Peloton Watch
  Emma Hinze claims German, European and World Championship sprint success in 2015  
  November 9th 2015  
  Photo: Kazakhstan Cycling Federation/UCI Junior World Championships 2015
  Emma Hinze emerged as one of the top up and coming talents in track sprinting in 2015. Following the team sprint junior world title in 2014, Hinze headed in to her final year as a junior with the goal of defending her title as well as claiming gold in every sprint event at the German and European Championships.

18-year-old Hinze ticked off her first target by claiming the sprint, keirin, 500m time trial and team sprint crowns at the German National Championships in June.

Again on dominant form Hinze, made it another clean sweep collecting gold medals in all sprint disciplines at the European Junior Track Championships in Athens in July.

With the first two boxes ticked Hinze headed in to the UCI Junior Track World Championships in August, in Astana as one of the two big names to watch in the sprint events. A successful defence of her team sprint title on the opening day, as she teamed up with Pauline Grabosch breaking the world record twice both in qualifying and the final.

As she turned her attention to the individual events the success continued. Silver in the 500m time trial before gold in the sprint, edging defending champion Courtney Field in the final. Claiming keirin gold on the final day allowed the young German to return home with three gold and one silver medal.

With eleven gold from twelve possible at major championships in 2015 Hinze has confirmed her status of one of the sports rising stars. Making the feat even more impressive is the fact she only started riding on the track two years ago.

Hinze now turns her attention to the elite ranks with working hard and continuing to improve her main goals for the year ahead.

PelotonWatch: How did you first start cycling and how old were you?

Emma Hinze: I started cycling about ten years ago at the age of eight. At the time my parents were into cycling and we went to go watch a road race and it really interested me so I decided to try it out and it turned out I really enjoyed it. I started off with road cycling and did that until November 2013, when I decided to try out track cycling at the German Championships and a trainer from the Olympic Training Centre in Kaiserslautern asked me if I wanted to start training there because he saw potential in me.

PW: 2015 was your second year as an under 19. After a successful 2014 including the team sprint world title what were your goals for the year?

EH: I really wanted to be team sprint world champ again but with my new partner Pauline Grabosch and get a medal in all the other disciplines I took part in. But first I needed to reach all my smaller goals including winning everything at the German and European Championships.

PW: Ahead of Worlds you had been dominant all year. Did it allow you to come in feeling confident or did it add pressure?

EH: After racing well all year I didn't really feel any pressure going into the Worlds. I just wanted to go there, have fun and try my best like at all the previous events and I happened to come back with a few good results. I went into worlds confident but didn't let the pressure get to me.

PW: Defended your team sprint title on the opening day of competition. How did it feel to defend your title and did setting a new World Record in the process make it even more special?

EH: That's one title I really wanted and after the qualification where we had already broken the world record I was really confident about winning the final. 40 minutes later we then had to race against the New Zealanders and we actually set a second world record (33.899sec), which made the win even better. We were the first junior women faster than 34sec and as I read the billboard I couldn't believe it! It gave me the same feeling as the year before which was also unbelievable.

PW: The sprint came down to the eagerly awaited race for gold between you and defending champion Courtney Field. How were you feeling ahead of the final knowing you were racing the defending champion?

EH: I won the qualification and already in my 1/4 final I had to race against the girl who set the second fastest time so after beating her I felt quite confident but I didn't want to get ahead of myself, knowing Courtney is still very fast so I just tried to stay calm and not get too nervous. Standing at the start I just thought about my performance this year and knew I could do it.

PW: Took good in two heats. How did the two races play out for you?

EH: The first race I won coming from the back and the second I started first so I had to pay a lot of attention to what she was doing to stay in front which worked out for me very good. She was coming closer but wasn't able to pass.

PW: What does it mean to be the Junior World Sprint Champion?

EH: It means a lot to me but I can't really describe what I feel. It was an unbelievable feeling receiving a second rainbow jersey this year.

PW: Added a third gold in the keirin on the final day of competition how did the final go for you?

EH: That morning I started noticing the strain my body had taken from the four days leading up to this one. In the beginning I really just wanted to make the final and then being in the final I wasn't nervous because I didn't have anything to lose. As soon as the derny left the track I went from fourth to first. The other girls came really close and tried to pass me but I managed to hold on to my lead. When I crossed the line and looked up the results but didn't see anything yet and when I passed my coach he shouted to me that I won and I couldn't believe it because I didn't quite have the same motivation as on the other days but it still felt unbelievably special.

PW: Finished your time as a junior with four world titles. Two in the team sprint and one in the keirin and sprint. What do they mean to you?

EH: I couldn't ask for anything more and I still haven't quite realized it yet because I only had my first serious track season in 2014 and to achieve something like that after such a short time just motivates me more for my upcoming career as an elite. I've also received a lot of attention now and it's also very nice that my achievements are being recognized and just shows me that my hard work has payed off.

PW: 2015 has been an incredible year with four German titles, four European and three World titles. Looking back has it sunk in what a successful year it has been? What does the success mean to you?

EH: It has sunk in a bit but I don't really think about it everyday but try to concentrate on the upcoming year and work hard towards that. Yet it is still unbelievable and I'm proud to know that I can achieve something this big and this allows me to set new goals but I still don't want to get ahead of myself and just take every race as it comes. I'm also really thankful with all the people who have been supporting me because without them I wouldn't have been able to do nearly near as well as this.

PW: Is there a result or moment that stands out as the most important?

EH: Definitely my win in sprint was amazing but also setting the world record in team sprint was a great feeling.

PW: Step up to the senior level now. What are your goals for 2016 and beyond?

EH: First of all no one can take my previous achievements away from me. I know that it's definitely not easy as an elite but I'm working hard towards my first year and I'm just going to go do my best, try to have fun and gain further experience.
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