It's not too big a surprise that a speed demon like Andrea Fischbacher rides an Enduro motorcycle when she has free time in warm weather. The 24-year-old Austrian from Schwarzach im Pongau near Salzburg has exploded into a comet on the World Cup circuit in the last year and has become Austria's not-so-secret weapon in three disciplines (downhill, super-G and giant slalom).
Fischbacher began her dominance in super G as a teenager, routinely winning FIS races in 2002 before firing onto the international scene the following year with her first Europa Cup win (also in SG) and earning the Junior World Champion SG crown in 2004. She quickly made her presence known on the World Cup in 2004-05 with an eighth place finish in SG, followed up by an onslaught of breakthroughs in 2005-06, when she started the season with a fifth place in the season opening GS race in Soelden. She then went on to podium in super-G in both Lake Louise (second) and Aspen (third). Though she collected a number of additional top 10s in SG, GS and downhill, Fischbacher didn't see the podium again until a second place in the 2007 Lenzerheide super G. Her first victory came in the 2008 super G in Sestriere - the same place she made her Cup debut in 2004.
If her competitors didn't view Fischbacher as a threat with all of these earlier successes, they certainly do after the 2008-09 season. Fischi, as her fans call her, launched high-tail into last season with a bronze finish in the GS opener in Soelden, then followed up with a silver in the Lake Louise SG (fifth in DH), then got the hardware to show for her efforts at the world championships, taking the bronze medal in super G. The reign did not finish there. Bulgaria is where Fischbacher truly hit her stride, finishing second in the first downhill in Bansko then winning the second DH race. This was enough to close out the season in second place in the downhill standings and 10th overall.
Fischbacher, who always eats either muesli and yogurt or bread and ham for breakfast before a race, thinks of herself as "a stand-up person." "When I fall down, it's time to get up again," she says. Also, she refers to riding her motorcycle at 160 km per hour through the hills in the countryside as "relaxing" and says it helps her with her ski balance.