We’ve been supporting Austrian sportsmen and women for many years now and love following their careers and sharing their triumphs. We can be truly proud of our boys and girls this year, as they’ve really achieved a lot. We sponsor our sportspeople with delicious Verival Breakfast products and products from our Verival Sport range to provide them with optimum nutrition for their sporting endeavours. In this first instalment we tell you a bit more about some of our sportswomen and men and ask them to look back at the past year’s achievements. Today we showcase the following five athletes: Babsi Zangerl, Johanna Hiemer, Johannes Hirschbichler, Lisa Hörbinger and Alexandra Hauser.



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Babsi Zangerl

Brief biog

Babsi Zangerl, 31 years old, rock climbing/sport climbing

What was it about this particular sport that attracted you?

I actually got into bouldering to start with. When I first started climbing my sole focus was on bouldering, that was my favourite type of climbing back then. I liked the playful aspect of bouldering; going out into the countryside with friends to clamber around on the rocks. I started rope climbing when I was 19, originally for therapeutic reasons after a back injury, but I soon developed a passion for it. Then over the years I’ve increasingly been drawn to really big walls. I love the mental and physical challenge and above all the adventure of big wall climbing, that’s what fascinates me most about this sport.

How long have you been doing your sport, and when did you turn professional?

I’ve been climbing for 17 years. My big brother took me along to the boulder centre for the first time when I was 14, and I started climbing regularly from then on. I landed my first sponsorship contract at 16, and I’ve been earning my living from climbing since the age of 25, more or less.

What have been your major successes this season?
  • Free ascent of the Pre-Muir Wall on El Capitan in California (my 4th free ascent of El Capitan)
  • National Geographic Adventurer of the Year 2019
  • Sport climbing: First free ascent of Everything Is Karate in Bishop, California (8c+/9a)
  • Jacopo Larcher and I completed redpoint ascents of the alpine routes Headless Children (400m, 8b) in the Rätikon range and Zeit zum Atmen (250m 8b/+) on the Rote Wand (Lech am Arlberg)
And what were your major challenges this year?

The biggest one is still to come! This November I’m attempting a free ascent of The Nose on El Capitan.

Looking ahead, what’s in the pipeline for the coming year?
  • A big dream of mine is to complete a one-day free ascent of the Odyssee route on the north face of the Eiger
  • Expedition to Pakistan
Favourite Verival product

Spelt Granola , Date Pralines

Babsi Zangerl


Johanna Hiemer

Brief biog

My name’s Johanna Hiemer and I’m 24 years old. I’m a ski mountaineer with the Dynafit team.

What was it about this particular sport that attracted you?

Ski mountaineering is my passion because I love being out in the wilderness on my skis. And the strenuous ascent is always followed by a lovely downhill run.

How long have you been doing your sport, and when did you turn professional?

I’ve been ski mountaineering for 6 years now, but I’ve never really turned professional. Since becoming a mum my priorities have changed anyway.

What have been your major successes this season?

Eight weeks after giving birth I was back on my skis in a vertical race, which I won. That was followed by two international team races, and I came 4th in both of them. (Sellaronda & Mezzalama)

And what were your major challenges this year?

The biggest challenge of all is being a mum and a sportswoman at the same time. 😉

But of course I’d like to compete in some more races this coming winter.

Favourite Verival product

all mueslis

Johanna-Hiemer


Johannes Hirschbichler

Brief biog

Name: Johannes Hirschbichler
Place of residence: Weissbach bei Lofer
Sport: road cycling
Team: Tyrol Cycling Team

What was it about this particular sport that attracted you?

A friend introduced me to cycling when I was 18, just for the fun of it.

How long have you been doing your sport, and when did you turn professional?

I started racing as a hobby, then eventually I got my amateur licence, and since 2018 I’ve been racing at elite level. We compete in national and international road races – national league, tours, etc. What I love about it is the speed, and the fact that you can cover relatively long distances purely on your own pedal power. And it’s great to be outside training in the fresh air of the countryside.

What have been your major successes this season?

My greatest success of the year was definitely my bronze medal in the elite individual time trials at the Austrian Championships, and qualifying for the individual time trials at the European Championships in the Netherlands. I also became the Tyrolean champion in individual time trials.

Looking ahead, what’s in the pipeline for the coming year?

Next season I obviously want to continue that upward progression, so I’ve got plenty of hard work ahead of me in the coming months.

Favourite Verival product

Grain Free Sport Muesli Almond-Fig

Johannes-Hirschbichler


Lisa Hörbinger

Brief biog

Lisa Hörbinger, triathlon/long-distance running, TrumerTriTeam and Naturfreunde Wals

What was it about this particular sport that attracted you?

I’ve been running since I was a child, though not always regularly. Then when I was 23 I did a triathlon out of curiosity and immediately fell in love with the sport. The combination of the three disciplines is what appeals to me – it means that training is highly varied, and it all has to come together on race day in order to get a result; the quick changes from one sport to the next are always a challenge.

How long have you been doing your sport, and when did you turn professional?

I grew up in a family of runners. As a child I tried out all kinds of different sports, and I also competed in children’s races and school running events on numerous occasions. I really got a taste for it in my early twenties, when I started doing more running – and then at 23 I entered my first triathlon. It all developed from there really – I just realised that you can achieve a lot and get a lot out of yourself if you simply put in the training. These days I’d describe myself as an ambitious hobby triathlete. In the past two years I’ve represented Austria twice in the European Championships for my age group, and in 2016 I started training to a proper schedule, but primarily I do it because I enjoy it … after all, I’m not a professional sportsperson.

What have been your major successes this season?

At the half marathon in Linz I managed to run 1:43:44, which beat my target of 1:45 by a big margin – I think that was one of my nicest moments this season. My triathlon season was pretty successful too: I ran eight races and finished on the podium in my age group in six of them.  I can see myself getting better each season – and that really drives me to keep setting myself new goals and to go out and train, even when I sometimes don’t really feel like it.

And what were your major challenges this year?

I’m doing a part-time master’s degree alongside my job and my dissertation is due in this December, so of course that’s been taking up a lot of my weekend time. That’s why I’m looking forward to 2020, as there’ll be no more Friday and Saturday lectures and I can finally get some more training in. 

Looking ahead, what’s in the pipeline for the coming year?

I’ve actually already qualified for the Sprint Distance Age Group European Championships in Malmö. That said, over the last few weeks I’ve somehow come round to the idea of tackling my first middle distance event in 2020, so perhaps I’ll compete in the Ironman 70.3 in Zell am See instead of going to Malmö. Obviously I’d also like to improve my current personal bests a bit – there’s definitely some leeway there.

Favourite Verival product

Sport Porridge Chocolate-Banana

Lisa-Hoerbinger


Alexandra Hauser

Brief biog

Hello! My name is Alexandra, I’m 24, and I live and work in the beautiful Austrian Tyrol. I’ve been working as a theatre nurse for nearly 3 years now. In my free time I compete in mountain trail running and ski touring, as a hobby and as a balance to my job. I’ve been part of Team Salomon since 2019.

What was it about this particular sport that attracted you?

Sport has always been a part of my life. I loved trying out lots of different sports, but in the end I liked running best. I always found it liberating, and it still inspires and uplifts me today. More than anything, it gave me strength, energy and creativity when I was going through a difficult time at home. 

How long have you been doing your sport, and when did you turn professional?

I’d never thought about competing professionally in this sport, until one day a young man talked me into taking part in a fun race. So yes, that’s how my sporting career began. To start with I was just running 10km road races, then I got hooked on trail running in the woods and up in the mountains. I competed in my first trail running event in 2016 and my first ski touring race in 2017. I’d say I’ve been professional for about 2 years now.

What have been your major successes this season?

My biggest success this trail running season was definitely the Großglockner Mountain Run in this year’s World Cup, where I came third in the women’s competition. Other highlights of the 2019 season were winning the Vertical Up in Kitzbühel, another win in the 17km race at the Trail Running Festival in Innsbruck, 3rd place in the Mountain Running Championships, 3rd place in the International Kitzbühel Horn Mountain Run, a win in the 22km Gletscher Trail Run in Obergurgel and 2nd place in the Mountain Run, a win in the Redbull Almauftrieb race, 7th place in the Vertical Race at the European Championships, 5th place in the Drei Zinnen Alpine Run, and, finally, I was 3rd in the World Mountain Running Association overall ranking after running in just 2 of the 6 races to be completed. Now I’m looking ahead to the winter season.

And what were your major challenges this year?

The biggest challenge for me is always making sure I get enough recovery time. 

Looking ahead, what’s in the pipeline for the coming year?

There are more great races and experiences ahead this winter and in the coming year. 

Favourite Verival product
Strawberry-Chia Porridge & Puffed Wheat with Fruits

Alexandra-Hauser



We’re really proud of what Babsi Zangerl, Johanna Hiemer, Johannes Hirschbichler, Lisa Hörbinger and Alexandra Hauser have achieved this year and wish them all continued success in the year to come!