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Track cycling: Franz Josef Lasser wants to be on the big stage

Track cycling: Franz Josef Lasser wants to be on the big stage

Franz Josef Lasser, 21, had been completely under the influence of the train for a few days. He watches all the world championship races on the screen with the eyes of an eagle, paying attention not only to the times of the stars, but also to his racing skills and tactics. Next week he will be racing himself for world championship medals on the boards. First time.

The man from Graz will compete in all five events of the Para competitions at the Vélodrome National in Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines. He’s not particularly hoping for a medal, but at least in the short races, the original mountain biker relies on the good stuff. “I am in good spirits for the 1000m. You just have to be late and not be the best train driver technically,” he says with a laugh. Waiting means getting the most out of your legs in a matter of seconds and pulling up. He only had three days of track training at Novo Mesto (SLO) in his legs, a brief illness that prevented him a few more laps in the oval in Linz. The level of experience is still modest, so things look different in terms of optimism in the 15km zero race. “I have a healthy respect for that. So I will not be responsible for the scenes that define the race the first time I compete.” Lässer competes in Class C5, the class with the lowest level of disability. He has lost four fingers on his left hand since birth; He therefore encounters difficulties when he has to hold the handlebars with full force – for example when starting from a standing position or on difficult mountain biking trails. “It’s also easier for drivers on the track who have a slight disability in their legs, for example in the calf muscle.”

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For a long time, Lässer ignored parachutes, indulging in his love for off-road cycling, and not into paragliding. “I had to admit to myself that I don’t have a light in cross-country. I’m nowhere to be seen in the state championships, but if the road wasn’t ideal for me, I would unload myself after the tough trails,” says the rider from the Stattegg Bike Club.

Even if he had already earned a gold medal in Para-EM on the street at home, he had already learned the hard way. “I was in the World Time Trial Championship last year and thought I wouldn’t have a problem getting in. I was eight minutes behind at the end. This year he was only four and in the European Championship a year and a half – it got exciting,” he says with a laugh. Next season, he’ll focus on the Para and National Cycling League competitions he’s riding for the first time. “The other drivers in my class are elite class for healthy people at Conte level (note: the third highest class). They have 15 races in the first division competitions. That’s why I have to do more and drive in the Bundesliga” because Lesser has a clear goal: “I want to I’m on the big stage, for the big show.”