Our Swiss Miss, Patricia Schwager, has not been racing this year. Here's why and an update on her status.
A lot of people are asking when I would be back racing- this blog is an update and confirms that I won’t return to professional racing.
Since fall 2013, I am dealing with an ongoing muscle/ nerve injury in my right quad. A surgery in November 2015 improved things but I am still not back at 100%. Some people might think I made this decision too early and that I should give it more time or another try. But the fact that I raced so many years on such a high level means also that my body is simply worn out. It is no option for me to keep racing while knowing, that I’m not 100% and unable to reach my former level again.
My bike racing career started 1998 as a junior. I went on and raced professional for 10 years. I raced for some of the best and biggest teams like: Raleigh-Lifeforce, Cervélo TestTeam, Nederland Bloeit, Faren-Kuota, TIBCO-Silicon Valley Bank. I represented my home country Switzerland many times at various World Championships in the Time Trial and Road Race.
I went through good, successful times and hard times. Everything I achieved is because of the hard work I put in and I am proud of that. I won 6 National Championships plus I achieved a lot of other decent results. Many times I was in the role as super domestique and I think I can say that I always was a great team mate.
Being a pro athlete for so many years taught me a lot. I will take many great and unique memories with me. I met a lot of people, some had less and some had a lot of influence on my career and some of them became good friends.
There are a lot of people I have to thank for their support: my family, friends, coaches, teams, national team, team mates etc. I can’t list them all here but the people that belong to this list certainly know it J
THANK YOU! Without your help I couldn’t have done it!
What’s next for me? I am working for Team TIBCO-Silicon Valley Bank. Although my role is different now; instead of racing I am the logistics coordinator for the team.
Next to that I am also working as cycling coach for ALP Cycles Coaching- helping other riders to become better& stronger athletes. I really like both of my jobs and I am very grateful for these 2 opportunities; it is a good way to give back and to bring in my experience. I also still have my pastry chef diploma in my pocket, which could be another option for the future.
Being retired is a big change. The new life situation offers me the freedom to enjoy other sports like climbing, hiking, running, riding MTB or Fat bikes, the list goes on! Of course I will keep riding my road bike- it is my big passion!
Being active and competitive is part of my personality. I’m fine to go an easy pace while riding for fun or with friends but I still like to put the hammer down when I ride alone or with fast company.
What am I missing about pro racing?
-My team mates! There is no better feeling than winning a bike race because of great teamwork!
-The feeling of being super (race) fit.
-The feeling of going very fast& smooth on a TT-bike
-Descending super fast in a race
What am I not missing about pro racing?
-the pressure to perform
-difficulty to do fun activities with friends while sticking to a hard training plan
Would I choose the same way again?
Yes- definitely! Being a pro athlete is a privilege and a very hard job at the same time. But it is a great school of life! I went to places you would never go to just by traveling around. I met a lot of people around the world. I learned languages. It taught me: to work hard to achieve a goal, to never ever give up and that there is always a way to solve a problem. It made me tough; somehow I can take more/ handle stress better no matter what I do. I learned that sometimes you have to go your own way but that teamwork is key in a sport that is actually a team sport.