As Keke Dörnbach the Nürburgring and self-defeated

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Once-a-year racing cyclist torturing yourself over to the Nürburgring 24 hours. Hobby cyclists Keke Dörnbach explains how he has managed to victory.


Mathias Kube

Fabian Hoberg

Sunday, 04.11.2018
10:31 PM

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The Nürburgring is for most a place the tyres squeal and engines roar. With the racetrack in the Name of Stefan Bellof, the completed a lap on the Nordschleife in 1983 with a Porsche 956 race car in 6:11,13 minutes – a record for eternity. The 2018 driven time of 5:19,54 minutes is not enough because officially, as Timo Bernhard drove outside of a race event.

Keke Dörnbach don’t know the name of Bellof and Bernhard. And also with race cars and motorsports, the 33-Year-old. But the Nordschleife, the length of the route and the history fascinate him. “It is the most famous racetrack in the world, a myth,” says the dentist from Duisburg. Reason enough to experience it. At The 24-Hour Race. On the road bike. Alone.

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24-Hour, 700-Kilometre:
On two wheels on the Nurburgring

It is a maximum exertion: A round is 26,1 kilometers long, including 580 meters of altitude, and gradients of up to 17 percent. At the fastest point of the road cyclists have about 100 km/h on the speedometer. Behind it slopes and curves, curves, curves.

For regular cyclists it’s brutal. For Keke Dörnbach, it is the ideal challenge. This year, he won the long distance race on the Ring as one of the 605 solo drivers. Most of the approximately 4500 participants in the 24-hour race started in Teams. Now, in the autumn of the driver to sign up for the race in the coming summer.

Dörnbach quickly realized that long distances are

Dörnbach joined at the age of 13, first as a road cyclist in the pedals, trained as a competitive athlete in his home town of Wuppertal. However, after the youth class, he stopped. “Cycling has given me, although always fun, but for the professional it was not enough. So I had to find a solid professional,” says Dörnbach. He opted for a degree in dentistry in Bonn. Even today, the combination of nature, science and craft like him.

But without the Sport he held out his studies. After a four year break, he joined Bonn again in a Cycling club. Dörnbach quickly realized that, for him, long distances. In 2010, he signed three teammates for a four-season for the 24 hours of Nürburgring. The boys alternated every round – and won. However, the Student wanted more. “The track I liked, so that we have signed in 2014 for two people,” says Dörnbach. This race went well.

No Cycling computer, no training plans

His ambition was awakened, it is alone a try. In 2017, he drove the race Solo, just to get a feel for the hardships. He put no breaks, but in the night, he was at the end, had to rest for an hour. “I’m well trained, but such a long distance requires a special Training,” he says.

At the beginning of the year, he began intense Training, relatively three times a week long distances. Two months before the race, he increased the Training, to go between 3.5 and 7.5 hours per Tour, up to 180 kilometers. The doctors took three pounds, trained with the mountain bike, and optimized its fat metabolism. Dörnbach rides without a Cycling computer, or training plans, relying on his sense of the body. “At the end of the head will decide,” he says.

Ideal conditions on the track

Be serial carbon fiber road bike, he optimized. Extra short translated passages should help him with the slope of the track the carousel section to the High Eight – the highest section of the route, a bright lamp at night, the track lighting. Be age Destinations, Matthias Kube was willing to support organizationally and mentally. “I’m going alone but a person of trust, who can knows a well and to assess, in a race like this is absolutely necessary,” says Dörnbach.

The conditions at the end of July were ideal. Only at the beginning, it rained briefly, but remained warm and pleasant. Dörnbach from winding round and round. Only to Remove his lamp, he stopped, took a porridge, and after 15 minutes he sat back in the saddle. “Of course I have a pain on such a Tour,” he says. “But the challenge is a mental strength that the spirit triumphs over the pain.” Hold on, hold on, that’s his Mantra. “I think for me, the others are also at the end, which is even better. Also, friends with a fever, I can’t disappoint,” he says.

“I was surprised that I didn’t mined”

Dörnbach drove constant, almost every round with the same pace. Especially in the fast passages as in Breitscheid his concentration left him. In the climbs, he saw that he was well on the road and not alone suffered. “I was surprised that I have not broken down,” he says. A little less than an hour he needed for a round, drove with an average speed of 26 km/h on the Nordschleife. After 24 hours he had put in 27 laps and was placed in a round before the second. “Even if it was so exhausting, you have to look forward to each round, because you train only against themselves,” he says.

He was looking for his limits, found and moved it. A satisfaction that fills him with Pride, even if he felt, after almost a month of physically and mentally very tired. Next year, at the end of July he wants to start in the Ring, he knows that he dominates the track. But there is still an Alpine race, which interested him. One with many mountain passes, many meters in height and maximum agony.

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