The days are getting longer and Sebastian Kienle is just months away from his retirement from elite competition. This last season is his own special farewell to a sport that has been so prominent in his life. He has chosen every race and built his last tour as a professional.
After having won the Zarautz Triathlon and spending a few days with us, Kienle travels to Challenge Roth where, on June 25th, he will compete in the race that has given him some of his best memories of this sport. Challenge Roth was his first long-distance race. He remembers that leading in that race gave him the confidence he needed to believe he could win the most important event of all. And so it happened, Kienle won World Champion in Kona in 2014.
In many respects, this season isn't that different from others. Kienle did not come unprepared; on the contrary, he says he wants to enjoy this race, but not without giving it his all. He's not taking it too seriously, but at the same time he is doing what he has always done, with the same professionalism and attention to detail. He shares about this way of retiring as a whole transitional process, rather than just putting on the brakes.
“It's not easy to find that balance of going all in for one last time and enjoying it. I raced a lot more and the preparation felt kind of easy training wise, but the traveling definitely takes a toll… Mentally, I’m definitely more relaxed than in previous years and I think this is a good place to start.”
In August, the Norseman 2023, will give us one last chance to see Sebastian as a professional, although he jokes that if Roth had been in December, it would have been perfect.
We asked the obvious, whether he feels excited to retire.
“Yes, of course I do. I’m doing triathlon for more than 30 years now. Soon it will be over, but I also think it is a privilege to end my career this way and not be forced to by an injury or just very poor performances…”