Klaus-Peter Thaler is a legend of German cycling sports.
After winning the German youth cycling championships twice, he concentrated on both cyclocross racing and classic road racing.
While he became German amateur champion on the road in 1974 and 1976, he also plucked himself two cyclocross amateur world championships in 1973 and 1976. It was also in 1976 that he took part in the Olympic Games' road race and crossed the line as second. Unfortunately he was placed 9th for zig-zagging during the sprint.
Then in 1977 and due to his disappointment towards the lack of support from the German cycling federation, he decided to become a professional. He had great years at teams like Teka, TI-Raleigh and Puch, winning stages at the Tour de France, even wearing the yellow Jersey shortly. The next step in life saw him working as national coach for Western Germany until he decided that he might still be good enough to race himself.
He proved his point particularly in cyclocross, where - coming back from his hiatus - he won the world championships in 1985. A feat he would be able to reproduce a last time in 1987 before leaving the pro circuit for good in 1988.
But in his last years he did not only race cyclocross. During the summer months he was racing as a 'lone rider'. He was not part of a team but chose his own sponsors which included Maredo, Ashton-Tate and American Airlines. He quite successfully raced short serial competitions like the Coca Cola Trophy.
While his cyclocross machines were sponsored and built by Gudereit, he bought his street racing bikes from former racer Bernd Herkelmann who started to build custom-made road bike frames in 1985.
Our Herkelmann here had originally been painted as a Gudereit. It was the last bike on which Klaus-Peter Thaler raced professionally in '86 and '87. After he retired he had it repainted as a Herkelmann, since it actually was one, and the fork steerer was slightly prolonged.
It is an unpretentious yet well balanced bike, built from oversized steel tubes and fitted with Campagnolo's finest C-Record groupset.
This is a pure joy to ride and a piece of German cycling history as well.
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