Michal Schlegel is another rider who has joined our squad before the season and who we want to present to our fans. As it turns out he’s not only fast on climbs, but he is also a smart investor in stock exchange and a skilled hockey player.
I spent my entire childhood in Lanškroun and I am attached emotionally to this place – Michal Schlegel explains. – I lived there for many years and it was a perfect, hilly region for cycling. Many current or former professional riders are from that part of Czech Republic, including Leopold Konig, Daniel Turek, František Trkal or René Andrle. Few years ago I had to move to Brno, second largest city in the country, due to school. I live in the suburbs, so it’s not hard to go outside of the city for a training, but sometimes I miss longer climbs out there.
You can say that it was not Schlegel who chose cycling, but it was cycling that chose him. His father was also a rider, so signing up for a club was something natural for Michal.
I was 11 or 12 years old. I got my first road bike then and I took part in my first race in Lanškroun. At the beginning I didn’t win much, but training with my friends gave me a lot of satisfaction and joy. I wanted to be like my idols, who participated in the Tour de France, so I worked hard to improve. My first victory came when I was 13 years old. It was a hilly race, part of the Czech Cup.
Goal – Tour de France
I was quite happy to move up to U23 ranks. Junior races where too short and too intense for me. U23 races where longer and harder and that suited me perfectly. I was able to fight for top places in elite events, so I was very satisfied with how things were going for me.
In the espoirs peloton he has already achieved some outstanding results. He considers 7th place at the world championships in USA (2015) and 8th overall at prestigious and extremely hard Tour de l’Avenir 2016 as the highlights of his career so far.
Since he has already claimed top 10 spot in a race called “U23 Tour de France” his next dream is to participate in the Grand Boucle and some day be in the contention for the podium.
I have to be realistic at this point in my career and I know that I need to work hard and learn from more experienced riders, to get there.
Czech specializes in stage races, as he combines good climbing and time trialing skills.
I would say I am a climber, who is at his best on long ascents, when the pace is high and steady. I’ve also won Czech championships in time trial few times, so I’m not afraid of long and flat sections.
Off the bike
While growing up in w Lanškroun Schlegel was practicing hokey. He stuck to cycling, because most of his friends where riding bikes and he enjoyed the cycling competition. Ice skating is still his hobby though.
His other passion is stock market. He is interested in financial sector and spends a lot of time studying the market, share prices and investment funds.
Cycling is a tough sport, so after a training I like to just sit in my armchair, drink coffee and read a book or annual reports of companies. I also watch documentaries and read biographies about inspirational people, such as Elon Musk, Steve Jobs or Bradley Wiggins. They make me work harder to achieve my goals.
Meeting my girlfriend was also something that change me as a person and a cyclists. I wanted to prove her that I am the best man for her, so I became much more responsible. That helped me not only in cycling but in life general – he sums up.