In collaboration with Peloton Magazine, we spoke with Marlen Reusser, six-time Swiss champion, runner-up in the time trial in Imola last year, and the current national time trial and road champion. The Alé BTC Ljubljana rider, who has also trained as a medical doctor, is hoping to be in the running for a medal at the Tokyo Olympics. Get to know her a little better in our latest Q&A.
Where are you from?
Hindelbank, a village close to Bern in Switzerland.
Where do you live now?
In the same place where my family still is, and where I grew up (farmers house!)
How did you get started in cycling?
That’s a long story. In high school, I discovered sports, and since then I have always done sport on some sort of amateur level. After a few years, I joined a local cycling club and realised that I loved training with this group. They also motivated me to compete, and so I started my first cycling races 2017. After one gold and one silver medal at the Swiss Championships in the same year, the national federation then started to work with me.
At what point did you realise that cycling was more than a hobby?
When I made huge progress after starting to work with a coach 2017 and receive the opportunity to race the European and World Championships with Swiss Cycling. At that time, I was finishing my medical studies and started working in a surgical internship, which was very hard to do in addition to my ambitious training schedule.
What’s your most cherished memory in your sporting career to date?
My individual time trial Vice-World Champion title at Imola 2020.
What are your goals for the Olympics?
To perform at my absolute maximum. And I’m hoping that this will be enough to take an Olympic medal.
What will your training look like as the Games approach?
We will specifically focus on adapting to the heat, which will be an important factor over there.
Which athletes inspire you?
Those who have the ability to perform at their absolute physical limit. I see Swiss triathlete Daniela Ryf or my friend Elise Chabbey as these types of athletes.
What keeps you motivated during difficult times?
The perspective of good times being ahead.
Advice for younger riders striving for the Olympics?
Strive for the Olympics if you feel that you have it in you, not just because you think this event is cool, so to speak.
If you weren’t a pro rider, what would you be doing now?
I’d probably be working as medical doctor in a hospital.
Favourite coffee ride snack?
Nussgipfel, Appenzeller Biberli und Laugengipfel. Very Swiss, but you can Google it to see what I mean!
Favourite coffee ride stop?
It’s not the place that makes it, but the company enjoyed there.
What’s your spirit animal and why?
Hmm, I actually have no idea.
One thing you can’t live without on the road?
Definitely something to drink – hydration is key!