“There were always new goals. When I started out, it was be the best in Mannheim. Local champ, I thought, that would be nice. Then it was state champion, then German champion, then that wasn’t enough either. In the end, I was four-time world champion and was proud of that.
“After all these years, I still haven’t come to terms with 1965. That‘s the year I should have won the world championships. To this day, I don’t understand how Tom Simpson could have come around me. I saw the finish line, and let Simpson take the lead, and then couldn’t come back past. I guess it was meant to be. That defeat cost me 250,000 DM. But I’m still happy.
“There will always be wheels spinning in my life. Cycling’s the thread running through it, which will never be cut.”
Born: March 18 1937
1960 World pursuit championship 1961 World pursuit championship 1962 Vuelta a España, three stages and overall; Tour de France, three stages and points classification 1964 German national championship road race; Paris-Nice, stage; Tour of Flanders; Tour de France, stage 1965 Vuelta a España, stage 1966 World championship road race; Giro d’Italia, two stages; Tour de France, three stages 1967 Giro d’Italia, two stages 1968 Tirreno-Adriatico, stage and third overall; Milan-Sanremo; Vuelta a España, two stages 1969 Tour de France, prologue 1970 German national road race
Originally published in 1 issue 48