Roger Schneider Moves to the Fila Mentos Team
Once again this year, the world record holder for the marathon will not be skating the full World Inline Cup schedule.
Instead, Roger Schneider, the 22-year-old Swiss speedster, will skate a partial schedule of races as a member of the Fila Mentos team.
Fila Mentos is a strong European team, but it does not send skaters to all of the World Inline Cup races. (For that, Fila has its main international team.)
Last Year with VW-SportXX
Last year, Schneider skated for VW-SportXX, another regional European team. He competed in only six of the 17 World Cup races, but nevertheless, finished 17th in the rankings.
The tall (6-foot-5) skater was the surprise winner of the final race of the 2004 World Cup: the Berlin Marathon. A few kilometers before the finish, he broke away from the pack and took a big lead. The pack let him go, apparently thinking he would tire, but he didn't and reached the finish line 17 seconds before the next skater.
A year earlier, he set the world record for the marathon with a time of 58 minutes and 17 seconds (which is just under 27 miles per hour).
May Skate Duluth
Schneider says he may skate in this year's Northshore Inline Marathon in Duluth, but will miss other World Cup races, including the three in Asia.
Schneider works full-time as a cabinet maker. His team is not one of the few that provides a full-time livelihood for their members.
Schneider says he had talks last year with Bont about joining its international team, but nothing came of it.
Unfortunately for Schneider and other inline racers, sponsorships have been dwindling. Last year both Roces and Mogema dropped their international teams.
Transition to Ice?
Schneider says he may start training next winter as an ice skater, in hopes of a shot at the 2010 Olympics.
For the last few weeks, Schneider has been vacationing in California with his brother Phil and fellow Swiss skater Adrian Leehman.
They spent last week in Berkeley, Calif., training (and goofing off) with skate legend Eddy Matzger. ... By the way, Schneider was skating on the Powerslide Mag-9 (5 x 90 mm) frame and said he was quite happy with it.
(posted on February 7, 2005)
Copyright © 2005 by Robert Burnson