Team Stages

Chris Bessler

Golden, Colorado

Primary Discipline(s) Road Cycling / Criterium, Mountain Biking, Gravel Cycling
Bucket List RaceLong term: Leadville, Cape Epic, Ironman
Post-Race DrinkWheat beer (tastes great AND is supposedly healthy)
Off-Day ActivityPlaying Guitar, XBOX, beach volleyball or hiking

Hey Team Stages!

my name is Chris, I just turned 29 and moved from Munich, Germany to Golden, CO.
I've played (European) Handball competitively on the national and state level for all my youth, but had to stopped due to injuries - shortly after, a friend challenged me to participate in the Salzkammergut Trophy (MTB marathon: 130mi, 23k+ ft climbing) without having any background in cycling (we used this to raise money for disadvantaged children: https://www.betterplace.org/de/fundraising-events/30738-no-mountain-is-too-high ).
I bought my first MTB 3 months before the race, spent every nearly every weekend and every day possible in the Alps and we ultimately finished the race in 15:58:15 (close call considering the 16h cutoff time). I pushed way past anything I thought possible and it was one of the hardest things I've done so far - but ever since, I can't stop training and thinking about the next big challenge.
I've since started structured training (using TrainerRoad), got a road bike, a smart trainer (and another MTB) and was able to raise my FTP from ~260 in November 2019 to 356 this June and although COVID-19 has thrown a lot of race plans into disarray, I'm already super excited for the 2021 season. On the other hand, as I'm working fully remotely (software engineering), I was able to move to Golden, CO to push my mountain biking to another level. After acclimating to the elevation, I dove back into training and especially enjoy training outside with power (thanks to my Stages PM), going up Lookout Mountain for intervals or all the way to Mt. Evans for the extended climbs.