In cycling, the small town of Lüdinghausen between Dortmund and Münster is probably known by just as few people as the name Sebastian Niehues, who lives there. Sebastian recently discovered his passion for cycling. "It happened rather by accident. I injured myself while running and then sat down at the end of 2019 on an old road bike of my father, who rides regularly. On the bike, I had no pain or complaints and the joy of riding quickly took hold of me," Sebastien said.
In 2020, he cheekily lined up at the start of his first race and finished 10th among the amateurs. Few succeed in doing this, somehow it means that someone has talent. But is it enough to earn a spot on a pro team right away?
Sebastian's story continues. In a nutshell, it goes like this: He starts in three more races, the results are two victories and a second place. Oho, now it's getting exciting. Then the year 2020 is over and thanks to Covid, there were no more possibilities to race.
In 2021, Sebastian lines up at the start of the NRW State Championships in the time trial: Third place. However, Sebastian is not sitting on one of those super aero time trial machines that look like futuristic space rockets. He rides a normal road bike and leads the competition. That he also participates in the German time trial championship like this is almost a provocation. With a 15th place he leaves behind numerous competitors.
This even makes the BDR sit up and take notice. Without further ado, Sebastian races in the Münsterland Giro at the end of 2021, his first professional race on a trial basis in the jersey of the German national team. A cycling career on the fast track, so to speak.
"We want an internationally competitive team. And yet we don't award the places solely on the basis of the greatest CV. With a good 600 applications each year, there is everything. From beginners to World Tour riders and Grand Tour stage winners without a contract. Sebastian may be an atypical signing, but his motivation has convinced us and perhaps we can look forward to one or two surprises with him," says Matthias Schnapka.
Timo Schäfer adds: "We have analyzed his power data in detail and are absolutely convinced of his potential. It's much more fun to bring a new face forward who grows together with the team. Together with Jasper Pahlke and Enzo Decker, we are also expanding the circle of promising young German riders in our team".
Sebastian Niehues kicks off the 2022 season this Thursday together with his team at the Tour of Antalya, where he will face a high-quality and international field of riders.
As Sebastian says: "I'm really looking forward to the race in Antalya! It was nice to meet some of the riders the day before we set off. I'm excited to see how it will be to ride with them for the first time and then to race from Thursday onwards. Of course I have to get used to it first. But I'm sure I'll be able to learn a lot from this team!"