Radsprinters are considered daredevils. Pascal Ackermann, 25, is one of them. From Thursday to Sunday he drives on the Germany tour. At the Giro d'Italia he won two stages this year and the sprint classification - as the first German in this race.
ZEIT ONLINE: Mr. Ackermann, do you remember your last fall?
Pascal Ackermann: Yes, that was in May, on the eleventh stage of the Giro d'Italia.
ZEIT ONLINE: What went wrong?
Ackermann: Actually only skin, but enough of that.
ZEIT ONLINE: What do you think when you fall?
Ackermann: It's so fast, you do not have time to think about anything.
ZEIT ONLINE: Then on the ground?
Ackermann: Here you can see how to get to safety quickly. And then quickly away from the road!
ZEIT ONLINE: Is not it a little bit crazy to ride side by side on a bike with more than 70 kilometers per hour?
Ackermann: Risk is part of our job. Those who think too much are out of place. He has to play chess.
ZEIT ONLINE: Cycling is a dangerous sport. Is it necessary to free yourself mentally after falling?
Ackermann: Nah, you can not think about that. You have to forget that as soon as possible.
ZEIT ONLINE: But you can hide completely, right?
Ackermann: You really should not think about it. As soon as you think, you become unsure and then what happens.
ZEIT ONLINE: How does it feel to drive just before the finish in a sprinkling of sprinters?
Ackermann: I just look forward and do not even notice what's happening to my left and right. Then I decide spontaneously what I do. And of course you have to make sure that everything stays fair. You can not provoke anything and drive through gaps that do not exist.
ZEIT ONLINE: Are there different sprinter types?
Ackermann: Yes. Some prefer a long sprint, others a short sprint. You just can not always do the same thing. Otherwise you are predictable and have already lost the sprint. I drove a lot from the beginning last year, I've gotten rid of this season and wait a bit longer. And the season has shown that maybe that is not so bad.
ZEIT ONLINE: Do you have the feeling, when you have to step out of the slipstream and sprint?
Ackermann: My best leaves me my driver just before the finish, then I do not have to think so much. If someone comes back from behind, I might have to follow. But I have to decide that every time anew.