Q&A with Sven Thiele, Hot Cillee

Tuesday, April 17th, 2012 7:46am
Category: News

In this week's feature we speak to HotChillee founder Sven Thiele, the man behind the prestigious Alpine Challenge, Cape Rouleur and London to Paris road cycle rides. Click here for more info on HotChillee's events

Where do your main cycling passions lie – on the road, mountain biking, as a triathlete or somewhere else?
Sven: I'm a roadie and a mountain biker.

When did you decide to be a cycling event organiser?
Sven: Ten years ago. I was working in the city and spent much of my spare time on the bike. I realised there weren't very many multi-stage events with rolling road closures, motorbike outriders, support vehicles and a support crew. My dream was to create a challenging, professional cycling experience that takes riders as close as it gets to The Tour de France experience and so the initial steps to what became HotChillee was born; my passion and dream became my business

How many years have you been doing what you are doing?
Sven: HotChillee came from humble beginnings, when in 2004 I got a small group of riders together to cycle The London-Paris. In 2008, the events began to grow massively and HotChillee as a management company was born to take on the staged formula all our events are based on today.

Your favourite memory from an event you have organised?
Sven: My favourite memory has to be from the 2007 London-Paris when we first got rolling road closures into Paris (Versailles). We were escorted by the then French President's motorbike escort and security crew.

Uphill or downhill? Which gives you the best sense of achievement and why?
Sven: I prefer downhill, but the biggest sense of achievement comes on the uphill, particularly when cycling in the French Alps.

Where would be your dream location to stage an event?
Sven: My dream location is Annecy in France, Cape Town in South Africa and of course London-Paris. As this business started as my dream, we now have them all covered. It's taken ten years to get here, but it's been a great journey.

Give us three words that sum up your event.
Sven: Professional, challenging and fun.

Name one cyclist who inspires you and explain why ?
Sven: It has to be Stephen Roche. His mental and physical strength is astounding. That combined with his ability to recover so quickly and his on-the-bike strategy.

One piece of advice to a person who wants to organise a biking event
Sven: It's a lot harder than you think.

Do you have a philosophy?
Sven: A world without limits.

If you were allowed only one piece of music at the finish of your ride what would it be?
Sven: It has to be Chariots of Fire. It conjures up a lot of emotion and always resonates and motivates people.

Name somebody past or present that you would like to go for a ride with?
Sven: Nelson Mandela: He is a symbol and icon of the principles modern society has lost.

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What's your number one riding tip?
Sven: Have fun, be fit and have no fat.

And now for the killer question…your favourite cake?
Sven: Millionaires' shortbread.

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