18 June 2024

Anna Oberparleiter: Racing into the future with E-Bikes

Anna Oberparleiter, a 33-year-old Italian rider racing for the Cingolani Specialized Team, has made waves in the cycling world, transitioning from traditional biking to e-bikes with success. In a recent interview with WES, she shared insights into her journey, training routines, and experiences.

Early Beginnings and Evolution

Anna’s passion for cycling began at the age of 8. “I started racing very early, and I’m still here… I do my best!” she said. Her transition to e-bikes came somewhat serendipitously but quickly turned into a deep-seated love for the sport. “It was somehow by chance and then I liked it so much. Racing is great, and here in the paddock, there’s a friendly atmosphere, we all have fun.”

Training Dynamics: E-Bikes vs. Traditional Biking

When asked about the differences in training for traditional biking and e-bike racing, Oberparleiter highlighted the demands of each. “I recently participated in the UCI gravel race in Sardinia, which was not exactly the best training session to prepare for the E-MTB World Cup race! You have to know your e-bike very well, it’s a much different riding.”

Anna pointed out that while she maintains good physical condition, the e-bike requires dedicated practice. “To get to this, you should ride e-bikes a lot. It may look easy, but it is not: different techniques, different upper body training, different shape required.”

Challenges and Preferences

In discussing her technical preferences, she revealed a fondness for slower, smoother downhills, whereas steep and fast descents present a challenge. Her weekly training regimen involves 2 hours a day with one rest day.

Oberparleiter also noted the strategic aspects of e-bike racing, such as managing battery consumption. “It’s not only a matter of physical performance, as you have to stay focused all the time, plus it’s spinning, pushing, jumping… You need great physical conditions, mindset, and strategy in battery consumption. This can help women riders a bit, as we are lighter, so we get to the finish line a bit more easily.”

Gender Dynamics in E-Bike Racing

Addressing the question of whether e-bikes reduce the performance gap between Men and Women, she provided her view. “Yes and no. Men are stronger anyway. So, beyond 25 km/h, they normally are more powerful. Bikes are the same for both and they’re heavy.”

Anna emphasized that the training struggle remains similar for her, regardless of gender. Interestingly, she trains exclusively with men, which she finds beneficial and enjoyable. “I only train with men, with my normal job bosses, so it’s fun and I always learn something new from them, it’s cool.”

Achievements and Aspirations

Reflecting on her achievements, she recalled her first podium finish at WES Bologna in 2022 as her most satisfying moment in e-biking. Looking ahead, her goal for this season is clear: “Another podium finish, which is always harder, but I keep fighting!”