After securing a second title of Swiss champion in 2022, Konny Looser needed a new source of motivation for 2023. His selection to race the “Lifetime Grand Prix Series”, a highly prestigious series of races in the US was exactly what he was looking for. As a consequence, we won’t see often the Swiss jerey on the starting line of a race in Switzerland this year. The Raid Evolénard will be one of the few stops Looser will make in his home contry.
Last year you managed to secure a second Swiss champion title. For someone who is engaged in so many races around the world, and spend so much time outside Switzerland, how important was it to win the Swiss jersey.
For me, winning the Swiss champs was always the major goal of the last year because I knew I can win it on the BergiBike route if I am in top form. At the race day, I was so convinced that I am going to win it, that it was almost no surprise and I only realized on how much it meant to me afterwards. Also the way I won it was special because it was a super close sprint but I never gave up until the final cm! The level in the marathon sport in Switzerland has increased every year and wearing the jersey around the world is very special. Wearing the national champion jersey has worldwide the same honor and everyone knows that one has achieved something big. There were races where I had to fight harder but the reward was much less. Also many organizer are happy to invite the national champion which is an extra benefit.
In 2022 you had again an extremely busy season, racing during 11 out of 12 months all over the world. What were the best moments of this year and what is your overall assessment?
The season has started with a huge disappointment as I have missed the first big goal (Cape Epic) due to Covid. But after that, I could fight my way back and the first big highlight was winning the Titan Desert in Marocco for the second time. This was very special and afterwards there was the next big highlight with the Swiss title but also my 5th victory in a row at the Salzkammergut Trophy. I could also round it off with another big win at Wines2Whales in South Africa so the overall assessment was very good. But there were also some disappointments like Swiss Epic and World Champs where I know I could and also should have done better.
This year you will be riding mostly in the US to take part to the «Lifetime Grand Prix Serie». Can you tell us more about this race and what it means for you?
The Lifetime Grand Prix Series is a new series and there are 7 major races involved around the USA. It’s a mix of gravel and mtb marathon races and there were only 35 men and 35 women worldwide allowed to race for the series titel. So it is very special and a big honor that I got selected and I am super excited to have received this opportunity! There are also the two biggest and well-known races in the USA (Unbound gravel & Leadville Trail100) involved, two races I wanted to compete already for a long time!
This also means that you won’t be able to race a lot in your home country and the Raid Evolénard will be one of the few races you will do in Switzerland. What do you like about the race and what convinced you to come?
Yes indeed, this year I won’t race often in Switzerland, but you know I have done most of the races many times and I am looking for some new challenges to keep the motivation high. The Raid Evolénard fits very good in my racing calendar this year so although I struggled with the race in the past, I would like to give it another try!
Das Raid Evolenard will again be the host of the Swiss Championships next year. Winning a third title will be one of your goals in 2024?
I don’t look so far ahead anymore as I have already a long career behind me and there are many uncertain points regarding my future. I will fully focus on this years season and after that, I will look ahead. But to do the race this year will be a benefit for next year, although I will miss the Swiss Champs this year in Grindelwald.
You just switched from Stoll to Rose. Can you tell us more about how this opportunity came and what do you think about this brand after riding on it for a few weeks?
I have been racing as a private rider in the last two years now and it was a great partnership with Stoll bikes. But for the future and also the gravel races in the USA, I needed some different support and with Rose bikes, I could find the perfect match for my projects and also my philosophy. The first contact came in Namibia as they have made their pictures for the new website in one of my favorite areas. I have been riding the bike now for a few weeks and I am super happy about it!