Five Minutes With... Seb Breuer
25 November, 2022
If Seb Breuer’s palmares reads like an aspiring racer’s dream, then that’s because it is. Not content with wins at both the German and European cross country marathon championships, Seb has spent the past two years turning his hand to gravel and bikepacking races. His win at the highly competitive Badlands in Spain’s Andalusia this year came off the back of a long-awaited race at the Transcontinental earlier this summer, which he unfortunately had to scratch but lined up in Granada one month later ready to storm to the win.
You could be forgiven for assuming Seb is a professional racer given his success across multiple disciplines on two wheels, however he capably juggles his racing, full time work and projects off the bike, one of which includes running his own coffee brand alongside his partner, named after their dog, Lena.
Seb’s racing pedigree combined with his meticulous attention to detail and good humour have dealt him a perfect hand for success in our sport. Intrigued? So were we, so we asked Seb a little more about how it’s all possible and what’s on the horizon for him.
1. You took to ultra racing with X years as an elite road racer and later mountain bike racer under your belt all whilst working full-time and setting up a coffee brand. It’s been said that you don’t do things in half measures! How does your approach to ultra racing and cycling in general compare to your attitude as a road racer and mountain biker?
First of all, thank you for these words, I'm very pleased. I really started cycling in 2005. But basically, the bicycle has played an important role since my early years. As a child it was always freedom, that's still the case today. I was never a professional bike rider, even though I tried. Back then, the mental attitude was a bit lacking.
The ultra races are a kind of adventure with a lot of room for freedom for me. You will never find that in a professional road or MTB team...
Image: Sebastian Samek. Seb at the startline of Badlands 2022.
2. The team around you is paramount to your success, could you give us some more insight into who the people are that make racing possible for you, and how this benefits your riding?
I have built up an environment that allows me to do what I love. First and foremost, of course, my wife Christina. She puts a lot of things on the back burner and gives me the mental support I sometimes need. She is also an important part of our coffee bean startup.
Then, of course, my mother. She bought me my first bike back then, even though there was hardly any money, and always drove me to where the races were. Without her, I certainly wouldn't be riding a bike today.
My coach Lukas, who makes sure I don't overdo it, or my videographer Basti, who has become a very important partner in Crime.
I'd also like to credit my friend Kay, he helped me a lot coming into the world of endurance and Bikepacking races. For example how to pack my bags, routing, sleeping and stopping. Without him a win at badlands wouldn't have been possible for me.
I could go on with the list for a long time, but my sponsors like Rose are also a very important supporter.
Image: Sebastian Samek.
3. The road to your win at Badlands this year certainly wasn’t smooth sailing! Following two postponements of the TCR and some bumps in the road along the way, how did you manage to stay motivated for Badlands with a month between TCR and Badlands?
Getting refocused after the Transcontinental wasn’t a big deal for me. Badlands was on my mind for 365 days after quitting in 2021 (due to a bee sting) and when I took the decision to do TCR and Badlands, I was aware that doing both is a big mental game. After scratching TCR, I took one week completely off with my wife in Italy, just sleeping and relaxing with good Italian food. I was so focused the whole year, that it wasn’t a big challenge to set my sights on Badlands. I just had to live with the hurt of scratching at TCR. That was easy because Badlands was a bit of a comeback regarding last year’s scratch and TCR.
Badlands was my ultimate goal that kept me motivated on cold days.
Image: Sebastian Samek. Seb on the startline of TCR in Geraardsbergen six weeks before the start of Badlands.
You can learn more about Seb's preparation and experience at Badlands 2022 in the video below.
4. What are you most looking forward to about Across Andes at the end of this month?
The people, cultures and for sure the landscape. But I already will put an eye to local food and a huge adventure.
5. You’ve announced that the Atlas Mountain Race next year will be your focus for 2023, given its similarities to Badlands and your upcoming race at Across Andes, could you tell us what your ambitions for AMR are?
AMR is one of the biggest and 2023 with a brutal lineup. I was dreaming of this since putting my intentions to this Bikepacking scene. Atlas is going to be the biggest challenge, biggest adventure and biggest thing for me in 2023. It’s always good to have a goal: if you want to be the best, you have to beat the best.