• 11/28/2023
  • Reading time 3 min.

Racing cyclist and TUM student Ricarda Bauernfeind

Stage victory in the Tour de France during the Bachelor's thesis

On the summer day in 2023 when she sprinted to a stage win in the Tour de France, Ricarda Bauernfeind was 23 years old and working on her bachelor’s thesis at TUM. Portrait of an exceptional personality.

Top cyclist and TUM student Ricarda Bauernfeind Thomas Maheux
She has been involved in the sport since she was 12 years old: cyclist Ricarda Bauernfeind studies at the Technical University of Munich.

It’s July 27, 2023 and Ricarda Bauernfeind has just crossed the finish line after conquering the 126-kilometer fifth stage of the Tour de France from Onet-le-Château to Albi – ahead of the entire field. Asked how she feels, she tells a reporter: “At this point, I don’t have the words to describe it. That’s going to take time. But it’s awesome.”
A few months later Ricarda Bauernfeind has finished her bachelor’s thesis and is now attending modules in a master’s program. Looking back at the big day, she is modest: “Every cyclist has dreams or goals that they set for their career. For me, it was never a goal to win a stage.” She was happy just to qualify for the Tour de France.
Ricarda Bauernfeind is not only a professional athlete. Since October 2019 she has been enrolled in the Nutrition, Home Economics and Sports program at TUM leading to certification to teach at vocational schools.

At the age of twelve, Ricarda Bauernfeind started cycling and achieved remarkable success at a young age. For example, at the 2014 German Championships and the 2015 Youth Olympics in Georgia. This was followed by the Junior European and World Championships. In 2019, she finished the junior class, took some time out and began her studies at TUM. She returns and is now one of the best in the world.
In 2023, she rides the 'Spring Classics' in Belgium and the Netherlands and the 'La Vuelta' in Spain. There it also becomes clear that multi-day tours, such as the subsequent Tour de France, suit her.

Sports scholar of the year

During these international races, she writes her Bachelor's thesis. The meetings with her supervisor take place exclusively via video conference. Part of the reason why she has been able to complete her studies so well up to this point is that she had already attended most of the courses when she joined her current team, Canyon SRAM Racing, in 2022. German Sports Aid named Ricarda Bauernfeind Sports Scholar of the Year in 2023.
Without well thought-out time management, however, she would not have managed the double workload. The 23-year-old advises: "To manage all of this, you have to organize your day precisely." She discusses deadlines with her coach and writes them down in her training diary. "In the three to four days before an exam, I have less training, so it's more about studying." And she always makes sure to take face-to-face modules in winter and do as much remotely as possible in summer.

The student rides 90 to 140 kilometers – six days a week. That means three to five hours a day on the bike. She either trains indoors or on her favorite route in the Altmühl valley, where she grew up. Ricarda Bauernfeind is away a lot and flies back and forth across Europe. So she’s always glad to come home. “You just have everything here: you can ride on flat ground or through mountains. Of course there are no Alpine passes to train on. But it’s just beautiful.”

Further information and links


Technical University of Munich

Corporate Communications Center

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