Brittany, characterized by wind and rain, a rather uncomfortable area for cycling. But this does not stop the Bretons. When you're already wearing a thick rain jacket and looking for shelter as a vacationer, the hardened Bretons are still happily riding around in shorts. Perhaps it is these uncomfortable conditions that are the reason why many successful cyclists come from the region. You don't become a wimp here.
Julian Lino grew up in a small town in this area. He says about himself that as a teenager he had a surplus of energy, not knowing where to put all his urge to move. When he started cycling at 14, he had found an outlet for it. Still, he didn't put his full focus on cycling; until he was 22, his studies took center stage. He did, however, discover his passion for time trials, where he has taken 11 victories in elite French races to date.
"At 22 I joined a DN1 team (1st French National League), this year I finished 4th in the French Amateur Time Trial Championships, 7 seconds behind 2nd place, now I want to see how far I can go. Joining BIKE AID is a real challenge for me which gives me a lot of motivation, I can't wait to race with these guys", said Julian Lino.
Now the Tour de France had its start this year in Brittany, the route ran almost past Julian's front door. Matthias Schnapka is currently on location again for ARD. In the coming weeks, Team BIKE AID will be competing in several races in the northwest of France, the GP Pérenchies near Roubaix, the Polynormande in Normandy and, above all, the legendary Kreiz-Breizh stage race in the heart of Brittany.
In the end, it seems as if this was no coincidence. "We were not specifically looking for a rider from France, but we already had the invitation to the races. However, we want to look at options for the coming season early on. We want to develop our team further and change a few positions if necessary. I was on my way to the Tour in Brittany when I got in touch with Julian. When he told me where he lived, I had to laugh, as I had just driven a few kilometers past his place," says Matthias Schnapka.
So it was a perfect fit, it was easy to get to know each other and above all Julian with his local knowledge is a real reinforcement for the stage race Kreiz-Breizh. "The next three races in France offer a good opportunity to test Julian in view of the next season. We would be very happy to strengthen our team with a French rider. France offers great races and anyway, as Saarlanders we are half-French," says Timo Schäfer.