most proud of in 2022?

'Of course the Gran Fondo Worlds - it was always the main goal with a "once in a lifetime" opportunity so close to my home and with such huge climbs - this will not happen again, if you look at the new year's locations. It was also the last year in 19-34, so the strongest field possible. The way the race developed made my victory even more special for me - it was awesome to come in first in Trento, one of my favorite places!'

We heard a rumor you were riding on Continental Gatorskin tubular tires at L'Étape du Tour? Tell us more about this equipment choice.

'Yes, I am racing and training on Mavic Ultimate tubular wheels since I have been an ambassador for them in 2012. I'm riding a 2012 Cannondale Supersix Frame with 10-speed Sram Red. So undoubtedly the oldest, but lightest setup in most races. Tires are usually Continentals 25mm TDF edition, which I got from Thai Do (a well known German Conti-Salesman). But I had two flats in the week between Marmotte and L´Étape, so I had no real option to choose from, since there not a lot of option in Bourg d'Oisans. I ended up with a Gatorskin on the rear for L´Étape. Well spotted and remembered by you.'

What will be your first race of 2023?

'I will start with Gran Fondo Laigueglia on 28th Feb.'

What is your main objective in 2023?

'For the first time I will mainly race in Italy, so therefor it will be GF Nove Colli, GF Gimondi, GF Sportful in preparation period in May and June. I would love to do the triple of La Marmotte, Maratona dles Dolomites and L´Étape as back-to-back races, but actually it's not totally fixed, as I was not selected for a Maratona bib yet. But it would be my biggest goal for 2023 I think.'

'I'm also thinking about defending the Worlds in Scotland, but it's undecided, also like the second half of the season.'

What bike will you be riding in 2023?

'For the first time, I will have a disc-bike provided by my new Italian Team, Sildom Garda. Beside this bike, I will rebuild a rim-based hillclimb bike for the heavier terrains and steeper mountains. In the end, the braking performance will decide, which race will be ridden with which bike.'

How long have you been racing bikes?

'I started road cycling in 2005 as a bloody beginner and finished the Ötztaler with 16 years old in this year. Then I was advised to race in juniors and a year later U23 races for a continental team. The next five years there was a pursuit for a pro contract, but that was interrupted by some injuries and so I stopped competitive training for some years after quitting license racing in 2012. To stay in the cycling scene, I decided to start my education as a coach. In 2019 I got hooked to Zwift and since then progressed my training to an even higher level than ever before. Right now, it's a mix of e-cycling, gran fondos and KOM hunting on major climbs all over the Alps and coaching a lot of amateur cyclists.'

When you are not riding or training, what is your favorite hobby?

'Besides cycling I am very interested in geographics, history and cooking/nutrition.'

What should we know about Kirchmair Coaching?

'Good question ;) Probably take a look on the websitesocial media channels, our Zwift activities or gran fondo participations and make your own picture. But don't be afraid, it's all hobby-cyclists :)'

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