Hanka-Kupfernagel ©Marcel Hilger

Hanka Kupfernagel


Pioneer of German women's cycling

There can hardly be a greater honor for a cyclist: in Dörtendorf, Thuringia, a ramp with a gradient of up to 16 percent was named after this exceptional athlete. Every year, the women torture themselves riding up the "Hanka-Berg" on the Thüringen Ladies Tour and it is not unusual for this executioner of a hill to settle who wins and loses the stage. Hanka Kupfernagel will always be remembered in her former home, where she was born in Neustadt an der Orla in East Thuringia – and not only there: In Germany as well as all over the world, her name stands for women's cycling at the highest level. On very different terrains: Hanka Kupfernagel was a winner in cyclo-cross, on the track, in mountain bike racing and on the road: She was world champion eight times. In total, she won 18 medals at world championships, a silver at the Olympic Games and was German champion 35 times. In 2019, she returned to competition after a break of almost three years and won silver at the German cyclo-cross championships at the first attempt, thus missing out on her 14th title in this discipline by just one place. Today, Hanka Kupfernagel enjoys spending time with her young family, she still cycles regularly and shares her great knowledge and wealth of experience.   

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