By Vic Armijo
June 16, 2013
As a youngster Christoph Strasser was a huge admirer of legendary Austrian UltraCyclist Wolfgang Fasching, a 3-time RAAM winner who was born and raised not far from Strasser's home. As Strasser explained in an interview earlier this year, "It was 2002, I saw video reports on Austrian television about Wolfgang Fasching's RAAM and thought 'Hey man, that's cool, that's crazy, I want to try it!' So the same year I tried a 24 hour race. That was the beginning of my cycling. I was very bad! I had no plan of how to do it. But I was just trying it but it was interesting and was good fun."
Fortunately for Strasser's UltraCycling career he developed a close friendship with Fasching. Karl Schlederer, the Austrian official assigned to the lead of the RAAM solos has long known both Fasching and Strasser. He related, "It was after Wolfgang last RAAM race. They were riding many days together and training in Austria. He gave Christoph a lot of advice. He gave him equipment he told him exactly how to pace in RAAM—which is really the most important thing. And Christoph followed his advice. I was with him in 2011 and there was actually a time when his crew called Wolfgang from the course—from the Mississippi River—asking him for advice and Wolfgang told him everything he needed to know.
These days Fasching is a mountainer and motivational speaker with several books to his credit, including "Du schaffst was du willst" (Do what you want). His main credos are of positive thinking, dedication and focus. Ideals that RAAM solo leader Christoph Strasser has obviously embraced fully.
LEADING BY EXAMPLE
3-Time RAAM winner Wolfgang Fasching is Christoph Strasser's inspiration and something of mentor.