Marcel Wüst

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Marcel Wüst
Rund um Köln 2017 001.jpg
Marcel Wüst (2017)
Personal information
Born (1967-08-06) 6 August 1967 (age 51)
Cologne, Germany
Team information
Current teamRetired
Rider typeSprinter
Professional team(s)
1995Le Groupement
Managerial team(s)
2002–2003Team Coast
Major wins
Grand Tours
Tour de France
1 individual stage (2000)
Vuelta a España
12 individual stages (1995, 1997, 1998, 1999)
Giro d'Italia
1 individual stage (1997)

Marcel Wüst (born 6 August 1967) is a German former road bicycle racer. He won stages in all of the three Grand Tours; twelve stages in the Vuelta a España, one stage in the Tour de France and a stage in the Giro d'Italia.

In 2000, a crash left him without sight in one eye and prematurely ended his professional career. In 2002 and 2003, Wüst worked as a team manager for Team Coast. He also had a career as an analyst in broadcasting until 2008.

Early life and family[edit]

Wüst was born in Cologne.[1] He got his first taste for cycling when his family visited the 1973 Tour de France during vacation in France. He received his first racing bike at the age of ten, in 1977, before joining the local cycling club a year later.[2] In 1984, Wüst won the opening stage of a stage race in Luxembourg. Three years later, he and fellow Cologne-based cyclist Heike Gasel became a couple. They married in January 1990. The two have a son, Alexander, who was born in 1998.[2] Wüst spends three months a year in his elected second home, Noosa, Australia, while remaining a resident of his native Cologne.[1]

Cycling career[edit]

In mid-1988, Wüst turned professional with the French RMO team, taking part in that year's edition of Paris–Tours, where he won the first intermediate sprint. His first victory in the professional field came at the Ronde des Pyrenees in 1989. In 1990, he won three races and took part in his first Grand Tour, the Giro d'Italia. The following year, he started the Vuelta a España, but was forced to retire with intestinal problems after having held the point leader's jersey for a while. In 1992, he rode his first Tour de France, but retired with a broken collarbone on the first stage in San Sebastián. This gave him the unfortunate honour of being the first rider in the history of the race not to reach French soil.[2]

For 1993, Wüst moved to the French team Novemail–Histor. Disillusioned with the lack of professionalism in the squad, he left for the Le Groupement team in 1995, only for the team to fold for financial reasons. He switched over to the Spanish Castellblanch team and started in the Vuelta a España, where he won three stages.[2] He remained with the team for 1996, winning a stage in the Volta a Catalunya and two in the Tour DuPont.[3] However, differences of opinion with the team's management led to Wüst signing with Festina for 1997.[2]

With his new team, he won a stage at the 1997 Giro d'Italia and three stages of the 1997 Vuelta a España.[4] A year later, with the team still embroiled in the Festina affair, Wüst again took two stage wins during that year's Vuelta a España. He was set to compete in the 1999 Tour de France, but a broken collarbone in a pre-Tour criterium race ruled him out. Instead, he once more started the Vuelta a España, this time taking four stage wins.[2]

Even with his frequent victories, Wüst remained largely anonymous in his native Germany because he was riding for foreign squads as opposed to the popular Team Telekom.[5] He moved into the public eye in 2000, when he started his second-ever Tour de France. The race began with an individual time trial at Futuroscope, which included a categorized climb. Wüst chose to go specifically for the point available for the fastest up the climb and managed to pull over the polka-dot jersey for the best climber at the end of the day, wearing it for the first days of the Tour. On stage five, he beat out his sprinting rivals to take the victory at Vitré.[2] He eventually abandoned the Tour nine stages from the finish in Paris due to a bronchitis.[6]

After the Tour, on 11 August 2000, Wüst took part in the Criterium d'Issoire to prepare for the upcoming Vuelta a España. Here, he collided with Jean-Michel Thilloy while competing for an intermediate sprint at 60 km/h (37 mph).[6] Upon impact, he hit a sharp object, presumably the foot of a road barrier, head-on.[5] He suffered severe injuries to his head, especially his right eye socket. He was treated in a clinic in Clermont-Ferrand and was soon out of mortal danger,[6] but lost sight in his right eye.[1] His team honoured his existing contract into 2001,[7] but with his vision severely impaired, Wüst decided to retire from professional cycling.[1]

Doping allegations[edit]

Following the Festina affair, which uncovered widespread use of doping on his team, Wüst was rumoured to have been using performance-enhancing drugs as well. He repeatedly denied these accusations.[8] However, when Willy Voet, the team's soigneur, released a book about the affair in 1999, printed diary entries suggested that Wüst had injected erythropoietin (EPO) six times in January and February 1997. In his defence, Wüst pointed to his hematocrit level from mid-January of that year, which showed a level of 43.3, well below values usually considered an indication of EPO use.[9]

Post-cycling career[edit]

After his retirement, Wüst joined Team Coast as a directeur sportif. When the team folded in mid-2003 for financial problems after the signing of Jan Ullrich, he did not join the subsequent Team Bianchi, founded from the remainders of Coast.[1] He worked as an analyst during cycling coverage for German TV station ARD. In this position, he was fired by ARD in 2007, after the broadcaster decided not to use former cyclists in their coverage in the wake of doping revelations at the Telekom team.[10] He returned in 2008,[9] but ARD decided not to continue its broadcast of the Tour de France after that year.[11] On 1 April 2017, Wüst was elected into the office of vice-president, responsible for marketing and communication, of the Bund Deutscher Radfahrer, the German cycling federation.[12]

Major results[edit]

Grand Tour results timeline[edit]

Grand Tour general classification results timeline[13]
Grand Tour 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000
Jersey pink.svg Giro d'Italia 143 DNF 105 DNF
Jersey yellow.svg Tour de France DNF DNF
Jersey red.svg Vuelta a España DNF 93 109 106 DNF


  1. ^ a b c d e "Life is good". January 15, 2004. Retrieved April 2, 2018.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g "Book Review: Marcel Wüst - Sprinter Years". January 2, 2005. Retrieved April 2, 2018.
  3. ^ "Marcel Wüst". Retrieved April 2, 2018.
  4. ^ "Marcel Wüst". Retrieved April 2, 2018.
  5. ^ a b Großekathöfer, Maik; Wulzinger, Michael (January 14, 2001). "Interview mit Marcel Wüst: "Wild gewordene Büffel"". Der Spiegel (in German). Retrieved April 2, 2018.
  6. ^ a b c "Marcel Wüst bangt um sein Augenlicht" (in German). RP Online. August 13, 2000. Retrieved April 2, 2018.
  7. ^ ""Die Schmerzen waren die Hölle"". Der Spiegel (in German). December 20, 2000. Retrieved April 2, 2018.
  8. ^ Wiedemann, Roland (July 20, 2007). "„Wenn ein Lkw mit Blutkonserven entdeckt wird"". Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (in German). Retrieved April 2, 2018.
  9. ^ a b Bödeker, Uwe (July 7, 2008). "Doping-Vorwürfe: Wirbel um Ex-Radstar Wüst" (in German). Express. Retrieved April 2, 2018.
  10. ^ "Marcel Wüst wehrt sich gegen Rauswurf". Focus (in German). June 2, 2007. Retrieved April 2, 2018.
  11. ^ Bouhs, Daniel (October 16, 2008). "Tour-Ausstieg von ARD und ZDF: Richtiges Zeichen zur falschen Zeit". Der Spiegel (in German). Retrieved April 2, 2018.
  12. ^ "Marcel Wüst im BDR-Präsidium". Bund Deutscher Radfahrer (in German). April 1, 2017. Retrieved April 2, 2018.
  13. ^ a b "Marcel Wüst". Retrieved April 2, 2018.

External links[edit]