Farewell of a great artistic cycling enthusiast

If he definitely closes the book “Active time as an indoor cyclist” on December 31, 2023 with one crying eye, he is happy with the other, laughing eye from January 1, 2024 to plan and spend the freed appointments with his wife Esthi.

We are talking about Günter Altwegg, who mastered his last World Championship assignment for the UCI with flying colors at the World Championships in Glasgow. When such a career comes to an end, it is worth questioning what this person has achieved in and for the sport of artistic cycling?

At the age of 17 Günter Altwegg was active in the unicycle team 4, head tube team 4 and later in the artistic cycling team 4 men in the ATB Binningen (Switzerland). Together with his teammates Andreas Burger, Jörg Burger and Thomas Cadruvi he brought many times the swiss champion title in the 4-man artistic cycling to Binningen. The men’s four-man team from Binningen participated several times with the Swiss national team in national competitions, in the national cup in team cycling and in the legendary Schwaneweder Jux Cup. Together they managed the organization of the International Binninger Cup – even today it is unclear whether the athletes like Harry Bodmer, Iris Kurz, VfH Worms, Erlenbach etc. traveled to Binningen because of the sport or because of the Bunker Fest with Binninger whirl.

Günter Altwegg’s active artistic cycling career lasted until 1990. Already in the 80’s he was active as a judge on a national level. Internationally, Günti, as his friends call him, was active as a commissioner from 1990 to 2023. He experienced his first European Championship in Steckborn, Switzerland, in 1992. His first assignment as a commissioner at a World Championship was in Epinal, France, in 1995. The number of his assignments at World Championships and Junior European Championships he can not balance precisely. For sure there were fifteen European and ten World Championships, four of them as Technical Delegate of the UCI. In addition, there were numerous national competitions and World Cups in Europe and Asia.

“Joint training camps with the VfH Worms and with the girls from Frankfurt Höchst. Trip to Malaysia and especially the trip to Australia with Hans Born, together with athletes from Germany, Czech Republic and joint show performances of the 4er Binningen and 6er supplemented with riders from RMSV Aach on the beach of Sidney. Commissary training in Hong Kong and Macao, on behalf of the UCI and ICWW and of course commissary training in Switzerland. 2001 World Championships in Kaseda (JPN) where I was delegation leader of the Swiss team and had the honor to perform the award ceremony of the “Grand Prix of the sponsoring association in the 4-man women”. …there would be sooooooo many memories…”

Günti answers the question about the most beautiful moments, memories and experiences

He has no negative memories. Perhaps the most difficult moment was the release of the results as chief commissioner at the 2013 World Championships in Basel in the 4-man, when Germany won the world championship title by a razor-thin margin over Switzerland 😉 .

Asked about the development of artistic cycling, Günter Altwegg states: “With concern I follow the development of the decrease in the number of starters in the 2-man open. It is also a pity that there are too few nations participating in the World Championships in the 4-man. I have hope that the efforts for new nations in indoor cycling will continue to bear fruit thanks to the commitment of ICWW. Be it in artistic cycling or in cycle ball.”

“My over 50 years of indoor cycling history as an athlete, official and commissioner was at no time a burden for me. Great, dedicated people I could get to know and appreciate, who give everything for indoor cycling as an athlete and official day out day in. They have carried me. Friendships have developed that will remain unforgotten. But a big thank you goes to my dear wife Esthi, who has kept my back all these years and motivated me and without whom I could never enjoy my hobby to this extent. MANY THANKS.”

Günti summed up our conversation

Before he closes the scoring computer, Günter Altwegg will score for the very last time at the World Cup Final in Ghent. After that, he and his wife will continue to travel, eat well and enjoy indoor cycling events “from the other side” every now and then.

Stefan Born

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