Saturday, July 24, 2021
HomeInterviewsAndreas Müller - Sights are Set Higher These Days

Andreas Müller – Sights are Set Higher These Days

-

I remember interviewing Andreas Müller a year or two ago and him telling me that he’d be happy to emulate the career of German former Six Day rider Gert Dörich, who was the ‘Taxi Driver’ par excellence during his long career which took in 163 Six Day races.

‘Taxi Driver’ is the term used to describe solid, experienced riders whose job is to partner riders who are new to the world of the ‘races to nowhere.’

But Andreas’ sights are set higher, these days.

Andreas Müller
Andreas working hard at Copenhagen last year. Photo©John Young

He was one of the animators of the 2012 World Points and Madison Championships and has been steadily edging his way up the classements.

A recent career best fourth in Bremen, paired with Dane Marc Hester has been rewarded with a ride partnering the man who has won more six days [33 off 114 starts] than anyone else who is still active on the circuit – Franco Marvulli.

Marvulli emerged victorious from Bremen, partnered with big, strong, fast German Marcel Kalz.

If Müller and Marvulli ride to form then a podium is well possible here in Berlin.

Andreas Müller
Each Six has it’s own characteristics, but Andreas loves them all. Photo©Ed Hood

Müller’s first ride of note was a second place in the 1998 German team pursuit championship alongside Robert Bartko, going down to a team which contained pursuiter par excellence, Jens Lehmann.

Two years later, in 2000, Bartko and Müller combined again to take the team pursuit title; with Müller taking a stage in the 2000 Tour of Berlin, along the way.

In 2002 he won the German points championship – never an easy race to win.

A year later he took the 2003 German Madison title – and two World Cup madison wins with German madison specialist, Guido Fulst.

In 2005 he took the German points title again and in 2008 took the same title but in Austria, having changed nationality on residential grounds.

He also took the Austrian scratch and madison titles, that year.

In 2010 he won the three days of Aigle track event and over the years has built up a solid palmares of road wins and podiums from China via the Caribbean to the USA.

And the last two years have seen him become a force in the Six Days – witnessed by fourth in the 2012 World Madison Championship, third in the Australian Open Madison Championship, sixth in the Four Days of Zürich and then fourth in the Bremen Six Day.

We spoke to the 33 year-old on the eve of the Berlin Six Day.

Andreas Müller
Franco and Andreas relax in their track centre cabin. Photo©Ed Hood

How was Bremen, Andreas?

“Marc and I were fourth, I was happy with that.

“We’re the same style of rider; attacking – and we’re the same size so it makes for a good pairing.

“I’m getting closer to the podium and everyone who was at the six said we rode a good race.

Bremen is a technical track.

“It’s good for us because we’re not physically riders large riders, its small (166 metres) and very tight, but we’re experienced on it and like the smaller tracks – but it’s definitely the most technical track on the circuit.

Andreas Müller
Andreas linesit out with Schep and Bartko on his wheel. Photo©John Young

How was the crowd?

“Better than last year, the organisers said that every day was up on last year – it wasn’t sold out but there was enough of a crowd to give a good atmosphere.

“People say that the crowds are going down at the Sixes – but they’re definitely on the way up in Bremen!

“They had a new idea there where we raced with an arm band which had a light attached – its new technology and helps the crowd understand what’s going on.

“The race organisation can illuminate the riders who are on a particular lap or to show who is contesting a particular sprint or leading.”

But no ride at Rotterdam?

“At Rotterdam they usually give the rides to the guys who rode in Amsterdam – and there are a lot of Dutch guys in the fields.

“I was riding the European track championships in Lithuania when Amsterdam was on.

“And of course everyone wants to ride every race – so you can’t get into them all.”

Andreas Müller
Franco tells Andreas some tactic update as he throws him in. Photo©John Young

What about the trend to four day races – as has happened at Grenoble and Zurich?

“I have to say that maybe it is the way to go.

“In Holland for example, the races are sold out on Friday and Saturday nights, but not so good the other nights – people have to go to work.

“So maybe it’s better to have four good days rather than a six day with two good nights and four not so good nights?

“It depends on the city – but I think it would work in many places.”

Andreas Müller
Andreas slings partner Franco into the race. Photo©John Young

Is there any word on new Six Day events?

“No, not that I have heard, but there was talk about Cologne coming back…

“We’re still waiting to see what will happen in the UK, with the enormous interest the success of their track squad has generated with the public, you must believe that a Six Day is possible in London or Manchester?

“Australia too – they have such a great tradition of team pursuiting that you have to think a Six Day would be possible and successful?”

The World Cups seem a bit ‘flat,’ this winter?

“It’s the year after the Olympics, there’s no focus and nations don’t want to spend their money.

“And it depends on the city; there are many cities who want World Cup racing – look at London, the tickets sold out in one hour.”

How did your summer go?

“I rode a lot of small European races and spent June in the USA, I raced at Trexlertown Velodrome every Friday; race director is the former Olympic sprint champion, Marty Nothstein.

“They pull in crowds of 2,000/2,500 every week to watch the show.

“I also rode some criteriums there and back in Europe for August I rode some small stage races – and even some stayer races.

“For the 2013 road season I’m with the Austrian Continental team KTM (Arbo Gebrider Weiss) – we have a good international road programme which I’m looking forward.

“In 2006 I rode stage races in the summer and enjoyed them – they’re good preparation work for the Six Days, you just have to top up the endurance with some track speed.”

Andreas Müller
Andreas is pretty good at criteriums too, unsurprisingly. Photo©Ed Hood

It must be harder to train and prepare for the Six Days with the big gaps in the program?

“Yes, I rode Ghent in November then there wasn’t another Six for me until Bremen in January.

“When there’s a full calendar you just travel from race to race.

“I rode the European track championships in November, when Amsterdam was on then I had the Glasgow World Cup.

“After that I traveled to Australia to race and train in good weather before coming back for Bremen.”

Andreas Müller
Russian coach Heiko Salzwedel with local boy Andreas, here at the Berlin Six two years ago. Photo©Ed Hood

You rode well in the Australian Madison Championships in Melbourne.

“Yes, third with Marcel Barth behind Kenny De Ketele and Leigh Howard; the race incorporates the Aussie madison championships but it makes it much more competitive and interesting with the international field.

“There are so many good Australian madison riders and it’s a really fast race.”

And you’re just back from Mallorca?

“Yes, I decided to go there between Bremen and Berlin so as I could guarantee to train in good weather.

“You can get a flat cheap in Palma at this time of year and the weather is so much better than in Northern Europe.

“I ride Berlin then Copenhagen and after that I’ll be preparing for the Worlds where I’ll ride scratch and the madison with Andreas Graf.

“We were fourth last year and would really like to go one place higher, this year!

“The two Six Days are good preparation.”

Lastly Andreas, thoughts on Armstrong?

“Not good for cycling – but I suppose with everyone talking about it then the decks are cleared?

“And it’s good he confessed, at last!”

Ed Hood
Ed's been involved in cycling for over 45 years. In that time he's been a successful time triallist, team manager, and sponsor of several teams and clubs. He's also a respected and successful coach, and during the winter months can often be found working in the cabins at the Six Days. Ed remains a massive fan of the sport and couples his extensive contacts with an inexhaustable enthusiasm for the minutiae and the history of our sport.

Related Articles

Luke Roberts – Former World, Commonwealth and Olympic Champion Winds Down

Two decades, twenty years, it's a long time - especially to ride a bike at world level. But it was 1994 when Australia's Luke Roberts won his first world title in the junior team pursuit. The following year he twinned another victory in the team event with the world junior individual championship for good measure. Two Commonwealth, three world and an Olympic team pursuit title followed. He's ridden Pro Tour with CSC, Milram, Saxo, the Grand Tours, Classics and just about everything there is to ride - including the Six Days.

Tim Mountford, Part Four – Bike Shop Owner and Cycling Hall of Fame Inductee

In Part Three of the Tim Mountford story we learned what is was like to travel around Europe as part of the Stayer circus, racing behind the big motors as high speeds. In this final, Part Four of Tim's interview, he tells us about some of the secrets to securing race contracts in the European Six Days, his favourite memories of top level track racing, some of the characters he conspired with, deciding to retire and open a chain of bike shops in Silicon Valley, and his induction into the US Cycling Hall of Fame.

Zürich Four Day 2011 – Days Three & Four

It's 11:29 on Sunday, somewhere on an autobahn in Bavaria. The race finished at 02:30 but it was around 03:45 before we got away from the track. We parked up at 05:00 at a motorway services and rose at 10:15; we're en route Düsseldorf, which will take us the best part of the day. It's all part of the game.

Zürich Six Day 2012 – Part I

Germany, somewhere near the Taunus mountains at 09:22 Sunday. We left the Zürich Six Day at 03:00 and there are still 400 kilometres to go to the ferry at Amsterdam. It began to snow like Hell about an hour into Germany; there were roadworks, we were diverted off the motorway and there were either no diversion signs or they were snowbound. Whichever it was, we ended up hideously lost and dropped a chunk of time.

Berlin Six Day 2011 Finalè

The stadium we're in for the Berlin Six Day 2011 is spectacular, with a 142 metres span it boasts the largest steel roof in Europe; the crowd has to be seen to be believed, on the last night there were certainly more fans than there were seats; the noise is deafening-and for a fan it's just like you dreamed of.

Tom England – u16 French Champion in the Madison

For the first time in many a year VeloVeritas didn’t make it down to Grenoble for the Four Days on the battle scarred boards of the winter track where Post, Merckx, Sercu, Clark, Moser and Thevent have all lifted the laurels. How I miss Bar Clemenceau, Pizza Natalie and the wee bakers where the baker always give me extra croissants ‘for luck.’ ‘New Wave’ French strong men and World Madison Champions Morgan Kneisky and Vivien Brisse took the honours from tough Spaniards Muntaner & Torres with Iljo Keisse limbering up for Gent in third spot with countryman De Buyst.

At Random

Colin Clews – the Man Behind the Rutland CiCLE Classic

Apart from the Tours of Yorkshire and Britain we only have one UCI race in the UK, ‘The Rutland CiCLE Classic,’ an event which anticipated the current ‘gravel craze’ by a decade and more. We thought it would be interesting to talk to the man behind the race, Colin Clews.

Stevie Williams – Not Ready to Begin Racing with Bahrain-Merida

One of the big success stories of 2018 was that of 22 year-old Welshman, Stevie Williams who returned stellar u23 results and netted himself a World Tour contract with Bahrain-Merida alongside the likes of Grand Tour ‘triple crown’ and Primavera/Lombardia winner, Vincenzo Nibali and World Time Trial Champion, Rohan Dennis.

Tyler Storms the Scheldeprijs

"I didn't have good legs," said Tyler Farrar after his surprise victory in the Scheldeprijs today,"but my team did such a great job that I felt I had to give something back in the sprint."

Tom Copeland – An Introduction

Here at VeloVeritas, we encourage you to submit your race results and stories to us, and young Tom Copeland recently did just that.

World Road Championships 2006 – Day 6: Postscript

It's 3.45 pm CET. I've been doing the tourist thing today. Salzburg is beautiful no-doubt, but it's a tad de-caffeinated, a good place to come with your girl but lacking that real-life' edge of say a Gent or a Lisbon. It's hard to find a proper bar but this one seems OK, complete with busty barmaid. World Road Championships 2006.

Rest Day 2 Review – La Vuelta 2019

In our Rest Day 2 Review we take a look back at the Vuelta action since the first rest day, starting with Stage 10, the Individual TT.