May 09, 2016
by Patricia Schwager, ALP Cycles Coaching
ALP Cycles Coaching Swiss Miss, Patricia Schwager, has not been racing this year. Here’s why, and an update on her status.
A lot of people are asking when I would be back racing – this blog is an update and confirms that I won’t return to professional racing.
Since fall of 2013, I am dealing with an ongoing muscle/nerve injury in my right quad. A surgery in November 2015 improved things but I am still not back at 100%. Some people might think I made this decision too early and that I should give it more time or another try. But the fact that I raced so many years on such a high level means also that my body is simply worn out. It is no option for me to keep racing while knowing, that I’m not 100% and unable to reach my former level again.
My bike racing career started 1998 as a junior. I went on and raced professional for 10 years. I raced for some of the best and biggest teams like: Raleigh-Lifeforce, Cervélo TestTeam, Nederland Bloet, Faren-Kuota, TIBCO-Silicon Valley Bank. I represented my home country Switzerland many times at various World Championships in the Time Trial and Road Race.
2012 Swiss Champion TT
I went through good, successful times and and hard times. Everything I achieved is because of the hard work I put in and I am proud of that. I won 6 National Championships plus I achieved a lot of other decent results. Many times I was the role as super domestique and I think I can say that I always was a great team mate.
Being a pro athlete for so many years taught me a lot. I will take many great and unique memories with me. I met a lot of people, some had less and some had a lot more of influence on my career and some of them became good friends.
There are a lot of people I have to thank for their support: my family, friends, coaches, teams, national team, team mates, etc. I can’t list them all here but the people that belong to this list certainly know it.
THANK YOU! Without your help I couldn’t have done it!
What’s next for me? I am working for Team TIBCO-Silicon Valley Bank. Although my role is different now, instead of racing, I am the logistics coordinator for the team.
Next to that I am also working as a cycling coach for ALP Cycles Coaching – helping other riders to become better and stronger athletes. I really like both of my jobs and I am very grateful for these 2 opportunities; it is a good way to give back and to bring in my experience. I also still have my pastry chef diploma in my pocket, which could be another option for the future.
Being retired is a big change. The new life situation offers me the freedom to enjoy other sports like climbing, hiking, running, riding MTB or Fat bikes, the list goes on! Of course I will keep riding my road bike – it is my big passion!
Being active and competitive is part of my personality. I’m fine to go an easy pace while riding for fun or with friends but I still like to put the hammer down when I ride alone or with fast company.
What am I missing about pro racing?
-My team mates! there is no better feeling than winning a bike race because of great teamwork!
-The feeling of being super (race) fit
-The feeling of going very fast & smooth on a TT-bike
-Descending super fast in a race
What am I not missing about pro racing?
-The pressure to perform
-Difficulty to do fun activities with friends while sticking to a hard training plan
Would I choose the same way again?
Yes-Definitely! Being a pro athlete is a privilege and a very hard job at the same time. But it is a great school of life! I went to places you would never go to just by traveling around. I met a lot of people around the world. I learned languages. It taught me: to work hard to achieve a goal, to never ever give up and that there is always a way to solve a problem. It made me tough; somehow I can take more/handle stress better no matter what I do. I learned that sometimes you have to go your own way but that teamwork is key in a sport that is actually a team sport.
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ABOUT PATRICIA SCHWAGER
Patricia Schwager began cycling in 1998, racing as a junior. After racing on the domestic level and completing her Diploma as Pastry Chef, she got her first pro contract in 2006. 2015 will be here 10th year of professional racing. Patricia has a lot of experience racing in the European peloton. In 2013 she started working with Shawn Heidgen (Current ALP Cycles Coach) as her personal coach. In 2014 she changed her focus to racing in the US. Patricia is a 6 time national Swiss champion and has represented her home country, Switzerland, at the World Championships 12 times.
For 2015, Patricia will race for Team Tibco. Along with racing she’s looking to share and pass on her knowledge in her new role as an ALP Cycles Coach. Visit her online at http://patriciaschwager.com
About ALP Cycles Coaching
ALP Cycles Coaching is located in the mountains of Colorado, and is a cycling coaching company with over 25 years of professional sports experience. ALP Cycles Coaching is unique in that we have 4 coaches, Alison Powers, Jennifer Triplett, and Patricia Schwager who each brings her own coaching strengths and personal experiences. We work together to create a training plan that works for each and every person. Visit them online at http://alpcyclescoaching.com
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