Short Portrait | Ralph Berner
Ralph Berner has been active in road cycling for over three decades. In 1996, he participated in the Olympics in Atlanta. In addition, he won more than 20 MTB marathon events, won in 24-hour races in teams of four, repeatedly finished world championships as the runner-up, and clinched German championship titles. Ralph is the founder and a member of the Storck MTB Team, currently riding a Storck Rebel Nine.
Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
After 35 years in road bike racing, I still enjoy going to my performance limits. In all those years, I've set realistics goals and achieved many of them. By the same token, I've allowed myself enough breaks. I listen to what my body tells me while I'm training. If you no longer enjoy it, training won't do you any good. I've been active in MTB since 1991 and personally know Markus Storck. I constantly followed his work and the development of Bike-Tech, Klein, American Eagle, and Storck. Storck has been supporting me and my team since 2010, and I'd like to say 'thank you' for this!
What fascinates you about your STORCK equipment?
With my Storck Bike I'm always up to speed. The bikes are light and extremely stiff! You ride an exquisite bike and it gives me assurance of having very high-grade and extensively tested material under my butt ;-)
What are your major sporting aims for the future?
After participating in the Olympics in 1996 (10th place), two second places in the World Championship, and eight German championship titles, I've got no more sporting aims. My aims are now more geared to my health and fitness. I'm hoping to be able to continue being active in cycling for a lot longer – and preferably with Storck. ;-)
What has been your greatest moment in sports so far?
The 1996 Olympics in Atlanta! But also my 2nd place in the World Cup in Australia or 3rd place in the World Cup in Italy.
What was your worst moment in sports?
When I fell at the 2006 Trans Germany. I broke a vertebra and a disc, and also suffered bruises of the cervical spine. The disc was removed and stiffened with a bone from the iliac crest.
Your favorite competition, and why?
My favorite race...I've got fondest memories of the 1994 World Cup race on the Italian island of Elba – an ideal course for a good uphill rider and moderate downhiller. Here I was able to clinch third place behind Ned Overend and John Tomac! Sharing the podium with the two most successful and popular bikers!
Your toughest competition, and why?
Mountainbike Transalp, 8 stages, 650 km, 20,000 meters of cumulative elevation gain. Twice I managed to finish in second place with my team partner Mr. African Manny Heymans.
Your biking tip for hobby athletes?
Set yourself realistic goals! Goals don't have to be for victories right away. ;-) Obviously, you need rewards, too.