For Claudio Imhof, the velodrome in Grenchen, is a second home. A house that holds great memories, but also terrible ones, the most recently a terrible crash during aero testing in 2022. However, Imhof, who’s had his fair share of bad luck in his career, has always fought back, to the world’s highest levels of track cycling, and continues to do so in the season ahead.__
Imhof's unexpected victory in the Track Champion’s League on BMC bikes last year took everyone, including himself, by surprise. In March 2022, the Swiss track cyclist suffered a severe crash during aero testing at his home track, the Tissot Velodrome next to the BMC headquarters. This led to hospitalization and a lengthy recovery period, with no guarantees of returning to professional cycling or cycling in general.
His home velodrome also holds great memories, including multiple medals at the European Championships held in Grenchen. “My best memory from racing in the velodrome in Grenchen is the battle with multiple world champion Benjamin Thomas for the battle of bronze in the individual pursuit in 2021, when I was able to bridge a gap of over one second in the last kilometer with the incredible support of the fans on the stands.”
Despite numerous moments of doubt, Imhof's determination kept him going. During the World Championships and subsequent Track Champion’s League, he started feeling like the 'old Claudio Imhof' once more, climbing the ranks in the League and ultimately claiming the title.
In 2023, the BMC athlete aspires to secure back-to-back victories in the Track Champion’s League, beginning in Mallorca on October 21st. Imhof will be competing on BMC’s Trackmachine. Imhof: "Competing on the BMC Trackmachine will give me an advantage. In the cycling world, everyone knows the quality of BMC bikes, engineered to create speed."
However, also 2023 hasn't been a smooth season for Imhof. A crash during a road race, the Tour d'Eure et Loir in France, resulted in a thumb fracture for the track cyclist. In the subsequent weeks, he had to let go of his ambitions to break his own Swiss hour record at his home velodrome in Grenchen.
Despite the multiple setbacks in his career, Imhof has persevered through challenging recoveries and is now fully prepared for his mission to defend his title.
"I have always been an instinctive cyclist. I thrive in races that are tough from the start, and my focus is primarily on my own race rather than the competitors' positions in the peloton or the general classification. I believe these are my strengths, and I feel well-prepared for the upcoming Champion’s League."