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Ladislav Longauer

 

In view of Ladislav Longauer’s upcoming anniversary, we decided to revive an article about him, published in a czech magazine PELOTON back in 2004. Article was written by a member of our team, Martin Fraňo, to introduce this mentor of cycling in the city of Banská Bystrica to a wider public.

„Life in the pedals“

There is no racer in Slovakia who wouldn’t have heard of him. ‘Laco’ is very popular within the road cycling community, as well as the cyclocross and MTB one. He has been around the sport all his life.

He tried swimming, water polo and even athletics, but it was cycling that attracted him the most. He joined a Banská Bystrica cycling club Lokomotíva at the age of 17. Sport in general appealed to him so much, he decided to study Physical Education at a local Faculty of Pedagogy. After finishing his studies he served his military service in an army team Dukla. Being a university graduate, he was in command of other cyclists such as Juráš, Hnáth, Gábor or cyclocross riders Komoňa and Novák. After having completed his military service and returning back to B.Bystrica, he helped to set up a new Lokomotíva – Domáce Potreby team. During his long cycling career, he reached many good results. His strongest domaine was cyclocross, he was included in the 1st performance group of sportsmen. He quit cycling at the age of 29 and set up a family. Even while raising his three children, he was never too far from sport – he worked at a Physical Education School as a Director of studies of coaches and panel of commissaires.

Addiction to racing

Laco missed racing and so he returned after few years by racing in the Masters category. After 1989, he was the leading force behind creation of local newly created teams such as Sokol and Heavy-Tools Joko. He also trained youth at that time. But mostly he was a racer himself again.

He helped to raise many racers representing our country in races abroad. Many of these riders later continued their racing career in bigger and better equipped teams such as Dukla Trenčín, Podbrezová (Sihelský, Hecl, Gajdošík, Fraňo atď.). With the split of Czecho-Slovakia, he became an active member of Slovak Federation of Cycling. He has been a long term chairman of the board of technical committee, of the cyclocross committee, youth committee and a member of exeutive board of the Slovak Federation of Cycling. While actively performing all the above mentioned duties, training and racing himself, he also found time to organize various cycling races – traditional 1st May criteriums, cyclocross races and Master’s cup races. He also was the co-founder of a legendary Tuesday’s Road Race Cup in Banská Bystrica, which celebrates already it’s 14th anniversary this year. We can say, without any exaggeration, that cycling in Banská Bystrica and it’s surroundings would not look as it does these days without Laco’s assistance and devotion.

Racer or an undestructable cycling freak?

His best years came in the Masters category. His training methods, will and determination are legendary. Many of his cycling companions say they never saw him training that hard even when he was racing in the Elite Men category. His job as a high school teacher enabled him to train massive amounts of hours and kilometres during the summer break.

One year he decided he needed to train really hard in view of the upcoming World Masters’ Championship in St.Johann, Austria. He rode each day, except for Mondays and Fridays, 200km at an average speed of no less than 35km/h. It was literally a racing all week long – few of us met before the training on a given spot, we rode easily the first 10 kilometres as Laco was riding at 42/13. Once he shifted to 53/13, the speed came to 45km/h. He wouldn’t go home until 200km sign would flash on his computer. If he only had a 185km training in his legs at the end of the day, he would go for a short ride including a climb only to have the 200km completed. Even in heavy rain. If he somehow managed to add some extra kilometres to the 200km planned, he would show off the following day. Mondays and Fridays were recovery days, he only went for a 100km ride both those days. This way he rode some 1.200km each week. Each day he would have different training partners as no one could sustain the huge loads of training for long. Laco had an incredible recovery parametres – he recovered fully overnight and the following day he was fully fresh for a new hard training.

I remember him once taking part in a Fatransko-Strážovský Road Marathon Race which was held on Saturday. Laco of course despite just having completed his weekly training session (Monday and Fridays 100km, 200km all the other days), got on his bike at 4AM, rode the 55km to start through a Šturec mountain pass, raced for 230km with 6 Mountain Sprints and then rode again his bike back home. He had some 340km in his legs that day. And he still won his age category Masters 30+ in that race. The following day he would come to a training and ride tough 200km again. Just to proof everyone training like this is nothing exceptional, he rode really fast from the very first kilometres of training, he ‘raced’ again. He acted like this even when he turned 50 – many of his friends at that age drink beer all day long and find it hard even to walk few steps up. Many times he would take part in Slovak or Czech Cyclocross Cups along with the Elite Men. He would race against racers such as Šimůnek, Mlynář, Glajza. Despite being lapped in many of the races, he was still happy to beat many other younger riders. Many fans and supporters along the course would help him in this goal.

One day, it was supposed to be his rest day, he watched a Tour de France stage. When it finished at 5PM, he felt so motivated, he got on his bike and decided he needed to ride the route of that year’s Championship, some 90km from his home. He didn’t realize there’s no way he would get home before dark, so he got home at 10PM, having ridden the past 2 hours in dark and thunderstorm.

When heading for a weekend race with the children he trained, he would always take his bike along and return by bike back home. Sometimes even at home he wouldn’t change and would walk around dressed in his cycling kit all day long. Many of todays’ racers would achieve much better results having Laco’s determination.

A true gagger

Whoever knows Laco, admits that in spite of his University diploma and vast cycling experience, he still remains a child in the way he acts – in the positive way of saying. There’s always a lot of fun around him. Small tricks and fun are simply part of him. There was one time, the kids that he took to a race found a dead mouse in the staircase and put it to his bed. Not aware of it, Laco fell asleep. In the morning he found out there’s blood all over his body and bed. The kids were laughing really hard that morning. Laco got up, and threw the mouse into the garbage. When the kids were getting dressed before the race, one of them noticed the mouse was gone from the waste bin. “One of you will discover it at home in your luggage” was Laco’s reply and this time it was him who laughed.

Sometimes he liked to have fun in restaurants. When it was time to settle the bill, he would tell the waiter to „..try to make it less than 1€.“ He would lay the 1€ coin on table and leave the restaurant. The waiter always run around desperatelly for few minutes since the kids refused to settle the bill. Laco would calmly enter back and pay the remaining 10€.

There was only one situation I remember seing him being angry. An under 18-years old driver caused an accident and hit one of Laco’s youth riders. He took the driver out of the car and beat him with his hands and even kicked him several times with his cycling shoes. He didn’t spare his passenger either. After he let all the anger out, he returned to us and said: „Let’s go, and speed it up a bit, it’s too slow.“

Original article here.

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