Since his arrival at the start of 2011, Christian Knees has marked himself out as one of Team Sky’s strongest domestiques and helped Bradley Wiggins to victory in what was the German’s seventh consecutive appearance at the 2012 Tour de France.
Knees also helped Wiggins defend his Criterium du Dauphine title in 2012, and his unwavering presence during his first two seasons at Team Sky helped yield a further six overall victories. Christian turned professional with Team Wiesenhof in 2004 but made the switch to Milram in 2006 and took the Rund um Koln title in his first season with his new team. The Bayern-Rundfahrt title would follow in 2008, and Knees also claimed the German national champion’s jersey in 2010 before making his switch to Team Sky.
Q & A
Who or what inspired you to start cycling?My dad inspired me
First road bike:I got it from my old cycling club. It was a really old steel one with shifters on the frame.
First cycling club:RSC Rheinbach
Childhood heroes:Miguel Indurain. I loved his style and how he went up the climbs at his own speed. He never looked like he was in a hurry.
What do you love most about cycling?I started cycling as a hobby and although nowadays it sometimes feels like a job, I still love it.
Favourite ride:I remember when my dad first taught me and that has happy memories. I love riding just for fun.
Favourite race:I like the Cobbled Classics. Paris-Roubaix and the Tour of Flanders are the most special.
What keeps you going when you're on the limit?The mind tells you one thing, and you try to react with your body.
What has cycling taught you?How to reach my potential. That's the good thing about sport - you are focused on getting better and this helps you through your life.
Previous teams:2004-05 Team Wiesenhof; 2006-10 Team Milram
Main interests away from cycling:Going to the cinema, meeting friends, computers and tattoos.
If you weren't a rider, what would you be?I would probably be an engineer or something
Favourite film:The Hangover
Best mate in the peloton:Martin Muller, a retired pro from the old Milram days
Most famous person you've ever met:Franz Beckenbauer
Most embarrassing moment on your bike:Crashing in front of traffic lights after overtaking a car because I didn't clip out of my pedals.
Interesting fact:I love chocolate.
Best advice:Stay focused and believe in yourself
Junior World Time Trial Championships - 3rd
Saschen Tour - 2nd overall
Rund um Köln - 1st
Bayern Rundfahrt - 1st overall; Tour de France - 4th stage nine; Sparkassen Giro Bochum - 2nd
Eschborn-Frankfurt City Loop - 3rd
German Road Race Championships - 1st; Tour de France - 5th stage two