Rudi Sauer arrived in Windischgarsten right on time for the beginning of the TSG Hoffenheim training camp. He had started out from Dielheim on Thursday the previous week, the 62-year-old requiring three and a half days for the journey from Kraichgau to the superb holiday region of Pyhrn-Priel. "Rudi has come by bicycle!" called out other TSG fans to one another. They were there for the reception of the team in front of the Hotel Dilly on Sunday afternoon.
"It's the second time I've done it. I had already come up with the idea of travelling by bike to see our boys in training a little more often last year", explained the early retiree. He had previously accompanied TSG to a training camp without his bicycle when they were in Norway in summer 2015. But it is a richer experience on two wheels. The man from Dielheim, who is of wiry build and in excellent condition, used to ride the distance from his home to his employer SAP in St. Leon-Rot on a daily basis up until two years ago. "At home, I still do everything with the bike now, but I don't really do proper training."
Up to 180 kilometers per day
He covered great distances each day on his trip to the TSG training camp amounting to 170, 180, 140 and 90 kilometers, and then he had reached his destination in Upper Austria. Rudi celebrated his 63rd birthday in Windischgarsten on Saturday, and his wife Inge is there. "He didn't need the sag wagon though. He cycled hard", said Inge Sauer. They are both making bicycle tours in Windischgarsten and environs, Rudi with his tourer and Inge with her E-Bike which was transported on the bicycle rack on the back of the car. Both are now wearing the TSG #Champions League kit which media spokesperson Holger Kliem gave to them.
The Sauers are now frequently guests at training. "It is great to see the players up close. I did play football myself, but what they do is very different from what we used to have in training", said Rudi, who is not related to the TSG stadium guide by the name of Edgar Sauer who also comes from Dielheim. "But we have played football together in the past", clarified Rudi. He has been a big fan of TSG for a long time, so much so that he became a member last year. And his bicycle tour made the sportsman into a role model for young people. One TSG fan came by bicycle from Bremen. But enough is enough, and Rudi will make the return journey together with Inge in the car.