On The Road Again

Cycling is a global sport for young and old. All you need is a bike and “you’re off!” Bicycles don’t pollute. They are environmentally friendly and help improve health through exercise. Bicycles can be used to bring people together to socialize and have fun. In some countries they are used as the main means of transportation and can play a vital part of the culture. So hop on your bicycle and ride to wherever your heart desires!

www.PRESSDEMOCRAT.COM The Press Democract, Santa Rosa California Published: Monday, May 23, 2011 at 8:43 p.m. Last Modified: Monday, May 23, 2011 at 8:43 p.m.

That slow, painful drip of water you felt on your forehead Sunday, you felt it before, haven’t you? It was excruciating, wasn’t it, one drip at a time, one rumor at a time, again and again, to the point it felt like a hammer on your noodle and you never wanted to hear “Barry Bonds” and “steroids” ever mentioned again.
Now we have “Lance Armstrong” and “doping” and if I hear or read anymore about it, my skull will crack and I will bleed from the ears. Tyler Hamilton said on “60 Minutes” Sunday he saw Armstrong dope and I wouldn’t care if he saw Armstrong put on lipstick except that the clean guys, the up-front guys, their message and their lifestyle is lost in the endless sea of sensational speculation, of he said, she said, who said. This internet virus — call it The Wagging of Tongues — can take a burp and turn it into a reason for a federal investigation in less than 15 minutes. StevenHeadShot2010-188x300 So I searched for sanity and I came across Steven Cozza, the Petaluma pro rider for Team NetApp. “I am really stoked about the future of cycling,” said Cozza, 26. “Truth will set the sport free. I am proud that I have never taken drugs. The only thing I have ever taken is caffeine. When I am 40 I want to be able to look back at my career and be proud that I did it the right way. Life is choices and the previous generation made some bad choices. I don’t feel bad for whoever is being ousted or getting caught. I do expect them to stand up, come clean and make the sport better. And I want to make sure you know I’m not accusing Lance of doping at all.” Cozza doesn’t know. Who does? Tyler Hamilton? “His credibility is so diluted,” said Don Winkle, a Santa Rosa attorney, an avid cyclist and ex-racer. “He denies he ever did drugs and then gets busted.” Who does? George Hincapie? “I have no idea where they (60 Minutes) got their information,” Hincapie said to a 60 Minutes report that he reportedly told the feds he did drugs with Armstrong. Who does? Me? You? Oprah? We have ex-riders like Hamilton and Floyd Landis singing like birds. We have four of Armstrong’s U.S. Postal teammates who allegedly, reportedly, apparently, who either were forced or volunteered eyewitness accounts. Where does all this lead? To The Wagging of Tongues. And the formation of conclusions. We have had so much time to deal with Armstrong that people already have made up their minds about him, the same way people made up their mind about Bonds. Bonds’ 73 homers in 2002 is a false positive the same way some people view Armstrong’s seven consecutive Tour de France victories. They have made their peace with it, one way or another, justifying it one way or another, and the rest of it is just conversation, like the brief one I had with Jim Keene of NorCal Bike in Santa Rosa. “I am certainly not surprised,” Keene said of Hamilton’s televised confession. “It does seem implausible he could win seven in a row, defeating everyone else who tested positive. It didn’t come as a shock but, then again, who knows?” Maybe the feds will. Who knows? They didn’t exactly nail Bonds to the yardarm after spending $6 million. Let the feds do their thing and one day they’ll tell us they are prosecuting or not. No tongue wagging, it got in the way of a great 2011 Tour of California. It got in the way of the top two finishers, Chris Horner and Levi Leipheimer, California residents winning a California race that, by the way, didn’t need to have Armstrong in it to succeed wildly. “I’ve been very busy all day,” said Leipheimer early Monday evening in an e-mail responding to a request for comment. “I don’t have anything to contribute to the 60 Minutes story. Of course I saw the headlines but I wasn’t able to watch it.” You could say Levi was fortunate not to have seen the piece. I mean, enough, already, about interpreting the veracity of Tyler Hamilton’s comments by analyzing his facial expressions on “60 Minutes.” Like everyone just became a FBI behavioral analyst. Oh, Tyler was dabbing at his lips there while being asked a question. Oooh, now that’s a guilty man. Stop it. We must be patient and realistic. We need closure but it’s going to be awhile before the feds make up their mind. They don’t want to look as inefficient and wasteful as they did chasing Bonds. In the meantime we need to get a life, a hobby, anything to fill up those National Enquirer moments of mindless curiosity because, unfortunately, this won’t go away until Armstrong goes away, one way or another. “I agree,” Cozza said. “Cycling is such a beautiful sport.” For more North Bay sports go to Bob Padecky’s blog at padecky.blogs.pressdemocrat.com. You can reach Staff Columnist at 521-5223 or bob.padecky@pressdemocrat.com.

SEG / Cycling http://www.seginternational.com/   Monday February 27, 2012 StevenTheStachNews Monday, 27 february 2012 at 12:13 Steven ‘The Stache’ Cozza to pause his career After struggling with enduring health problems, Steven Cozza has decided to pause his career as a professional cyclist. “For too long now I have been struggling with Colitis. I am getting better at managing it but at this point it is not improving fast enough for me to continue at this professional level in the sport of cycling”, says Steven Cozza. “I love the sport of cycling so to only be able to perform at 50% of my best because of my health has been very frustrating. I miss the rider I use to be – the aggressive one attacking nonstop throughout the race. Therefore, I have made a really tough decision to change my focus away from racing. I have to get my body and my health right – that’s all that counts. But in the end I can be proud because I know I gave it my best until the end”, explains Steven Cozza his decision. “Team NetApp has been very supportive and I am so happy that they have reached such a high level of success in such a short time. I wish so much that I was able to give more to the team. I will miss all the guys and wish them the very best this season”, continues Steven Cozza. “Steven was so crucial for helping our young team to advance. After our first year he was brave enough to believe in our ambitious plans. I take my hat off to this very private decision to pause the stressful side of life and to recharge his batteries“, says Ralph Denk, Team Manager Team NetApp. “I want to thank all my loyal fans for all their support through the good and hard times of this sport.” Bike Monkey Magazine – http://www.bikemonkey.net/ Coloring for Kids-Steven Cozza Gives Back Written by Yuri Hauswald February 19, 2011

Cozza is riding for Team NetApp in 2011.
(Not his official team kit or beard….)

I turned on my computer this morning to check cycling news like I do everyday and was greeted by, surprise, surprise, another Spanish doping scandal. I don’t know about you, but I’m getting tired of all the doping stories in the cycling press these days. On one hand, I’m  hopeful and optimistic that the efforts put forth by  various governing bodies and local police forces will genuinely help clean up one of the most beautiful sports in the world, while the cynic in me feels that the culture of doping is so ingrained in cycling that it will be impossible to fully eradicate. This is why I decided to focus on some positive news coming out of the Pro Tour peloton, newsworthy of attention, but, unfortunately, probably won’t be mentioned because it isn’t scandalous and doesn’t involve EPO, Lance Armstrong, poorly stored blood bagsor drug trafficking rings. Local Pro Tour rider, Steven Cozza(Team NetApp), is involved with two projects that not only speak volumes about his character and compassionate nature, but, more importantly, provide a ray of sunshine in this miasma of doping gloom and remind us that there are clean cyclists out there doing good things for the sport and their local communities. According to the press release: This is the first ever cycling coloring book for children! Steven Cozza, Professional Cyclist for Team NetApp, has authored a cycling coloring book for kids called Steven Cozza Race for Kids Cycling Coloring Book.  All proceeds from Steven’s cycling coloring book will go to his Race for Kids program which donates all monies to selected children’s charity (s).  The purpose of the cycling coloring book is to raise funds for children’s charities globally, to provide children positive self-esteem enhancing messages and to teach them about the sport of cycling. Cozza states that “ my coloring book is another way to raise money to help disadvantaged children throughout the world. I hope parents and guardians enjoy it with their children.” For more information on Steven’s efforts to help children’s charities world wide, please click here. The other project that Steven has undertaken in his “spare time”, is the creation of  theGiro Bello Classic,  a fundraising cycling event that will have four different routes through Sonoma County, with all the net proceeds going to benefit the Santa Rosa Rotary’s Polio Plus eradication program  and the Institute for Myeloma and Bone Cancer Research. Steven Cozza’s Giro Bello Classic takes place on June 25th.If you think you’d like to ride for two great causes, more information can be found here. Thanks Steven, for giving me something positive to write about today, and all of us something positive to ride for in June. Now go ride your bike!

July 17, 2010Written by Steven CozzaFinally a new report! My apologies for not keeping my fans and friends up to date. In July while the Tour de France is in full force, there aren’t very many other races going on. This means its been a July of hard training, hard resting and going swimming with Jen at the beach on my recovery days. I have never spent July in Spain and let me tell you it’s hot, hot, hot. In the winter, Jen and I were wishing for summer and now in the summer, we’re missing winter.

ParisRoubaixS40410-200x300
Paris Roubaix – Steven, “I love
the fans. I love the cobbles. I
love the Paris Roubaix.”

My training rides have been long and intense with a mix of recovery rides when needed. I’ve been really working on my time trial bike a lot and am starting to feel so dialed in. My coach, Dario, wrote me the perfectly balance workout plan and I am feeling confident now going into my first race back the Brixia Tour in Italy. Also, on some of the longer hot days I have been fortunate to have Carlos, one of our sports phyios, come out with me for bottles, lactate testing and a bit of time out of the wind. I really thrive off of a routine schedule and this July it’s been like this: wake up around 7:30, ride at 8:30 to beat most the heat, get back, kick back and watch my teammates kick butt in the TDF (a race I still dream of competing in one day). I could write an essay already about what I’ve seen at this year’s TDF. It’s been so extreme with crashes, fist fights and head butting – along with many positive things like sunflowers, Ryder fighting for top 10, Tyler sprinting it out with all he’s got even with a broken wrist, and on and on. I can go on forever about the race and how much it inspires me, but I also have to mention how much I look down on the fist fight after the race and the head butts thrown by Mark Renshaw in the last kilometers of Stage 10. First and foremost, it’s a horrible example for kids watching the race. Next thing you know, my mom’s going to have her kindergarteners throwing head butts at other kids in the sponge races held at recess. As professional athletes we must be good examples for children. It’s a responsibility that is put on us by our position. Lets teach children about being good sports, not how to hit someone in a fit of anger. I also think the two guys fighting after the race were inappropriate and they too should have been kicked out of the race for such a display of poor sportsmanship. Cycling is a dangerous sport and there is going to be bumping and jostiing for position, but these acts were clearly violent and bullish acts. I’m all about fair play and these acts aren’t by any means fair. If any racer at the TDF breaks the ASO’s rules, they should be held accountable. We all make mistakes in our lives. Hopefully all involved will learn from their errors in judgement. Ok, enough said on that subject. It is important that I try to keep focusing most of my energy on my training and racing. With still 3 months of the season left, I’m really looking forward to the up and coming races. I have made many goals for myself and I’m doing all I can to be ready to meet them. The next race I have is Brixia, then Tour of Denmark and the Eneco Tour. I will be sure to keep everyone more updated as the fall comes closer. I hope I can give my fans and my Race For Kids program a win in the near future. I have worked my butt off and will do my best to continue achieving my goals.

StevenTheStacheReadySetGo2010-300x200
Steven The Stache Ready Set Go 2010

June 12, 2010
Written by: Steven Cozza

We had awesome teamwork today at the Delta Tour. Very cool how well we all rode together and as a result, we helped get Tyler into the leader’s jersey. Timmy, Travis and I led Tyler out for the last time bonus sprint and blew the field to pieces. Additionally, three of our guys, including Tyler, got away in a break of 12 with just 20k to go.

As I said, it was a great day for team Garmin Transitions. The best part is, I had good legs for the first time in a long time. I’m Very excited to be feeling the form coming on. I’m really looking forward to all the racing in August, September and October – my 3 favorite racing months.

Man… there’s a lot of wind in Holland.

Steven

May 21, 2010

velonews.com

By Jennifer Caudill

Editor’s Note: This is the third in a series of columns by Jennifer Caudill. Caudill is an accomplished writer, photographer and journalist who lives in Girona, Spain, with her boyfriend, Garmin-Transitions professional cyclist, Steven Cozza.

Steven and Jen on an easy ride

Well, it’s May now and I’m back in the U.S., snackin’ on a Nacki. I brought back several bags of these things to distribute to friends and family so they could experience the goodness, however, I hoarded nearly every bag due to my obvious addiction.

Now where was I? Oh, yes, an angry volcano, Santa Claus, and bike riding…

It was April and time for Steven and I to move into our new/permanent apartment in Girona. We had bounced around for a month after learning the place we had our hearts set on wasn’t available till April. It has a terrace big enough to hold a soccer match and a killer panoramic view of both the city and the mountains. We were actually able to move in on March 31st, which was lucky, because Steven got called up to head out for a group of Classics on April 1st. After less than 24 hours in our new place, he kissed me goodbye and began his journey north for the cobbles.

We were supposed to be apart for nine days, which quickly turned into 16 and then eventually, because of volcano ash and yet another collarbone break on the team, it rounded out at 21 days — three solid weeks. I had even planned a trip to watch the Amstel Gold race, but my plans were quashed by the gigantic ash cloud covering most of Europe. Traveling was chaos for the riders, staff and their families. It could have been a tough time for me to get through, but come on — I was in Spain. Spring had sprung, I had made some incredible friends and had little responsibility except for lots of unpacking to do in the new digs.

For me, unpacking was a little like Christmas morning where Santa Claus is a professional bike rider and the gifts under the tree are all really cool bicycle schwag. In the spare bedroom where Steven had dumped loads of bags that had basically been in storage for eight months, I spent days up to my knees uncovering hidden treasures. What does a pro cyclist accumulate over the years? I found a brand new Garmin watch, an entire bag filled with a variety of unopened Pearl Izumi socks, a couple of not-currently-sponsored pairs of sunglasses, yet another bag overflowing with 2009 team-issued clothing, heart-rate monitors, yoga DVDs, exercise equipment, etc. Oh, and I also found a couple of old mustache combs… disturbing items, even for a live-in girlfriend. But hey, there’s a lot of grooming involved when it comes to the ‘stache.

Every good ride includes a rest stop

For those three weeks while Steven was busting his butt in Flanders, Roubaix, Amstel, etc., I was finding my own form in the hills of Girona. I was in good company as well. Several of the women living in Girona (whether girlfriends, fiancées or wives) enjoy riding. Some began riding well before their relationships and others picked up the activity after becoming surrounded by the sport. Either way, it helps us all to experience the region on our own. It gives a sense of freedom, independence and accomplishment to spend a day exploring and pushing our own limits without the aid of our bicycling dudes.

I began riding about five years ago, but eventually city life in Atlanta swallowed me up and I forgot about my bicycle for nearly 2 years. Getting back into it these last few months has made me unbelievably giddy, like reuniting with a long-lost love. Plus, when Steven is home, now I’m fit enough to hang with him on his “easy” rides (okay — he probably goes way easier because I’m along!). Anyway, it’s great to be able to spend that time together and I get in a hard workout for the day, since Steven’s easy days aren’t all that easy, in my amateur opinion.

Being back on the bike myself, Steven and I would chat in the evenings while he was away about compelling (nerdy) topics such as cadence and hydration and whether or not it is wasteful to pedal on a downhill. Typically, after brutal racing conditions and suitcase-living in hotels for weeks on end, Steven prefers conversation on topics other than his work day. After getting to know a few of the ladies of the peloton, I gather this preference is typical among the guys when they’re on the road. Steven enjoys hearing what sorts of benevolent trouble I’m getting myself into, such as which routes are my favorites, which of my new friends have been brave enough to explore with me, what I’ve conjured for dinner, and what Spanish oddities I have photographed. It is comforting to him to know that after all I left behind in the states, I have made a new and exciting life in Spain — with him, and also with new Girona friends while he is racing all over the world.

Jen, on the left, helps congratulate stage 4 winner Francesco Chicchi

Thankfully — as I have written before — attitudes, health, and plans change daily in this sport. In no time, Steven began to return from racing in the evenings with more positive words. His form was returning and along with it came confidence. He was thrilled with his effort in helping Tyler win Scheldeprijs. Later, Ryder took second at Amstel and Steven was not only able to bring him to the front for climbs, but Steven also finished the race himself, having felt strong nearly the entire way. Oh, the joy of racing in good form — for everyone involved!

The Nackis are gone now. I snack a lot when I’m writing and those sweet and crispy morsels were the last of the loot I brought with me to the States. There’s no time to mourn, because it’s hectic here as usual. Within 48 hours after arrival, I was promptly booked with Lands End swimwear to do a fashion segment on Better Mornings Atlanta, CBS. The moment that gig was over, I switched gears and began rounds to visit with friends and family.

Before heading to the Amgen Tour of California where I was invited to represent the race as a podium hostess. Steven is racing and the whole Cozza clan is there. It’s great being in California again – in the company of the racers, the fans, friends from races past and Steven’s wonderful family.

See you out West – if you can manage keep up!

Jen Caudill graduated from the University of Georgia Grady College of Journalism, has worked in creative advertising for Turner Broadcasting Company and published several travel memoirs. She is a recreational cyclist and an avid runner. Jen also serves as a podium hostess for North American cycling races as well as a fashion and editorial model for her modeling agency based in Atlanta.

TrainingRide_02-150x150
Riding near Girona,
Spain
TrainingRide_01-150x150
Steven and Jen
on an easy ride
ride_edited-1-150x150
The author riding
near Girona
rainbow-150x150
Girona is a beautiful
place to live
FlowerPower-150x150
A mid-ride diversion
CafeStop-150x150
Every good ride
includes a rest stop
Barcelona-150x150
Steven and Jen in
Barcelona this spring

May 17, 2010
Written by Steven Cozza

I was strong today in the ATOC, but crashed on rainy descent. I’m ok, but it made me lose contact with the front group and some skin. I was given maybe 4 jackets to take back on the last climb too. Been working hard for the team. I will get stronger and stronger as the race goes on.

It was nice to be visited by my little Race for Kids Fan Club buddy Aaron Phelps before the start in Davis, California.

“Om Mani Padme Hum” (Hail the jewel in the lotus) is a six syllable mantra of Avlokiteswara, one who is involked as the savior and the protector from danger. One who recites this mantra, will be saved from all dangers and will be protected.

Hey guys check this out! Philip Darden, a cyclist is using his Stache to raise money for the international program Right to Play.

Philip, Says, “Using My Mustache for a Good Cause.”

Steven Cozza, says, “Go Philip! Sign up for my Race for Kids Fan Club! Way to be creative in reaching out to help children across the world! I’m behind you all the way.”

http://philipdarden.com/2010/05/mustache-for-a-cause/


I’m so fast my shadow can’t keep up with me.

April 20, 2010
Written by
Steven Cozza

This past Sunday I raced the Amstel Gold race. My job for the race was to work for our two leaders Michel and Ryder. I did a lot of work moving Ryder up and out of the wind all day. He likes to be moved up on the climbs, so that made it even more of a job! I had very good legs and can say my old fast legs are back! I just need the 200 plus k races now to get me the endurance. I was really strong until about 210k and then the batteries died… haha. Ryder came through for the team and came in 2nd for the race. What a great day for the team. I absolutely love the race and look forward to more of it in the future.

Poor Timmy Duggan, my teammate, crashed and broke his collarbone. Since he is out, I will stay now for La Fleche Wallone. Fleche is 200k and will be the perfect race for me right now. I will put in a great effort helping the team to victory there.

This will make it three weeks on the road in Belgium and living in hotels. I’m really happy to be getting these great races in my legs because it will pay off for the Tour of California and later in the year, but I miss Jen. I was only able to spend one day in our new apartment before leaving on the road.

Once this set of races comes to a close, my near future goals are to be super-strong at the Tour of California and the races to follow. I will have some hard training following Fleche for the 3 weeks till the TOC. On May 3rd, I leave back to California and that will be awsome because I’ll get to see my family and friends again. Its been four months now and quite some time for Jen too.

I have to say I’m quite impressed with how well she has adopted this new lifestyle. What a change of scenery and pace it must be for her. When I get back to Girona, we’re going to pick out some cruiser bikes we can use to navigate the city. It’s a pretty nice way to recover the legs to after all these 200 plus km classics, plus it will help Jen get from point A to point B much more quickly, as she has made a lot of friends over here already.
The erupting Volcano in Iceland is causing havioc for travelers all over the world. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that the winds will change and it will all blow away. I may be taking the train back thursday instead of flying. What an awful adventure that would be.

Thanks to all my fans for all the support,

Steven

Steven Cozza rocks the Burt Reynolds
(photos courtesy of 
www.cyclingnews.com)

Garmin-Transisions rider Steven Cozza’s mustache is finally paying dividends. After sporting it for almost 2 seasons now, Cozza considered shaving it but the mustache managed to change his mind. The mustache told Steven that he needed a little more time to establish himself in the European peloton and only repeated marketing would achieve that. Two specific incidents happened that made Cozza want to get rid of the “Burt Reynolds” as the mustache has named itself. One such incident was in the Tour of Qatar at Cozza’s first race of the season. After the long break off the bike Cozza was not used to the weight ratio of the mustache, this then catapulted him over the handle bars which caused him to break his collar bone. The final straw was at the start of the Tour of Flanders when all the Garmin riders gathered their bikes to head of, Tyler Farrar was said to grab The Burt Reynolds thinking it was his bikes handle bars. Garmin boss Jonathan Vaughters has convinced Cozza to keep the mustache and actually wants to sign it for another season next year. You can also sport The Burt Reynolds in support of Cozza this season by visiting www.stevencozza.com and downloading your own version.

#cycling #steven cozza #garmin-transisions #jonathan vaughters #tyler farrar

http://lookmomnobrakes.tumblr.com/

www.cyclingnews.com
Written By: Stephen Farrand
Published: April 15, 03:01,
Amgen Tour of California
Steve Cozza (Garmin-Transitions) shows his 'tache
Steve Cozza (Garmin-Transitions) shows his ‘stache

The ‘fastest ‘stache in the peloton’ is coming home

Steve Cozza, the fastest moustache in the professional peloton, is set to ride the Amgen Tour of California next month thank to making a rapid recovery after breaking his collarbone at the Tour of Qatar.

Cozza underwent surgery and then spent hours riding the home trainer at his base in Girona, Spain….

http://www.cyclingnews.com/news/cozza-set-to-ride-amgen-tour-of-california

www.cyclingnews.com
By:Peter Hymas
April 10, 2010

Steven Cozza (Garmin-Transitions)
Steven Cozza (Garmin-Transitions)
No lingering effects of early season broken collarbone

While Steven Cozza had what he called “the coolest way to experience your first Paris-Roubaix” last year, making the early 11-man break, leading the race through the Arenberg forest and ultimately persevering through to the Roubaix velodrome, this year the 25-year-old California native is approaching his second start ….

http://www.cyclingnews.com/news/cozza-confident-for-second-career-paris-roubaix

www.velonews.com
http://velonews.competitor.com/2010/04/rider-diaries/jennifer-caudill-ingredients-for-life-in-girona_110757
April 07, 2010
By Jennifer Caudill

Editor’s Note: This is the second of a series of columns by Jennifer Caudill. Caudill is an accomplished writer, photographer and journalist. She graduated from the University of Georgia Grady College of Journalism, has worked in creative advertising for Turner Broadcasting Company and published several travel memoirs. She is a recreational cyclist and an avid runner. Jen also serves as a podium hostess for North American cycling races as well as a fashion and editorial model for her modeling agency based in Atlanta. She frequently travels between Northern California, Georgia and Spain, where she currently lives with her boyfriend, Garmin-Transitions professional cyclist, Steven Cozza. You can read Jen’s first article here.It’s been more than a month since I arrived in Spain and since Steven is now mostly healed from his collarbone surgery, my nursing skills are minimally required. Now my energy can be directed toward other things such as forming friendships, finding a routine that involves “me time” and getting to know my way around a kitchen. For me, the latter of these objectives is absolutely the most challenging.


Walking across town for groceries.
Photo: Courtesy Jennifer Caudill

Forming friendships hasn’t been a problem in the least. Thank goodness for the companionship of other cyclists’ wives and girlfriends! Talk about a support system. I never imagined I’d be the type to sit cafe-side with other women to talk over coffee about household chores, our guys’ fitness, our own health and, of course, the latest window display at our favorite Catalan boutique. However, that’s exactly what I do at some point during the day, nearly every other day of the week, and especially when the Steven is out of town for races.

I believe we all crave the comradery of our fellow supporting significant others. This sport is so intense (as I imagine it can be for any household and any job) and the intensity does periodically seep into our personal lives. Sometimes we just need to recharge and laugh off our frustrations. Every occasion is a memorable experience and as we sit over gelato, fresh-squeezed jugo del dia or café con leche, I am not only comforted but also reminded of this enchanting world in which I now live.But I digress — it is reassuring to hear how much other women contribute to the household and to well-being of their pro-racing dudes. Most importantly, these gals provide a wealth of knowledge when I present questions about my most monstrous nemesis — meal preparation, otherwise known as Cooking. You see, I’m a non-cook now attempting to cook for an athlete who consumes three times that of the average guy. Apparently, I didn’t think that scenario through when we started dating.Today, for instance, I walked around downtown Girona and its outskirts for more than an hour, accumulating multiple grocery bags from several different specialized supermarkets. Over here, we can’t just hit up a Whole Foods and walk out with one big basket of goodies. Most supermarkets aren’t so super — each carries a few necessities or specialty items. So you’ve got your favorite butcher, regularly stocked mini health food store, veggie stand, etc.


Baking a gluten-free cake for Steven’s birthday.
Quite successfully!
Photo: Courtesy Jennifer Caudill.

As a professional cyclist, Steven not only eats a ton, but he needs to ingest as few preservatives as possible and he has several dietary allergies and restrictions. Since he keeps a gluten-free diet, I buy special rice bread at a “bio-store” across town. He also likes iron and vitamin-packed yams, but those seem to be hard to find in Girona, so I find those at yet another bio-store on the other side of town. Additionally, we both love a variety of fresh fruit, which I purchase at a local market adjacent to the first two mentioned stores. This creates a nice little triangle-shaped grocery shopping journey for me.

Upon my return, I was feeling triumphant as I contemplated the impending meal, so I decided to take the stairs instead of the elevator up four flights to our apartment — the perfect final “effort” to a brisk 60-minute hike. It was the best idea I had all day until I tripped on my way up the second flight and the rice cakes I purchased for Steven cushioned my fall. You see? The universe doesn’t even want me to be a cook!

On courageous days like today, I get in the kitchen to make my own lunch and suddenly feel the urge to “whip something up” for Steven right before he gets home from a tough ride. Let’s pause to define “whip something up.” In Jen World, this means I’ll prepare some brown rice and scramble in a few eggs to make it a fancy stir-fry. Sometimes I’ll even mix brown rice with some white basmati rice to make the presentation more colorful. Then I’ll sauté some refrigerated turkey or chicken from the night before to make it all fresh-like and throw it into the fancy stir-fry. This makes a wonderful concoction of edible post-ride food, and if I can sneak it to him while he’s still ravenous from his hard day of training, he’ll think it’s delicious. Score.

I can really work some magic when it comes to the Crockpot. But can I just complain for one moment about how Mr. Gluten-free, dairy-free, beef-free puts a damper on my Crockpotting skills? Luckily, between my café group and our devoted friends and family, I am finally accumulating a few (still experimental) gluten-free, dairy-free, beef-free slow-cooking recipes.

Steven and Jen before
the Volta Catalunya
prologue.
Photo: Courtesy Jennifer Caudill

Now don’t let me lead you to believe I am left to do all of the work in the kitchen. It would be wrong of me to forget to mention that Steven frequently makes our dinner and is constantly offering to prepare me a snack. He also makes divine gluten-free pancakes for breakfast on mornings before a big ride and always gives me first choice, hot off the stove.

Well, I’ve had a hike and celebratory coffee with the girls, completed the daily shopping and finished my work. Steven will be home in about half an hour and I’ve got butterflies because it’ll be his first day home in more than a week. He just finished Volta a Ciclista Catalunya and then continued his training by riding home from Barcelona. He gets intense like that sometimes, but I know he’s just taking advantage of every moment possible to be his best.

While we’re all doing our best, I’m going to attempt cooking for Steven again. Maybe I’ll “whip something up.”

March 23, 2010
Written by Steven Cozza

I got my first stage of the year out of the way without getting injured (woop woop). My racing season started yesterday in the Volta Catalunya prologue. Today’s stage one was a 188k, mostly flat stage around the town I live in over here, Girona. It’s a cool race because it’s got a hometown feel, probably since so many of us live here and have friends here.

From the gun, attacks were going until finally a break of two got away – one of those two guys being my teammate, Peter Stetina. It was awesome having him up there today. He won the KOM jersey for the day and as we came into the 3 lap finishing circuits, my teammate Michele Kruder from Holland took 5th in the sprint to put the cherry on top.

It was a great first day back for me. I did all I could to support my teammates as best as possible. Getting bottles and trying to keep Michele protected from the wind was my job today and I did it the very best I could.

My goal this race is to gain as much fitness from it as possible. After being away from racing for so long and having to nurse a broken collarbone back to health, I was bound to lose some top-end speed no matter how hard I trained (and believe me, I trained hard!). Nothing’s like racing, so Catalunya will be really good prep for me and the fast-approaching Classics.

More good news to come.

From the prettiest man alive with a mustache,

Steven 

Velo News article:
New Perspective: From Steven’s crash to my crash course
March 1, 2010
by Jennifer Caudill

*click the link below. It will take you to www.VeloNews.com to an article that reflects the courage of a professional cyclist and how love between two people can work magic or just read the article below!

http://velonews.competitor.com/2010/03/news/new-column-from-stevens-crash-to-my-crash-course-by-jennifer-caudill_106587

Editor’s Note: This is the first of a series of columns by Jennifer Caudill. Caudill is an accomplished writer, photographer and journalist. She graduated from the University of Georgia Grady College of Journalism, has worked in creative advertising for Turner Broadcasting Company and published several travel memoirs. She is a recreational cyclist and an avid runner. Jen also serves as a podium hostess for North American cycling races as well as a fashion and editorial model for her modeling agency based in Atlanta. She frequently travels between Northern California, Georgia and Spain, where she currently lives with her boyfriend, Garmin-Transitions professional cyclist, Steven Cozza.

It was only the second stage into the Tour of Qatar. Usually, I would have heard by then from Steven how the day went for himself and for the team. But hours had passed and VeloNews.com had already posted complete results. Starting at the top of the finish list like always, I began reading down the list of names. Nearing the bottom and hoping I had just missed his name, I finally saw it:  DNF Steven Cozza Garmin-Transitions

Panic. What happened? He hadn’t felt spectacular the day before, but the morning email I received was positive and he was ready to race. Thanks to technology, I quickly went to Twitter to see if the cycling world knew something I didn’t. Ah, there it was – Vaughters had tweeted, “Cozza’s collarbone is broken …”


It is very difficult to explain the sinking feeling I had just then. Steven’s family has been dealing with these accidents for years and I honestly don’t know how they can stand it. I began to feel sick to my stomach and my heart ached, wondering where he was and in how much pain he might be. Lastly, I wondered if his shoulder was all he hit and prayed he hadn’t landed on his head.

I wasn’t scheduled to fly to Spain for another two weeks, but I immediately resolved to change my flight. Sitting at my parents’ house on an extended holiday while Steven was in a sling by himself across the Atlantic didn’t sound very productive. Via Blackberry (the way we typically stay in touch when we’re in different countries), I typed, “I hope you’re ok. I heard what happened. I’m going to try to get an early flight out of here.” An hour or so later, I got a response, “I’m alive. Just left the hospital. Yes, please.” So that was that, we both wanted me to be in Spain to help out. I changed my flight and started packing.

As I was getting myself from Atlanta to Barcelona, Steven was in Belgium getting hacked, drilled, sawed, stitched and more. His collarbone had been broken so badly that the smaller broken piece attaching to his shoulder could not be repaired. It was removed and synthetic ligaments were somehow inserted and tied around the remaining bone to hold everything in place. Or … something like that.

The work begins

My duties began the moment I landed in Spain. We went to the supermarket and I did all the shopping. This may not seem like a big deal, but let me explain. I hadn’t slept in thirty hours, hadn’t brushed up on my Spanish and couldn’t think straight. So purchasing food for several days for the both of us — in Spanish — wasn’t the easiest task.

Steven had only been out of surgery for three days. He could barely move his upper body except for his right arm. But even moving his right arm, he couldn’t move his left arm and had limited movement in his neck. He needed a shower and help washing his hair. The dishes had piled up in the sink because, needing one hand to hold a dish and one hand to wash, he wasn’t able to get much done. He had been sleeping on a mattress with a comforter because he couldn’t get the sheets made properly.

Click for larger image

The next 48 hours

… were nothing short of brutal. Call me a fool, but I honestly couldn’t have imagined how much help Steven would need. I was his nurse, maid, cook, trainer, motivator and friend. He needed help sitting down, laying down, standing up, getting dressed, putting on his shoes, pouring water to take his medication … It isn’t easy to put socks onto a grown man’s feet. And for me, it isn’t easy to cook!

What a frustrating time. I couldn’t understand how he was feeling. I have to admit I had moments of insensitivity. How many times was he going to ask me to pass the remote control or re-situate his pillows or tie his shoes? Most of my closest friends and family would agree that I am a fairly nurturing person, but after a couple of days of such an intense situation, the caretaker in me began to unravel.

The hardest part has been keeping up his spirits. Steven’s job is to be strong and fast and healthy. He takes pride in his abilities and certainly feels like himself when he’s “flying” on the bike. This break and the recovery that are coming along with it, are testing his patience and his spirit and quite frankly, pissing him off.

Where we are now

By the sixth day after his surgery, Steven was able to get on his trainer. We rigged a contraption to help support his upper body and keep weight off his arms while riding. This rudimentary design consists of a bicycle tube and a Levi’s leather belt. Spare me the dirty jokes; the truth is, it does look like some sort of torture device. But it works.

We have a functional morning routine; I get him set up on the bike (he still needs help getting into bibs and cinching up his Bonts), then I head upstairs to make sure all the dishes and laundry are done. It’s also crucial that I know what we’ll have for lunch because as soon as he’s off the bike, he’s going to be hungry, and as we Georgia Peaches say, “bless his heart” because it’s nearly impossible for him to make a good lunch with only one good arm.

Actually, just this afternoon, Steven was able to take a ride around the block by himself. I was upstairs and from downstairs, I heard, “Jen! Jennifer! Watch this!” I recognized the tone in his voice. It was the “I’m being sneaky” tone. Looking out the window toward the driveway, I saw something blue streak out of the driveway and onto the street. He must have decided he was done with the trainer and well enough to hit the road.

We’ve both come a long way in the last 10 days. Steven’s pain has subsided and is now replaced with the discomfort that comes with rehabilitation. As he has submitted to the situation and found a rhythm and a path toward recovery, I too have found balance and an understanding of his specific needs. At the moment, we’re both relaxing on the sofa now. He’s reading a book about Muhammad Ali and he keeps shifting around in his seat, trying to find a comfortable position. It’s still hard for him, but he is improving every day. He keeps his Blackberry close by to make sure his team knows he’s getting stronger and he’s on track to pursue his quest in the Belgian Classics.

While he reads and I write, I sure enjoy the down time. It has been an exhausting couple of weeks and a crash course in this new life for me. He keeps looking over at me with a grin and I know we’re both happy to be sitting next to each other. In the big picture, things could have been so much worse. Don’t be surprised to see a mustache-clad Steven Cozza powering over the cobbles in April. We’re both determined to make it happen.

March 1, 2010
Written by Steven Cozza

If there is someone out there sticking needles into a voodoo doll of me please, stop. I’m serious. This has been a past two months of insane misfortune. It’s like I got the fortune cookie an elephant pooped out or something.

The list of mishaps is too long and it’s no use harping on the past, but in just the past few days I have had my car broken into and burglarized. We had just filled the car up with goods we needed for our new 1 month temporary apartment until our permanent residence is ready in April. We went to the Hypercore, (a large mall with everything), picked everything from linens to pots and pans, and then parked the car in the driveway of my teammate’s house for the night. We woke up the next day and just about everything was missing – garage door opener and all. I was shattered because of the fact that I had already been ripped off early in January by a housekeeper from the hotel at our training camp in Calpe for about $300.

Well, we carried on and loaded the car with all our belongings and headed right back to the Hypercore to replace the stuff that was stolen. After that. we headed to our new apartment in downtown Girona. Upon arriving, the one way street in the ancient city was blocked at the entrance for the night, so my Spanish friend, David, and I had to back it down the smallest one-way cobbled streets you could ever imagine. We both hit the ancient stone walls several times just trying to get to the front door of the apartment.

Once we made it to the front of the building, we learned that the elevator was broken for the night and that we would have to walk up the 3 stories with every bag Jen and I owned – two cars worth of junk I have collected over the past couple years here. We then went into the apartment for the first time to meet the owners and sign papers and were hit across the face with a horrible burnt-down house smell. That’s exactly what it was. The apartment building had just had a large fire recently and the smell was just overwhelming. The good thing is we are only here for a few weeks till our real apartment is ready. It’s worth the wait that’s for sure.

Getting burglarized and cheated is a real horrible feeling and I don’t believe I deserve it nor does anyone else, but these things happen in life and I am just so thankful I have Jen over here supporting me through these tough times. She is quite the angel.

For a quick injury update. My clavical surgery is healing slowly but surely. I’ve been doing lots of rehab and everything I can to get my arm to work again. After the surgery, it was as if my arm just died instantly. It’s even numb in some spots. I have been told this is because a lot of the muscles in the area shut off naturally to protect the damaged areas.

So now it’s rehab rehab rehab until my arm starts functioning normally again. I am still currently on the indoor trainer and going to the gym. I tried riding outside the other day but it was too much discomfort. I am hoping by the 3rd week (March 4th) post surgery, I can start riding on the road again. The indoor riding is really starting to crack me that is for sure, but I understand it is what I need to do to be at my best come my next race, the Volta Catalunya in mid March. All the pain and suffering will pay off.

I just won’t let these tough obstacles stop me.
Steven

Keep your thoughts positive, because your thoughts become your words.
Keep your words positive, because your words become your behavior.
“Keep your behavior positive, because your behavior becomes your habits.
Keep your habits positive, because your habits become your values.
Keep your values positive, because your values become your destiny.”

Mahatma Gandhi

“We create our own destiny”  Steven Cozza

February 13, 2010

Steven, wearing his Garmin cycling cap, is in Girona, Spain, icing his injured collarbone. Steven is very serious about rehabing his injury. You can see this by the amount of ice he is using! Go Cozza! Paris Roubaix all the way!

Steven’s girlfriend Jen, kept him warm by sharing the beautiful scarf Steven’s grandma Julie gave her. Jen also took the photo. You go girl!

Written By: Stephen FarrandPublished: February 9, 00:43, Updated: February 9, 06:00Edition:First Edition Cycling News, Tuesday, February 9, 2010Race:Tour of Qatar

Steven Cozza (Garmin-Transitions) is keeping a positive attitude in spite of bad luck.

Garmin rider to have plate fitted after third fracture
Garmin-Transitions’ Steven Cozza became the second rider to broke his collarbone during stage two of the Tour of Qatar on Monday after Team Sky’s Kurt-Asle Arvesen’s fracture.
The likeable rider from California hit a pothole in the rough roads and lost control of his bike. Unfortunately he landed on his left shoulder and his collarbone gave way, fracturing in the same point it had during two previous career crashes.
It meant the end of Cozza’s race and he will now travel to Belgium to have a plate fitted on his fracture. It will mean more pain, but the hard man of US admitted he did not even take painkiller after his crash.
“It’s the third time I’ve broken my collarbone and in the same place. I’m getting kind of used to it but it’s not something I want to get used to,” he told Cyclingnews after dinner in the race hotel at the Tour of Qatar.
“I have to get it operated on now because a collarbone never really heals properly. After three breaks in the same place it’s about time I get it sorted out so that it doesn’t keep breaking.”
While Arvesen crashed in the neutralised section of the race, Cozza crashed after 50km when the side winds and high-speed attacks were splitting the peloton into echelons.
“It’s so dangerous out there with all the wind and stuff and it happened when the cross-winds started coming and we started racing hard,” he said.
“It was a like a war zone and it was every man for himself. I think I hit a bump because there’s a lot of potholes out there and my hands slipped off the handlebars. Unfortunately as I went down I took out my teammate Martijn (Maaskant) as well. That’s party of cycling but fortunately he’s okay.”
“It’ll make me stronger for the future”
Cozza was disappointed to have crashed out of the early season race but true to character, he stayed optimistic, saying this latest setback will only make him stronger for the future.
“It’s not that too bad for me. It’s early in the season but fortunately I’ve got the whole month of February to recover and get going again. I wasn’t going to do any other races apart from this and the Tour of Oman. I also trained well this winter, so I’m sure I’ll be able to bounce back pretty quickly,” he said.
“After I get the procedure done I can hopefully be out training in two days. Not hard training but I’ll be back on the bike. I love racing. It’s a shame it’s the first race of the year but getting down about it doesn’t fix anything. I’ve got to stay positive and I know I’ll always come back stronger from these things. Hopefully it’ll make me stronger for the future.”
Cozza is expected to fly back to Europe on Tuesday and probably undergo surgery as early as Wednesday
_______________________________________
*Go to Announcements for updates on Steven’s condition – Scott Cozza

February 6,2010
Steven Cozza

After settiling in to our desert oasis, we went for a ride. Many extremely strange things happened today. That’s why I like traveling so much! My favorite thing about riding is when I get lost… and when I fly into a new place like Doha, Qatar, I feel lost all the time – even though I’m not really because I have my Garmin.

Its just been one great adventure already. Just five minutes after leaving the hotel parking lot, I sensed something was looking at me. I turned to my left and there, sticking its head out of an SUV like a dog, was a full-grown cheetah. I was so excited because a cheetah is my favorite animal and here it was, just inches from my face. I was so bummed I didn’t have my camera.

We rode on and into the desert. Everything looked exactly the same and we couldn’t see more than 2 kilometers down the road because of the sand and dust in the air. I just read in the newspaper this morning that yesterday there were over 120 car accidents because of the dust storm. Can you imagine being on your bike in a dust storm? That would be nuts…

We rolled on and on down the pancake flat terrain and in the middle of the desert, it started to rain. In minutes we were caked in sand. It was as if we had all jumped into the ocean and then decided to roll around on the dry sand afterwards. At first, I was a bit angry to come to such a warm place and then have to ride in the rain, but then I became happy for the people that live here, because water shortage is a huge problem in the middle east.

We kept riding and then came across a guy riding a road bike too. As it turned out, this guy is a P.E. teacher from California. He’s here teaching in the Doha middle school. What a small world this is.

All in all, we did two hard efforts during the ride and did a total of three hours. After riding the TTT circuit that we will be racing 8 kilometers on tomorrow, we headed back to the hotel for a shower and some lunch.

The food here is good. It’s lots of fluffy jasmine rice, hummus, chicken and lamb.

Tomorrow will be a great day for us. More to come.

Steven

February 1, 2010
Written by
Steven Cozza

During the 3 hour wait I had while my car was being serviced, I took the time to go on a little adventure into the heart of Olot. Olot is an ancient mountain villiage surounded by volcanos and it just happens to be the place I purchased my awesome, fuel-efficient European car.

To make the surrounding area even more amazing, it snowed last night here (very unusual), so everything is covered with a fine layer of bright white. As I wandered deeper and deeper down the old ancient stone-covered streets, I felt as if I was going back in time. I walked on and came into a clearing much like a town square. In the middle were hundreds of people and lots and lots of food stands. It was a bustling Monday market here in Olot.

Lucky for me, I just had walked into an outdoor produce store. I love fruit and veggies and it doesn’t get fresher and more local than this. I learned that it sure can be hard to get something because it is so crowded and I am always amidst people speaking fluent Catalun. I eyed some prize sweet potatos and determined to bring them home with me for dinner, I wiggled my way in among all the grandmas. They sure are tough when it comes to getting a spot in line, haha! On a side note, the quality and way of life here is just incredible and its no wonder these people live so long.

I did manage to score some sweet potatoes that I think I’ll try barbequing tonight. It’s now time to get walking again. It’s going to be a challenge just trying to find where I dropped my car off. Where is my Garmin when I need it?!

Steven

January 21, 2010
Written by Steven Cozza

Today we got to go out and test out our sweet TT bikes. It was a tough workout, but worth it. We get a little break now and then go out again to do a sprint workout. After that, it’s massages and then dinner!

I have to say it’s pretty sweet being a pro cyclist. We wake up and eat an awesome breakfest that has been made just for us. Then hop on our bikes, do a workout, come back and eat more awesome food that is prepared for us. Then we take naps or head to the hotel spa for a massage and then we enjoy dinner before turning the lights out and going to bed in our perfectly made and prepared rooms.

In fact, it’s beginning to make me a bit mad. We have some obsessive compulsive housekeeping here. They go as far as to fold both Danny’s and my clothes. The other day, I came back to the room to find a pair of Dannys underwear nicely folded in a stack of my nicely folded clothes. So I thought I had a fail-proof tactic today – I went as far as to construct a blockade in the room with chairs and I put a note up that said, “solo el bano, por favor. No ENTRADA.” Well, that didn’t work. They just tore past the sign, broke through the baracades and went to town. This is war!

On a better note, I’m glad I can finally eat the oatmeal now that they are not soaking it in milk. It took us 5 days to get them to do that. Whoop, whoop! I hate to be a pain, but it’s important that I stay gluten and dairy-free for my body to function properly.

The sun is always shining here in Calpe and I am feeling great on the bike, so all is good in Spain. My heart goes out to all the people of Haiti. I wish there was more I could do to help. If you get the chance, please make a donation to American Red Cross or www.haitichildren.com. If you send one to the Haiti Children’s relief fund, you can get a nice tax write-off and become a member of my Race For Kids Fan Club. It’s a win-win!

Off for our second ride of the day – sprint workout time. Hoorah.

Steven

January 15, 2010
Written by Steven Cozza

I peeled myself out of bed, hopped on the trainer for 30 minutes, took a shower, ate breakfast, and then finished packing my bags for our long road trip to training camp today. Boots, the cat, has gotten quite fat since I have been feeding her. I figure she will have to go for over 2 weeks without being fed, so I’ve been giving her lots of food. I even gave her some of the fish I made last night. This morning, I left lots of food all around the backyard for her to snack on as the days go on, that is if the other strays don’t steal the food.

Today we are off for our drive down to Calpe, Spain. It will be about a 5 hour drive so I will bring plenty of movies to watch in the car on my notebook. I’ve never watched a movie in a car. I get car sick, so it will be interesting to see what happens to me, haha.

It has been a great past 3 months leading up to this camp and the start of the season. I am really excited to see all my hard work pay off. It’s been one of the most challenging winters ever for me, mostly because of my dietary changes to help with my Irritable Bowel Syndrome Disorder. I’ve had to limit as much sugar as possible and cut gluten completely out of my diet along with dairy. This has helped me and I am just so glad to have my IBS-D under control for the most part.

I will try and report back throughout the camp on how everything is going. We have quite a few new members on the squad this year so it will be great to get to know all of them.

Off on a road trip,

Steven

January 8, 2010
Written by
Steven Cozza
So far my transition back into Spain has been great. I finally like hearing Lady Ga Ga and her “Paparazzi” song on the radio. Back in the states, I couldn’t stand hearing that one on the radio, but over here it is by far the best song on the air.

What a small world this is. I got on the plane and sitting right next to me was Ted King from the Cervelo Test team. We were both shocked.

Driving back into Girona was surreal. One minute in Georgia and the next in Girona, Spain. Very, very, weird. Going from speaking English fluently to speaking Spanish like a 2 year old child is quite the life experience. At least I can feel young again going back to the days when I couldn’t speak English. One of these days, I will conquer the Spanish language and speak to all my friends over here with more than just saying, “hi, how are you?”, and then translating the rest with made-up sign language.

After getting all my stuff moved out of my old apartment, I headed over to Svein’s (my Canadian teammate) house in Banyoles where I will be staying the 9 days before I leave for camp and until I can find a place to live in the rest of the year. It is a huge house and nicer than any place that I have ever stayed in over here. They have a cat that I am feeding for them which is a little creepy. I love every kind of animal in the world, but I have always had issues with cats. On top of it, I am allergic to them. This particular cat paces back and forth outside and just stares in at me like it wants to eat me. Everytime I go outside to feed him or come back from a ride, he rubs all over my legs as if he wants to be my friend. I think he is starting to soften my heart. This morning when I saw a white stray cat swooping in to steal his food, I stood up for him and scared the stray away so he could eat his breakfast in peace.  Its only been 3 days having to take care of a cat, but who knows, maybe by the 10th I will like cats.  I doubt it…

So far the weather has been really bad, but I was able to get a good solid dry day in the other day. The forecast looks good for the weekend, so I got a couple hard days coming up. Tomorrow I am going for a good climbing workout on the Cobra, a good climb for doing intervals. Just a couple more hard days and then on we go to Valencia, Spain.

 

Thanks for reading,

 

Steven

January 2, 2010
Written by
Steven Cozza

Exploring all the new routes for me here in Warner Robins Georgia has been a lot of fun. I have been able to ride past my first ever cotton fields and even learn how the locals crack pecans that have fallen from the abundant pecan trees. Through Jen’s family and the local bike store, actually dubbed “The Bike Store”, I was able to meet with several local riders to learn some of the best routes in the area. The Garmin does help me out enormously, but it’s always nice to have local knowledge while out on the open roads.

The first week I was here in Georgia was a strict rest week, but this past week has been a bit more intense. I truly feel as if I am at a pre-training, training camp. Rob Caudill, Jen’s father, has even cleaned and polished off my bike just about every day after my ride. It’s so helpful because I leave for my rides knowing that my bike will operate smoothly.

All in all, this has been one of my best winters yet. I am all ready and excited to get to training camp during the middle of January in Valencia and I really look forward for the first races of the season in the Middle East. It is really exciting to be starting off the 2010 season in a place that I have never been to before. I can only imagine what it will be like…

I can’t believe it is already 2010. Time just flies by these days. Happy new years, everyone!

Off to Spain I go,

Steven

November 30, 2009
Written by Jeff Martin
Onesource Cycling

http://onesourcecycling.blogspot.com

 

Many of you already know Steven Cozza. I believe this cyclist is special. Some may call him superdomestique. I would consider him more of a pure classics guy or a one day racer. Not a crit rider, but rather the guy who excels in gritty, one day classics with 150-260k races with bad conditions and unique landscapes.

I believe he will win some classics in the next two years and can represent Garmin in Paris Roubaix. He has the character to do it.

Check out this video if you want a glimpse of this young and spirited rider.

http://video.cyclingnews.com/2009/my_favourite_rides/video_player.php?id=1

Watch it – it is worth it. Cycling from an outdoorsman perspective – which is cycling at it’s core!
Posted by Jeff Martin at 7:23:00 PM
1 comments:
Anonymous said…
I love it……Good post Jeff. Totally identify with his perspective of enjoyment of the sport. Fellowship, health, outdoors, sport, moments of competitiveness, wildlife…… all great……… Now I just have to get on the bike to enjoy!

Levi

December 13, 2009 5:50 PM

December 27, 2009
Written by
Steven Cozza

Dario and I planned my training so that I would have a rest week over Christmas. Jen’s parents’ place in Georgia has been a great place to relax for a week before heading back across the pond to Spain to meet up with my team and the early season training camp in Valencia, Spain.

One of my favorite things about cycling is being able to travel the world and ride in different environments. Right now here in Georgia, even though it doesn’t snow, it looks as if it almost has when riding on roads through the cotton fields. I rode by my first ever cotton field the other day and it was really cool. In Northern California, it is always grape vines, so it was a real shock to the eye to see acre after acre covered in a sea of really bright white cotton balls.

Jen’s dad has a really nice yellow tandem bike they call “the school bus” and I call “a big banana.” It has been a lot of fun going out on rides with Jen close behind. It is so cool being able to take her on my training rides with me.

I tend to forget that she has to pedal too though, so I occasionally get the jab to the rear end and then hear the words, “Slow down. My legs are going to fall off my body if you keep pedaling this fast.” Lance once said a tandem bike is a divorce machine and that can be very true I guess but for Jen and I it has been a great communication builder, haha. I am quite impressed on her ability on the bike actually for not having ridden for most of the winter. I really look forward to some of our recovery rides together in the warm Spanish evening air.

Today I am going out for a ride with the local bike shop riders. I’m looking forward to riding with some of the locals around here on some of their favorite routes. It has been fun going out and exploring by myself (because I have the Garmin Edge to help me find my way with ease), but it’s always nice to just be able to zone out and enjoy conversation while out training here in the South.

Some interesting training reports are soon to come about my team’s training camp in Valencia.
Thanks for reading and be sure to remember to sign up for my Race for Kids Fan Club. In doing so, you will be helping kids and earning the chance to win cool free stuff every month.

Happy Holidays,

Steven

Christian Vande Velde renewed with Garmin-Transitions for three years.

Vande Velde, Martin and Zabriskie sign extended contracts
Team Garmin-Transitions unveiled its 2010 roster on Thursday, featuring 10 Americans among the ProTour team’s total of 27 riders from nine different countries. Christian Vande Velde, 8th overall in the 2009 Tour de France, David Zabriskie, U.S. Time Trial Champion and sprint sensation Tyler Farrar will return to the squad along with stars Dan Martin, Ryder Hesjedal and David Millar.
New additions include Jack Bobridge, Australia’s U23 Road Race and Time Trial Champion, Johan Van Summeren, two-time top 10 finisher at Paris-Roubaix, and expert lead-out man Robbie Hunter.
Vande Velde, Martin and Zabriskie have all renewed contracts with the team that will extend through 2012, 2012 and 2013, respectively.
“I’ve come an long way with Team Garmin-Transitions in a short time,” said Vande Velde. “I’m incredibly proud of what I’ve done as part of this team and I’m excited to see what the next three years have to hold.”
Ireland’s Dan Martin echoed Vande Velde’s sentiments and is pleased to continue with the American ProTour squad. “The progress we have made together in the past two seasons shows what a perfect environment Garmin-Transitions is for a young rider,” said Martin. “I’m really excited to have the chance to continue to improve, grow and have fun in what is the perfect team for me.”
“It’s a beautiful thing,” added Zabriskie. “To commit for four years myself, and to have the team commit to me is something really special.”
Jonathan Vaughters, Slipstream Sports CEO, is looking ahead to a successful 2010 season. “We’re poised well for 2010,” said Vaughters. “Our roster is strong and versatile with some of the world’s best riders returning to us, and the addition of others.
“This [upcoming] year we will look to build on Tyler’s success by adding lead-out guys, we’ve added climbers to help Christian in the mountains and we’ve rounded out our Classics team. With Christian, Dan and David signing on for the next few years, we’ve built a foundation that we will be able to enhance in years to come. Looking ahead to 2010, we expect to be competitive throughout the year.”
Garmin-Transitions opens its 2010 season at Australia’s Tour Down Under in January.

Garmin-Transitions complete 2010 roster:

Jack Bobridge (Aus)
Kirk Carlson (USA)
Steven Cozza (USA)
Tom Danielson (USA)
Julian Dean (NZl)
Timmy Duggan (USA)
Tyler Farrar (USA)
Ryder Hesjedal (Can)
Robbie Hunter (RSA)
Fredrik Kessiakoff (Swe)
Michele Kreder (Ned)
Trent Lowe (Aus)
Dan Martin (Irl)
Maartijn Maaskant (Ned)
Christian Meier (Can)
Cameron Meyer (Aus)
Travis Meyer (Aus)
David Millar (GBr)
Danny Pate (USA)
Thomas Peterson (USA)
Peter Stetina (USA)
Svein Tuft (Can)
Johan Van Summeren (Bel)
Ricardo van der Velde (Ned)
Christian Vande Velde (USA)
Matt Wilson (Aus)
David Zabriskie (USA)

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December 21, 2009
Written by
Steven Cozza

The Holidays are really here and I’m on my way to Georgia to spend Christmas with Jens Family.

Its been a great past couple weeks of training and spending time with my family. Jen and I took a little road trip up the California coast and took the bike with me to train. It was really the only trip away from town we were able to take. What I have relized about the time I am home is that its like craming 12 months of things that need to get done in a 2 month period on top of lots of riding time. This last Saturday my mom put together an early Christmas for me and my relatives. It was great fun and I was really happy to spend time with and see all of them.

Jen and I are at the airport and my advice of the day would be try not to travel during the holidays haha. Totally nuts that’s forsure. I got my training for the day in just trying to make baggage weight and getting thru security. We are lucky the San Francisco fog has burned off so that our flight will not be delayed.

After spending Christmas and the New years with Jen in Georgia I’m off to Spain to training camp. Training camp this year is down in Valencia.

Really looking forward to it and my first race the Tour of Qatar.

Happy holidays everyone.
Don’t forget to join my Race for Kids Fan Club.

Steven

December 9,2009
Written by Steven Cozza

In my last update, I was writing about how it still is not winter here and how I don’t even need to wear gloves. Ha ha ha! I think I totally jinxed myself because yesterday I started my ride in 28 degree weather. I don’t think I have ever ridden out when it was that cold here in California. We have definitely got a good freeze going on because its another cold one today. I was like a popsicle on two wheels yesterday rolling through the Sonoma County countryside.

This past weekend, on the other hand, was still really nice so my coach and his girlfriend decided to spend the weekend with Jen and me up at the cabin. It’s always fun training with Dario because he must be one of the fittest coaches around. I had my climbing workout on Saturday, so we rode out to the coast and did all the really awesome coastal climbs around Jenner.

It was an awesome day with no fog, so the views of the rocky Sonoma coast were awesome. Jenner is a small town at the mouth of the Russian River. On the beach below the town, large numbers of seals rest before diving back into the sea for their next fishing trip. Many salmon and steelhead swim up the Russian River around this time to spawn – that is if they are not eaten first by a 500lb seal. It is always fun to see these packs of seals napping on the beach as I ride by.

On Sunday we went out for a killer mountain bike ride out of Occidental. The single track out there is just out of this world. Super, super tight trails with really nice barely-ridden on topsoil. After doing close to 3 hours up there we finished on this single track trail that actually goes through a redwood tree. It’s totally awesome. All of the sudden you’re ripping down this 20-30 minute downhill single track and then towards the bottom you ride through a tree. There are really great trails but just about impossible to find unless you are shown where all of them are.

Today will be another frigid ride. It should be a bit warmer because I have 6×8 minute intervals at 330watts and 5×15 minutes at my upper zone 2 and a total of 4 hours to complete. It’s not so cold if you’re always having to push the pedals really good during the ride.

The winter holiday season is here!

Happy holidays everyone,

Steven

December 4, 2009
Written by Steven Cozza

The hard winter of training is in full swing now. I guess I can’t really say “winter” because we still have yet to see winter here in California. I’ve gotten in a little over a solid month of base training this winter and yet to ride in the rain or with cold weather riding gloves. I haven’t even needed shoe booties to keep my feet warm yet.

Between the mountain bike and the road bike, I have had a lot of fun this off-season. There are so many awesome loops here that it takes seriously a month to do them all.

I’m learning a little bit day by day on my up and coming schedule for the racing calendar. First off is a training camp in Valencia, Spain, from January 15th to February 1st. Right after that, I fly to the Tour of Qatar and then the new Tour of Oman, two races in the Middle East. What a change of scenery that will be – from Belgium and French races in the rainy, windy cow-dropping-covered roads, to camels, sand storms and hot weather.

After the Middle East races, I’ll get to fly back to my home-base in Girona, Spain, to meet back up with Jen to look for a new apartment. I’m really looking forward to that and getting all settled in to a new place of our own.

Ok, off to training. I need to start riding camels to get ready for the races in Qatar.

Steven

Written by
Steven Cozza
November 10, 2010

The fall and winter so far have been going great. Northern California has been having great nice and warm sunny days where I have been able to start my training back up. I absolutely love where I live for training in the off season. Not too many other places compare to here for training and good weather.

My new training grounds have been up in Guerneville in west Sonoma county. It’s so great out there because the roads are very quiet and usually just have the cows to dodge. Kings Ridge is a favorite of mine – a great routine ride for me.

My last charity ride I was scheduled to do was this past Sunday and was for the NORCAL Mountain Bike League. It was a great sunny day and I was able to meet a lot of my fans, which is nice, especially on the bike. I have one more ride to do and it is a ride with me that I donated to be auctioned off at the Carousel Fund, a charity that raises money for kids with cancer. The Carousel Fund is one of the charities on my Race for Kids Fan Club list, so I was really happy to be able to support them in anyway possible.

I am now in full swing with my winter training and feeling really good about it. My coach, Dario from Whole Athlete, has set up a great schedule for this November’s workouts and I have had a great time knocking each day’s workout off the calendar.

This time of the year in training is the most important time all year because I’m building a good foundation for a strong upcoming season. It is what carries me through the whole year. It’s very important to not train at too high of an intensity and to never train at too low of an intensity – unless on a rest day.

Monitoring my power and heart rate are very important to helping me stay in the perameters of my coach’s workouts. Without power or heart rate, I could do a 4 hour ride and not achieve anything because I was under zones I need to be in. Or, I could be working too hard and then not build up the proper parts of my fitness for this time in the year.

I am about 4 weeks into my training now and so far I am have been on par with where I need to be. My health and digestion are back on track, which is a great feeling as well. Today, in fact, I am going to some crazy medicine man for a check-up to make sure my body is in balance. I am not sure what I think of this guy’s program, but it will be interesting to hear what he has to say – at the very least.

I took this allergy test called the ALCAT test and it revealed that I am severely allergic to gluten. Since I am now cooking without Gluten, it has been quite a challenge but very funny and at sometimes weird tasting. At first my buckwheat pancakes tasted like shoe rubber patties, but now I’ve altered the reciped a tad and they have a bit more fluff to them.

Oh yes, I forgot to mention I am supposed to cut out dairy too. Imagine that now. Gluten free, plus, dairy-free pancakes. I make a good pancake now, but man it was bad until I mastered it. I also make a killer gluten-free, dairy-free banana bread which I use on my longer rides along with my Cliff bars, of course.

Builder bars by Cliff Bar are my favorite at the moment. The Chocolate Mint one is killer. Now these are not 100% gluten-free, but I am not a Celiac, so small traces of gluten are fine – as long as I am not directly ingesting gluten like a bowl of spaghetti. I now have brown rice noodle spaghetti and it tastes awesome anyways.

Well off to the crazy medicine man.

Thanks for reading,

Steven

Written by
Steven Cozza

October 25, 2009

Last Sunday I did a ride down in Marin County California that raised money for the Marin County Day School. It was nice supporting kids along with getting out and doing a fun 50 mile loop with a lot of the local cyclists in the area. I’d say about 200 people came out in support of the school. After the 50 mile ride, we all met back up at the school and ate a really good catered lunch.

I guess I’m on the charity ride circuit right now because coming up in the next couple weeks are two other rides. On the first of November is the Team Swift Ride with Champions that I’ll participate in along with Scott Nydam and Brent Bookwalter, BMC Elite Cyclists. There is a fundraiser ride and silent auction supporting the junior team I grew up racing on Team Swift. I always look forward to coming out and supporting this ride along with getting my legs sore after being challenged by those youngster Team Swift racers. For more info on this ride and Team Swift, go to www.teamswift.org.

On November 8th, I will be at the NorCal Mountain Bike League’s fundraising ride along with my boss Vaughters and Lucas Euser as well. This ride helps raise money for the Northern California High School Mountain biking League which I raced in as well while in high school. For more info check out www.norcalmtb.org.

It feels great getting back to training again after my season came to an early stop this year at the end of the Tour of Missouri. I enjoyed an excellent few weeks off and I’m excited to get my mind back on cycling for the upcoming season.

Thanks for reading.

Steven Cozza

NorCal League CycleFest dinner in Mill Valley, California.
Vaughters speaking and fundraiser
Tickets are still available for the 2009 NorCal CycleFest, a fundraising event benefitting the Northern California High School Mountain Bike Racing League, to be held in Mill Valley, California November 6 – 8.
“The sixth annual NorCal CycleFest is the main annual fundraiser for the League,” said Matt Fritzinger, founder of the NorCal League. “This year attendees will enjoy the vintage poster show, our line-up of speakers and the silent auction which provides a great win-win opportunity to support the League. This is a key developmental year for high school cycling, and we are really counting on the continued support of Bay Area cyclists.”
The event begins on Friday, November 6, with a cocktail reception from 6-10 pm presented by McGuire Real Estate, where Jonathan Vaughters, founder of the Garmin-Slipstream Professional cycling team, will chat and mingle with attendees.
Saturday evening, November 7, starting at 6 pm, is the main event: a gala dinner featuring a silent auction and vintage poster show, at the Mill Valley Community Center, 180 Camino Alto. The stars of the silent auction are two offerings from Specialized Bicycle Components and a luxury guided mountain bike trip from Western Spirits.
Of the bicycles, one is a US$4,400 Specialized Roubaix PRO SRAM road bicycle; the other is a US$3,700 Specialized Stumpjumper FSR Expert specced with the Specialized AFR shock and Fox’s F120 RLC fork.
Other auction items include items donated by CamelBak, Fox Racing Shox, Ritchey Design, Syncros, and Shimano. Other dinner sponsors include Clif Bar, GU Energy Labs, NCNCA, Mike’s Bikes, Mountain Hardwear and Touchstone Climbing and Fitness.
Master of ceremonies for the evening is the well-known race commentator and freelance cycling journalist Bruce Hildenbrand, while CycleTo.com video journalist Bob Cullinan will interview Jonathan Vaughters. With this mix of personalities, the evening is sure to be filled with wry, humorous and intellectual takes on the contemporary cycling scene.
Sunday’s ride, supported by the Marin Cyclists, features Garmin-Slipstream pro riders Lucas Euser and Steven Cozza, who will be ready to discuss the 2010 Tour of California route and relate tales from the peloton during an easy 50-mile spin out to Point Reyes Station, which includes California Highway Patrol escort and a rest stop with food.

The 2009 NorCal League CycleFest schedule:
* Friday November 6: Cocktail reception with Jonathan Vaughters in Mill Valley
* Saturday, November 7: Benefit dinner, silent auction and vintage poster show, hosted by Jonathan Vaughters at the Mill Valley Community Center
* Sunday, November 8: Scenic road ride in Marin countryside with Garmin-Slipstream’s Jonathan Vaughters, Lucas Euser and Steven Cozza, both of whom raced for the NorCal League in high school.
Proceeds from the ticket sales support the Northern California High School Mountain Bike Racing League, so be sure to purchase one for your friend/spouse/partner too! Admission is US$150 (Regular), and $195 for Patron tickets tickets, which include a pre-dinner cocktail hour with Jonathan, preferred seating and special gifts. All tickets are available online at www.norcalmtb.org.

Written by Steven Cozza
September 28, 2009

Since the Tour of Missouri, this has been a great off-season. I have learned so much about what I can and can’t eat in order to recover from my GI tract problems. I’ve had a problem with IBS all season long and am finally learning how to heal myself and am healing myself well. I started working with a nutritionist and even did an Ayurvedic cleanse this past week that my Coach Dario’s friend help me set up. On top of all this, I have been taking yoga classes 2 to 3 times a week.

It was a truly frustrating year for me, but now with everything coming under control with my GI tract, all the hard work and research have really paid off. My whole way of eating has changed as a result of getting IBS – and that is a really good thing. After reading so many books and educating myself more on what people put into their mouths, I can’t believe it! It should be illegal to feed people some of the stuff that is on the shelf in stores. All the preservatives and unnatural ingredients in foods these days is just straight poison for our bodies. We are not robots or machines, we are living human beings but a lot of the food that is sold to the public is not made for healthy human consumption. Since I have started eating fresher, local, mostly organic all natural foods, I have been feeling so much better inside and out.

My final breaking point was when I was relaxing up at my parents cabin along the Russian River here in Sonoma county when I went to look in the freezer. I saw some popcicles in there that said “all natural fruit juice” on the box. I went to look at the ingredients like I always do in order to protect myself from the poisonous foods out there and I counted over 65 ingredients in one freakin’ popcicle. What the heck man! Why does a fruit popcicle have 65 ingredients in it? That is insanity to me.

So to make a long story short I put healthier foods into my mouth now.

Besides all the yoga and picking foods apart at the grocery store, I’ve been getting in some shark fishing out at my favorite bay in the world, Tomalas Bay. The other day my dad, sister Anne and I went out and caught three 4-5 ft. leapord sharks. It was such an awsome day. There were seals everywhere swimming all around us. We even hand-fed a couple. Henry, my pelican friend, was out there and came up to our boat again for some fresh fish. He seems to be out there every time I am shark fishing. I caught a good sized Smelt for him and fed it to him while he sat in my lap. He’s like my pet that I can just leave at the bay and visit whenever I want. Animals really bring me great happiness in life.

Something else that brings me great happiness in my life is my girlfriend, Jen, who is moving from Georgia to live with me here in California in just a couple of weeks. I’m really excited that we finally get to live together. It’s been a challenging year in this long distance relationship and finally this winter we won’t have to worry about the distance anymore.

With everything going on, the off-season will come to an end pretty fast. My coach and I have already planned a great winter of base training and I look forward to logging in some pretty solid miles this winter.

Thanks for reading,

Steven Cozza

anne

Anne Cozza’s “Big Catch and Release” Leopard Shark

steven
Steven also caught a leopard shark and then watched him swim away!

scott
Papa Scott Cozza caught a few smelt fish.

pelican
Steven sits with his friend Henry Pelican. Henry, Anne, Scott and Steven had lunch together on Tomales Bay

Film by Chris Leavell
July 2009

The Marshall Wall – Mt. Tamalpais Loop: A Ride With Garmin-Slipstream Elite Cyclist, Steven Cozza

Camera – Luke Sauer
Music – Michael Ward

Enjoy the Ride!
Written by Bob Cullinan
Friday, 11 September 2009 Tour of Missouri
www.cycleto.com

Defending champ Christian Vande Velde is the “face” of the 2009 Tour of Missouri. His photo is everywhere, from posters to street paintings.

So when Christian had to abandon the race with a busted bone in his hand, his loss was felt everywhere…but no more than on his own Garmin team.
The riders at Missouri will face the individual time trial today in Sedalia, the stage that could go a long way toward deciding the overall champion of this week-long race.

Without Vande Velde leading their charge, guys like Steven Cozza have to pick up the slack and work even harder for the team.

We talked to Steven about the loss of Christian, his role at the Tour of Missouri, and his own fitness in the following CycleTo video.

Cyclingnews.com

September 13, Stage 7: Kansas City – Kansas City 114.9km

By:Kirsten Robbins and Peter Hymas
September 13, 22:27,

Martin Gilbert (Planet Energy) sprints to a stage win in Missouri.
Martin Gilbert (Planet Energy)
sprints to a stage win in Missouri.

Canada’s Martin Gilbert saved the best for last at the Tour of Missouri, ending a week of sprinting frustration with a resounding victory in the concluding Kansas City circuit race. The 26-year-old Gilbert, competing in his final race of 2009, outkicked compatriot Andrew Pinfold (OUCH-Maxxis) and sprint leader Thor Hushovd (Cervelo TestTeam) after 114.9 kilometres of spirited racing.

The victory was all the more sweet for first-year UCI Continental Team Planet Energy, which received a last-minute invite to the Tour of Missouri and delivered the team’s biggest win of the season on the seven-day stage race’s concluding sprint.

“I think all week we had a few opportunities in the sprints, but the team and myself made a lot of mistakes,” said Martin. “Today we took it differently, way from the back, and used the momentum of the hill. I think we made no mistakes today and we put it together so it was pretty nice for my team.

“For sure, a first year team needs to put it together and get some results to make sure the organiser wants to invite us [again],” he added. “All week we worked hard and [today] we showed everybody that we can sprint against those guys and maybe beat them. I think the team getting in the Tour [of Missouri] by the back door, we were not supposed to be here, we wanted to take it.

While Gilbert celebrated a landmark victory for his Planet Energy team on Sunday, David Zabriskie (Garmin-Slipstream) likewise attained a new career highlight in winning the Tour of Missouri general classification. In Zabriskie’s nine years as a professional he’s never won the overall title of a stage race until today, but he knew that he’d have to be on this toes throughout the Kansas City stage’s entirety.

Zabriskie’s Garmin-Slipstream squad endured a tough day of racing the previous day in Zabriskie’s first stage in yellow. It knew that the final stage would be equally as challenging with Team Saxo Bank’s Gustav Larsson lying only 30 seconds behind overall.

“As far as my team, those guys are going to get some big hugs from me tonight,” said Zabriskie. “I really, really appreciate what they did for me. The last two days is why they call it a team sport and that’s how you win races.

“I wasn’t surprised by all the attacks,” he added. “We knew that was how it was going to go. Steven Cozza said before the race, ‘Ok guys, in your heads just get ready for 115 kilometres of hell’. That was pretty much how it went and that’s what we were prepared for.”

Garmin-Slipstream had already lost Tour of Missouri defending champion Christian Vande Velde on stage two and team-mate Will Frischkorn abandoned on the opening lap, leaving Zabriskie with five team-mates to help defend the yellow jersey. On the penultimate lap Zabriskie had lost two more team-mates, Mike Friedman and Jason Donald, but the Utah native kept his cool throughout the stage.

“I’ve learned not to freak out,” he said. “I tried to stay calm and rely on the team and they pulled through.”

Zabriskie’s victory caps off a good year of racing for the Utah native and his team. “This year has gone very well for me,” said Zabriskie. “I was second in California and that was a big goal of mine to do well there. I know it wasn’t a win but Levi [Leipheimer] was on fire so I was pleased.

“I went to Europe and I got another podium finish at the Vuelta a Castilla y Leon,” he added. “From there it was getting through the Giro [d'Italia] and supporting the team at the Tour [de France]. Now I’m here with a win so I think it’s been a very successful year for the team.

General classification runner-up, Sweden’s Larsson, was poised to challenge Zabriskie’s race lead but his Saxo Bank team could not crack Garmin-Slipstream on either of the Tour of Missouri’s final two stages. “For us the strategy was to put pressure on Garmin to see if we could make them tired and isolate Dave and make him tired,” said Larsson. “I think we did pretty good at making them tired but it wasn’t enough obviously.

“This was a really nice race with very good and stiff competition, big teams and good riders,” he added. “As far as the GC, almost everything did come down to the time trial so that was important and I tried to stay in contact for the other stages. Today I tried a little bit to attack at the end but I couldn’t go and I wasn’t strong enough to go away from Dave.”

Down to the wire in Kansas City

While stage race finales are frequently processional events, capped off by a final display of speed by the peloton’s sprinters, Missouri’s final general classification was hardly decided entering the seventh and final stage. The challenging 16.4-kilometre downtown circuit in Kansas City featured a stiff tandem of climbs on Kessler Road and Summit Street, separated by 3.6 kilometres, which were traversed seven times.

Race leader Zabriskie led second place’s Larsson by only 30 seconds. Tom Zirbel (Bissell Pro Cycling) held a tenuous grip on the general classification’s third place position, leading Marco Pinotti (Columbia-HTC) by a slender one second.

Unfortunately for Zirbel, his desire to finish off Missouri on the podium was dashed on the opening lap when the peloton arrived en masse at the first intermediate sprint line at kilometre 14.4. Pinotti, with the assistance of the stars and stripes clad team-mate George Hincapie, crossed the line first and picked up a three-second time bonus.

Hincapie claimed the second place bonus while Zirbel’s team-mate Ben Jacques-Maynes finished third. With the time bonus, Pinotti swapped general classification positions with Zirbel and would retain his newly won third place position through to the stage finish.

The next order of business on the stage was to determine the mountain’s classification winner, a two-man race throughout the Tour. Moises Aldape Chavez (Team Type 1) entered the final stage with a 13-point lead over Chris Anker Sorensen (Team Saxo Bank), but with four KOM opportunities today 24 points were still up for grabs. The first two KOM sprints took place on the third lap at kilometre 35.7 and 39.3 and Team Type I and Saxo Bank went head-to-head for both opportunities.

A three-man break consisting of Lars Bak (Saxo Bank), Frank Mathias (BMC)and Darren Lill (Team Type 1) crossed the first KOM line in that order while Aldape and team-mate Matt Wilson took the remaining two points positions seconds later at the head of the peloton. The field arrived at the second, and more difficult, KOM line together and Aldape crested the summit first to add an additional six points to his tally. Anker Sorensen finished third, but now found himself mathematically eliminated from the mountains classification race.

When the dust settled after the KOM battle, three riders escaped late in the third lap and held a 35-second lead when they crossed the finish line to see four laps to go. The leading trio of Gregory Rast (Astana), Chris Jones (Team Type 1) and Nicki Sorensen (Team Saxo Bank) would soon be joined by two more Saxo Bank riders, Chris Anker Sorensen and Jason McCartney, to form a leading quintet as they finished their fourth circuit.

During the fifth circuit Michael Barry (Columbia-HTC) bridged to the five escapees as they saw the five kilometre to go banner for the third KOM sprint on the sixth lap. Initially Jones was extremely nervous about the company of Anker Sorensen, but soon received some good news from the team car regarding the KOM competition.

“Thankfully we knew before [Chris Anker] Sorensen made it across that we mathematically won the [KOM] jersey,” said Jones. “I didn’t find that out until after he’d been there for a few minutes and the news calmed me down. When he first came I thought, ‘Oh my gosh, now what’.

“In the end it was just trying to make it to the end of the stage,” he said. “Those guys had some horsepower, those two Saxo Bank guys came across and then Michael Barry came across. I thought we had a chance.”

The lithe Jones, a fine climber in his own right, took top honours at the third KOM from Anker Sorensen to cap off another fine climbing performance from the Team Type 1 squad.

Barry won the fourth and final KOM and then went on the attack heading into the final lap, detonating the once cohesive break in the process. Rast cracked and was absorbed by the field, while the remaining four of Anker Sorensen, Nicki Sorensen, Jason McCartney and Chris Jones managed to claw their way back to Barry early in the final lap, with the field holding steady at 25 seconds.

Barry and McCartney again went on the attack leaving their three breakaway companions to be swept up by the peloton, which was prepping for yet another bunch finish. The leading duo were themselves caught on Summit Street as Aldape led the peloton over the KOM ascent, although no points were at stake any longer.

Inside of 10 kilometres remaining three-time time trial world champion Michael Rogers (Columbia-HTC) put in a strong solo attack and managed to put 10 seconds of distance between himself and the peloton. Rogers’ bid for victory came to a conclusion inside of five kilometres to go, at the impetus of the sprinters’ teams eager to finish off the Missouri with one last wild bunch finish.

As the peloton rocketed to the line on the predominantly downhill finishing boulevard, a pair of Canadians on North American Continental teams, Gilbert and Pinfold bested their ProTour rivals in yet another rollicking mass finish to a Missouri stage.

Dave Zabriskie (Garmin-Slipstream) on the way to his overall win.

Dave Zabriskie (Garmin-Slipstream) on the way to his overall win.

Photo credit ©Jonathan Devich/epicimages.us

Garmin-Slipstream had a busy day ensuring its leader kept the yellow jersey to the end.

Garmin-Slipstream had a busy day ensuring its leader kept the yellow jersey to the end.Kansas City
Garmin-Slipstream had a busy day ensuring its leader kept the yellow jersey to the end.Kansas City
Photo credit ©Jonathan Devich/epicimages.us

Written by Steven Cozza

September 13, 2009

For a 175 kilometers Team Garmin was under fire from the peloton! One after another the teams of the peleton attacked trying to “crack” us, to take the yellow jersey from DZ.   We road very strong as a team today. We were suffering, but we wouldn’t give up.  Not too many teams in the peloton could have done what we accomplished yesterday especially with one guy down, Christian out with of a broken hand.

Stage 6 ended up being the fastest stage in the history of the Tour of Missouri.   We road the 175 kilometers at an average speed of 31 mph against a head wind most of the day.   Wow!  We rode in the front most of the Stage.  What we accomplished was truly incredible.

As the attacks came from other riders, we wouldn’t allow anymore than 6 to get away.  We immediately shut down any attack larger than 6. It would be much more difficult to control a break larger than 6.  All race long, we chased down one attack after another.  I’ve never ever witnessed this happening in a race before. Usually a nice controllable “break” goes up the road within the first hour, but this never happened in Stage 6.  I kept looking down at my red “Relentless” (Leukemia & Lymphoma Cancer Society) bracelet for inspiration to help me get through the physical pain I was experiencing.

Today’s Stage 7, the last day of racing, is a 115 kilometer hilly circuit in Kansas City.  It’s going to be another brutal day and I’m sure I will look down at myred bracelet quite a few more times.

Wish the Garmin boys luck!

Steven

Garmin-Slipstream spent the whole day setting tempo at the front.

Garmin-Slipstream spent the whole day setting tempo at the front.

Garmin-Slipstream spent the whole day setting tempo at the front.

Photo credit ©Jonathan Devich/epicimages.us

Written by Steven Cozza
September 12, 2009

Today we are at the start of stage 6 here at the Tour of Missouri. We are in the town that invented sliced bread, so that’s pretty cool.

Todays stage is 178 kilometers of pain and suffering. Dave Z has the leaders jersey after winning yesterday’s time trial. This means the Garmin boys are going to ride at the front and help DZ defend his yellow Jersey. With two days left, we can do it. It sure will be a painful challenge. We have our game plan and we’re all set to go. We won the overall last year here and we can do it again!

The fans are in full force here at the Tour of Missouri. It makes the racing that much better to see how many people get excited and into watching us fly by. They are all “FAN”tastic.

More to come

Steven

Written by Steven Cozza
September 9, 2009

We started stage 2 the other day with one teammate down. Christian broke his hand in a crash during the first stage and was in to much pain to continue on for Stage 2. I’m going to miss working for him. I know Christian would have won the Tour of Missouri.

Stage 2 was a rolling 185 kilometer stage in thick Missouri heat. We were able to get Timmy in the break of 3 riders, so the rest of the day we could cruz in the Peloton. Throughout the entire stage I felt like I was in one of those bad dreams where no matter how hard you try your legs won’t produce and power for you. This wasn’t fun, but I was able to get through the stage.

So now I am on the bus on my way to stage 3, a 182 kilometer jaunt over rolling hills and thru corn fields. This is kind of ironic, “corn” fields, because I just started working with my nutritionist Megan from Boulder and I have learned that corn was one of the main causes of my IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome). Since cutting out anything with the word corn in it, which is just about everything these days, my digestive system is improving every day.

My body still feels the affects of an entire season fighting the mysterious GI tract issues I have been having for quite sometime now, but just knowing what’s going on and how I can fix it is so relieving to me.

After this race I look forward to a good break to heal my body and then begin building my body back up with my coach Dario’s workouts throughout the winter. I’ve lost some muscle mass in my legs, because of the IBS, so the workouts will include strengthening my legs. This will help me regain my TT form and the power I’ll need to kick butt in the Spring Classics.

It’s been a difficult racing season this year wanting to succeed more to help my teammates and team win and for my own individual success. Although I know what I’ve gone through this racing season with the IBS and “not giving up” will help me in years to come, not only in my cycling career, but my life in general.

I look forward to a another great year for my team and teammates in 2010 and for me to be my old self- attacking the peloton, chasing down attacks, helping my team and teammates to victory, and for myself the satisfaction of knowing I’ll be racing at my full strength.

Well its race time. Today is going to be a great day for us Garmin boys.

More to come.

Steven

September 7, 2009

Seven Day, 600+ Mile Elite Pro Cycling Race Begins September 7 in St. Louis

The Tour of Missouri has named Erin Haney and Jen Caudill as the official Tour Hostesses for the 2009 race. Their duties will include hosting a video blog as well as escorting VIPs, cyclists and officials to and from the stage.

Haney, an Atlanta native, is currently working in sales and marketing for Turner Broadcasting. She is also a freelance make-up artist, stylist and TV host. She was named Miss Georgia USA in 2003 and has remained involved in pageants as a producer, consultant, emcee and judge. She possesses a college degree in Fashion Design and interned with fashion designer Vera Wang. Haney also has over 15 years of formal dance training.

Caudill, who currently lives in Atlanta, also works in marketing for Turner Broadcasting Company. She also serves as a model and actress and has appeared in music videos and on an episode of Lifetime’s Drop Dead Diva. She earned a degree in Advertising from the University of Georgia Grady College of Journalism. Caudill is also an experienced equestrian.

The daily video blog that Haney and Caudill will host will include: a behind-the-scenes from the hostess point of view, facts and trivia about host cities, interviews with riders, volunteers, organizers and sponsors as well as funny moments and bloopers throughout the day. Fans can follow them on Twitter @PodiumLadies.

Written by Web Manager
September 6, 2009

Today Steven flys off to take part in the 3rd addition of the Tour of Missouri, where he won the Young Riders Jersey in 2007. Steven will be racing this year as a strong domestique for Garmins two team leaders Dave Zabriskie and Christian Vandervelde. The Tour of Missouri is being held September 7-13, 2009. More updates to come.

Written by Steven Cozza
August 25, 2009

Today was the last stage of the Tour of Eneco and it was a 13 kilometer time trial. It was one of the most twisting, craziest TTs I have ever done.

I was one of the first riders off and it was still raining, but as the day went on, it dried off. After a whole week of riding the front, I was not about to take any risks at all today. I rode the course super slow, just using it as a recovery day.

The hardest part about the TT was that after the finish, it seemed impossible to find our way back to the buses at the start. It was like several other racers and I had just raced into a crazy maze and needed to find our way out. As we kept getting pointed in different directions, we saw dozens of other racers totally lost too. At one point we actually ended up in a train station! It was pretty funny. I even got back on the race course on accident and was being cheered again by the Dutch fans. Eventualy we spotted the buses at the finish line and made it back. My whole team was laughing and I laughed too when it was their turn and they too all got lost.
This has been a great race for me and my team. I am real glad to be finished with it now heading back across the Atlantic to Greensville for USPRO nationals this coming Sunday. After that, I will go to the Tour of Missouri and then back to Spain. I think I will be really strong from riding the front day after day here this last week.

Off to my airport hotel in Amsterdam…

Steven

Written by Steven Cozza
August 22, 2009

Today was the hardest day of the Eneco Tour, topping off at 220 kilometers with over 10 climbs from around 1 to 4 kilometers long. Tyler still donned the leader’s jersey, so it was our job to take charge again today. All I got to say is the first hour was absolutely insane!

After 1 hour in true pain of trying to not let anything larger than 5 riders go, 3 guys took off on the first climb. The whole peloton cheered in happiness as the 3 racers disappeared into the distance for their long, painful voyage down a dead-end street. I say dead-end because there was no possible way they were going to stay away from the Garmin boys!

After we gave them about 8 minutes, Whitey ordered over the radios for Tricky Ricky Ricardo and myself to start riding tempo on the front. And tempo it was for nearly the next 100 kilometers. No problem. Haha! We have been doing this everyday here now so have become used to it.

Occasionally someone would say something to me and I wouldn’t and couldn’t respond. I was hurting too much and totally focused on my mission at hand. As we neared 170 kilometers, the break was back to 1:30. We all knew the move and attacks were going to come around 160 k and 180 k because there were 2 big climbs.

Ricardo and I were totally cross-eyed at this point when a group of 5 took off over the climb at 165 k. This was a threatening group and took 30 seconds in the blink of an eye. We were ordered by Whitey to go flat out, full gas, and just kill ourselves during the next 7 kilometers into the big climb. We did and were both proud of our effort.

After we hit that climb and the break was coming back, we both blew up and fell through the peloton like a bag of rocks. With 40 kilometers to go, we found 4 other totally dead riders that we could work with to get to the finish. Immedietly everyone started calculating how much time we could lose to still make the time cut – and that was around 35 minutes.

Then the we rode by a field of fat, healthy, happy nice-looking cows and the conversation suddenly turned to how we would rather be those cows right now. I think I started it… haha. We came up with quite a few reasons why we would rather of been those cows – many of which I can’t write about.

With 10 kilometers to go, we heard on the radio that Tyler had won yet another stage and the hardest one at that. Ricardo and I started yelling with joy and both decided we no longer wanted to be a cow. All our hard work for the day paid off and we couldn’t have been happier at that point for Tyler and oursleves.
Three more great days to go. BRING IT :)
Cozza

Garmin-Slipstream, the team of race leader Tyler Farrar, heads the peloton.

Garmin Boys Ward Off Attacks All Day They Lead Peloton.

Photo credit ©www.ispaphoto.com

Written by Steven Cozza
August 21, 2009

Stage 3 ended up being pancake-flat and 157 kilometers. During the first hour, the attacks wouldn’t let up. We were riding the front jumping in anything over 5 riders and bringing it back.

The first 10 kilometers of the race was especially hard for me because my rear wheel was rubbing hard, making an awful loud noise. I knew I needed to help at the front, so I did till I could take it no longer and had to go back to my team car to get a wheel change. I stopped and tried to spin my rear wheel with my hand and it wouldn’t spin – I guess it was rubbing the frame.

After getting a fast wheel change, I killed myself to make it back up to the front and do my job. Finally, after going flat out, a break of 3 riders went up the road and the peloton started yelling, “pisssen, pisssen”, which is exactly what it sounds like and means, “Time out – let’s all be friends and let those 3 guys go up the road.” Once we all went pee and the break had around 2 minutes, Tricky Ricky (Ricardo) and I rode the front for the next 100 kilometers.

We kept the break of 3 under three minutes. I was really glad to be riding the front, especially on this day, because I used to live in the area when racing for the Belgiun team Yawadoo Colba several years ago. It brought back some good memories for me.

As we neared the 14 kilometer finishing circuit, it got crazy and we rode super hard with Svein and two Quick Step guys. Other teams kept trying to come over us, but we fought on keeping the pace really high. My goal was to make it to 8 kilometers to go on the front and I think I made it to 6. I was crossed-eyed at this point and could only say “Good luck, Tyler!” in the sprint as they flew by.

He finished second in the sprint today to Tom Boonen. Later I saw on the TV that Tyler got boxed in by Mark Renshaw and was just flying past Tom Boonen, but the finish line came too soon and Tom won. This happens in sprints and especially in crazy Belgian ones!
After the finish, I went back to the bus and was happy to see an old friend of mine waiting there to say hi. It was a great suprise after a hard day’s work.

Written by Steven Cozza
August 20, 2009

The road from Ardooie to Brussels was nothing but pain. Not one inch went by today where I didn’t feel any pain.

Since Tyler was in the leader’s jersey, and by far the fastest sprinter in the race, it was our job to control the race and ride at the front. For the first hour, we had to bring back any break with more than 5 riders in it. A break with more than 5 riders is too hard to control, so we needed to be at the front and ready to pounce when needed.

After about 40 minutes, the perfect break of 5 finally went off and out of sight. I was so happy because at this point I could breathe for a second. After they gained 2 minutes, Huub and I were chosen to ride the front.

There were about 9 solid Flemish climbs in today’s stage – and what I mean by Flemish climbs is that they’re usually under 1 kilometer in length, very steep and narrow and covered in cobbles. To add to the challenge, it was a battle to keep Wiggo and Tyler at the front going into each climb because the other teams kept trying to swarm us. Even though I felt super duper weak today, I am so proud of myself for leaving everything I had on the road.

After 103 kilometers of pulling on the front, The Muur was my last hurrah. This is the most famous cobbled climb in the great Flemish classic Rond Van Vlanderen, AKA: Tour of Flanders. I took it full speed with Wiggo and Tyler on my wheel to keep the sworms of riders behind us. When we hit the devilish climb, I detonated and about halfway up it, my legs felt like they were blown off.

I made it over the top, but for the rest of the race I had to trust that I could keep turning over my legs – I imagine it felt like riding with prosthetics. I really had no more feeling in my lower body. Fortunately, I was with 60 or so other riders experiencing the same feeling.

It just so happened that we rode by one of the largest Belgium bread-making factories. An Euskatel rider and I looked at each other and pointed to our noses, letting out an “awwww” sound. He looked like he needed pastries more than I did – he was like an orange on a toothpick… then again, I’m not far behind.

The best part of the day was crossing the line and hearing that Tyler had won yet another stage. Our team rode so awsome today, leaving every drop of sweat out on the road.

I’m now on the team bus after a nice shower… just thinking of what’s to come in tomorrow’s 200 kilometer+ day. I can do it. I know I can. It’s all for the fans, the kids and my stubborness to never never give up.

Steven

Tyler Farrar (Garmin-Slipstream) sprints to another stage win in Eneco.

Tyler Farrar (Garmin-Slipstream) sprints to another stage win in Eneco.

Tyler Farrar (Garmin-Slipstream) sprints to another stage win stage 2 Eneco.

Photo credit ©www.ispaphoto.com

August 19, 2009
Written by Steven Cozza

Today was another great day for Team Garmin. Since Tyler Farrar was 2nd on general classification after the prologue and we new he could take the overall leaders jersey with a stage win, we rode with every ounce of our energy for him.

Today was a flat, fast 185 kilometer day, twisting and turning through the Flemish country-side here in Belgium. The weather was unusually hot today, reaching highs of 31 degrees Celcius. A break of 5 got away after 20 kilometers, so we put our two Dutch strongmen, Huub and Tricky Ricky, in the front rotation with the two Quick Step riders. My job was to stick with Tyler all day and keep him out of the wind and moving him up through the peloton when necessary.

With 4 kilometers to go, we had the plan of riding the front as a team, but with the first stage taking place in Belgium and Tyler’s dominance in sprinting still not fully established, it was a bit too crazy to ride the front. It seemed as though the whole peloton needed to be in the top 10 spots. So we scraped for position as best as we could and CJ took him with 2 kilometers to go.

Tyler won the stage, beating Tom Boonen in 2nd by a whole bike length. Now that we have the leader’s jersey and Tyler is by far the best sprinter in the race, we will ride the front all day tomorrow to defend it the best we can. The other teams will respect us more and the job to stay at the front should be easier.

We are in a great position at this race because we have Tyler for the sprints and Wiggo (Bradley Wiggins) for the overall classification. I truly believe we can acheive both these challenges.

Off to our hotels for a Flemish smorgasbord. :)
Thanks for reading,

Steven

Tyler Farrar (Garmin-Slipstream) sprints to victory unaffected by the crash in the closing metres.

Tyler Farrar (Garmin-Slipstream) sprints to victory unaffected by the crash in the closing metres.

Tyler Farrar (Garmin-Slipstream) sprints to victory unaffected by the crash in the closing metres.

Photo credit ©www.ispaphoto.com

Written by Steven Cozza
August 16, 2009

It’s so weird how we can go from one climate to the next so quickly. One minute we’re amidst the dry heat of Spain and the next in the cool green of northern Europe. I’m now up north in Rotterdam, Holland, getting ready for the start of the Eneco Tour. My teammates and I went out for a nice 1 hour easy ride through and around the bustling city. There are bike paths everywhere here, packed with the young and old riding bikes, enjoying the fresh air.

Tomorrow is the 4.5 kilometer prologue on a fast flat course. If it doesn’t rain on us, it should be a flat-out effort. I really look forward to tomorrow and the rest of this race.

I will post updates as the race goes on.

Thanks for reading,

Steven

August 14, 2009
Written by Steven Cozza

On the open road and running again. I had a meeting with my director, Matt White, and found out my schedule for the next month. I race in the Vattenfall Classic this Sunday in Hamburg, Germany. Straight from there I go to the Eneco tour and then back to the USA for the US Pro Nationals in South Carolina. After Nationals, it’s off to the Tour of Missouri and then back to Girona to tackle the end of the year races in October.

After learning that I was on reserve for the Vuelta de Espana and that my plans changed to doing Missouri, I was bummed… but a race is a race and I am really excited to do Tour of Missouri. This race I have done twice already and just love it. The fans are absolutely incredible there. I also look forward to helping Christian defend his title. I was apart of that last year and enjoyed riding the front day after day, helping to protect his overall lead.

I shaved my mustache at Tour of Missouri last year. Man, do I miss my mustache. I really need to grow that thing back again. I think it gives me special super-human powers or something.

So tonight I pack for another good month of being on the open road. Nothing could be better right now. Day by day…

Thanks for reading,

Steven

The peloton climbs the Waseberg, which it would visit several times during the race.

The peloton climbs the Waseberg, which it would visit several times during the race.

The peloton climbs the Waseberg, which it would visit several times during the race.

Photo credit ©AFP

Garmin “Sky High” Tyler Farrer wins Vattenfall Classic. Steven, along with his teammates helped lead Tyler to the biggest win of his career. See Steven in the photo above racing on the outside pounding over Waseberg.

August 8, 2009
Written by Scott Cozza

Rabka-Zdroj to Krakow – 136.5 km

It all began in a little mountain top village just outside Zakopane. Zakopane is where stage 6 finished. I was told by a local that the mountain top village where Steven and his team were staying was the highest village in Poland. Their hotel was five-star rated, and served both the locals and tourists during the ski season. In this season, the empty chair-lifts moved only by the streams of wind blowing gently across the mountain.

The Garmin, Cofidis, and Francase Des Jeux teams settled in to recuperate after a torturous stage 6. The rest of the participating teams were grouped in separate hotels. The Garmin boys had a carbohydrate dinner with liquids to replenish their depleted bodies, then off to bed they went.

Then it happened! I was sound asleep dreaming of being back home fishing. I had hooked a big one on a parachute adams fly when without warning my blackberry pinged. It was Steven. His ping message said, “Come to my room, quick! I’m sick.” I popped out of bed like a broken mattress spring, grabbed my clothing and my Garmin hat and out the door I ran.

It was 1 o’clock in the morning, a time anyone in his sane mind would die for a bed and blanket to sleep. But sleep was robbed from Steven and I this night. As I opened his door, I could hear Steven moaning in his bathroom. He was very ill. He was overcome by uncontrolled diarrhea and vomiting. This went on until about 7 a.m. His face turned a shade of white as the bug attacked his body throughout the night. It cramped his insides causing tremendous pain and he became so weak that it was difficult for him to get up without assistance. The bastard bug finally seemed to leave his weakened body by morning. Steven’s body was weakened by a relentless stage 6 and an illness that was unforgiving.

Finally, Steven was able to replenish his body with needed fluids and recovered. He later learned two of his teammates, Daniel Martin and Christian Meier, were also hit like a hammer with a form of the same illness that overcame Steven. Additionally, one by one other teams who had stayed at other hotels that night reported sickness. So, food poisoning was ruled out as the culprit. Steven’s director, Johnny Weltz, suggested the inflicted cyclists may have gotten ill during stage 6 when the rain pounded the surface roads like bombs, loosening the filth on the streets. The cyclists who became ill likely got their illness from water spraying in their faces and mouths from the bicycle tires, an occupational hazard for a road cyclist!

Stage 7 began with several depleted teams. Garmin was down 3 riders. It all came down to another field sprint. Will Frischkorn survived a hard fall going around one of the last turns to the finish, but luckily, Christopher Sutton was able to work his way to the front for a second place Garmin finish!

Road Racing is a team sport. As a team, each cyclist has a role to play… a job to complete. They sometimes find themselves facing many challenges. The Tour de Pologne, a Pro Tour race, threw just about every challenge a professional cyclist could ever have imagined at them. This made this Tour unpredictible and exciting. For that, Bravo Tour de Pologne! – Until next year when we meet again!

August 7, 2009
Written by Scott Cozza

Before the stage begins…
Today will be the toughest stage. We are up in the clouds atop the mountain town called Makeciche. It’s actually a ski resort in the winter.

Stage 6 will be an ultimate test for Steven. I just hope it hasn’t come too soon as he works himself back into top racing condition. If anything, it will give Steven a good read on himself and what he needs to do in his training. The cyclists have to race into the clouds like birds not once or twice or even three times – they have to ascend this mountain 5 times! To me, this task seems impossible. The climbers, or “mountain goats” as steven calls them, will look up at this Mt upon their approach and see it as just another challenge. Others may have tossed and turned in their sleep as they anticipate their turn at riding the mountain.

Steven, the cyclist from across the pond from Petaluma, I know welcomes the challenge. It is races like this that Steven dreams about. After his first Paris Roubaix this year, he was asked, “Didn’t the cobbles tear you up (or something like that)?” Steven replied ‘I loved them. I wish the entire race were on cobbles. I look forward to racing Roubaix again. It is one of my favorite races.”

So today as Steven approaches the mountain, he will look up knowing that while he is suffering, climbing this mountain is an experience not many will have in this life. The challenge will bring out the best in him. He knows winning doesn’t give meaning and purpose to life, the experience does.

This is a father’s view as he has witnessed his son in this life…

On to the Race

In the first turn up the mountain, Steven found himself with the peloton chasing the break away group about 2 minutes ahead. He looked fresh. He even had a smile on his face and waved to his mother and sister as he pedaled by them.

On the second lap, Steven wasn’t to be found in the peloton. We later discovered that Steven did his job by giving up his wheel to Daniel Martin, who was one of 2 GC racers for Garmin for today’s stage. Steven saw Martin had broken a wheel over a large hole in the road. He hopped off his bike and give Martin his wheel then ran along side him pushing him up the mountain to give him some momentum. Then Steven raced back to his bike was given a new wheel from the Garmin support car and off he went. He chased after Martin to catch him so he could attempt to pull Martin back to the peloton – and he did just that! As he approached the peloton, he rode next to Martin and, with his hand, gave Dan one more big push.

And that was that. Streven had nothing left and dropped back. His goal now was to just finsh the race by making the time cut, which he did.

[Steven races as a domestique for the Garmin / Slipstream Team. The domestique is the team member who sacrifices himself to help his mates and the team win. Domestiques have opportunities to win, but these are far and few. If they are good, they can win in an individual time trial, or if they are lucky, they can win by attacking the peloton and then staying away. Domestiques who are strong have opportunites to win at one day classic races such as the Paris Roubaix, which is one of Steven's favorite races to compete in.]

The challenge of the mountain for Steven today turned into another challenge to help his teammate Martin catch back onto the peloton. With 10 km to go. Martin found himself in the front of the peloton heading for the finish when, unfortunately, he lost a bit of Irish luck as he flatted again! Road racing, while full of strategy, also calls for a fair amount of luck to win.

More challenges to come for Steven and his Garmin mates!

August 6, 2009
Written by Scott Cozza

Thunder and lighting with intermitent down pours began Tuesday evening after stage 3 and the beginning of stage 4 on Wednesday. Although, thankfully, stage 4 saw little rain. The downpours came in stage 5 where the riders raced from the town of Strzyzow to the finish in a beautiful village in the mountains called Krynica-Zdroj. It rained so hard that by the time I was able to open my umbrella, it was too late. I got completely drenched!

Stage 4 was the longest of the stages at 239.7 km. It ended in another sprint finish in the city of Rzeszow. It was a flat, long and tiring stage. The cyclists battled boredom by conversing with one another. Old friends got caught up on one anothers lives! Steven did his job. He went to the front and lead the Garmin train attempting to help lead out his teammate, Chris Sutton. After Steven gave himself up for his teammate, he had nothing left and fell to the back of the peloton. The sprinters who fought their way to the front exploded towards the finish line in a massve blur of metal and bodies all seeking a place on the podium.

Stage 5 began with a thunder storm. It rained lions and elephants. Those boys were out there not only battling one another for position, but also battling mother nature. She threw one heavy downpour of rain after another. Just when the racers thought she was going to let up, she gave them another whipping. The 5 breakaway cyclists were caught one by one. Not working together led to their demise, so they never had much time on the peloton and were all eventually gobbled up by the monster.

As the racers entered into the finishing circut in the village of Krynica-Zdroj, I could see their muddied, worn-out looking faces. It was as if they had gone to battle and now were coming home searching for a place to rest. Those who did their jobs let up on their bicycles as the sprinters raced by them to the finish. Everyone in the peloton deserved to be on the podium this day. But that wasn’t to be, for only 3 got the kisses and flowers and applause by the crowd of fans.

And Mother Nature gave them all one more whipping.

Written by Scott Cozza
August 4, 2009

Jeanette, Anne and I followed the Garmin bus into Lubin to catch the finish of the 225.1 km stage 3 in the Tour of Poland. It is incredible to drive this very long and tiring distance, only to quickly ponder how any human being would have the strength and endurance to race the distance on a bicycle. This feat is beyond belief.

As we drove for what seemed like days on a road that would never end, we went through beautiful forests and green to golden farmlands. In particular, what caught our eye were the storks and their gigantic cartoon-like nests. They sat on these telephone pole-like posts that had platforms on top to support each nest. Our German friends Rolf and Margita from California told us to look for the famous stork nests in our travels. The nests were everything they said they’d be. They had to be 3 to 4 feet in diameter and at least 2 feet in depth! Pretty amazing!

Back to the race: Today’s race lacked the excitement of stages 1 and 2. The break of 3 didn’t seem to be racing as hard as yesterday’s break. They were caught with 20 – 30 km left in the race.

The finish was very fast and furious. A hundred or so cyclists powering by like a mob of frantic shoppers trying to get the after Thanksgiving sales at Walmart. Although I will say, these cyclists, with all their speed and determination to set up their team’s sprinter, were as graceful as a flock of birds in V formation going in for a landing. It is amazing how these professional cyclists don’t have more crashes during sprint finishes.

We saw Steven race by like a beam of light – a blur of color with the peloton. Yes, Steven survived stage 3 after his strong break away effort in stage 2.

Now we’re off to find our hotel in Naleczow, the start of tomorrow’s stage 4. For this stage, we go from Naleczow to Rzeszow – the longest of the stages at 239.7 km.

August 3, 2009
Written by Scott Cozza

Johnny Weltz, European Director Team Garmin / Slipstream invited Jeanette or myself to ride in the follow car for stage 2. I asked Jeanette if she wanted to and she suddenly turned white, saying, “never again.” She described her previous experience as a roller coaster ride, “very scary.” So I accepted Johnny’s offer.

I began my adventure riding with Alisa, soigneur to the feed zone. On the way, Johnny radioed, “Cozza’s in the break – have Scott ride with Enrique!” Enrique is a soigneur who also does the massages for the team. Steven really admires Enrique because he is such a great person and he brings many years of experience with him as a soigneur for many Grand Tours and Classics. So I was to go in the support car for Steven! As Steven and the other 3 cyclists came through the feed zone, I took a photo, grabbed a water bottle Steven had thrown and hopped in the car with Enruque – and off we went!

I had the second best seat in the house. How exciting could it be for a dad to be in a support follow car watching his son in a Pro Tour race in the break! Yahoo Go Cozza! Steven came back several times for water. We also drove up to Steven several times to give him water and food. I could see Steven’s determination to succeed in staying away from the peloton and winning the race. His turns at the front of the break were long and hard. He was pulling that break like he was being chased by a stampede of buffalo.

As we approached the circuit for the finish, I really thought that these guys might do it, but it wasn’t to be. The peloton (stampede of buffalo) overcame the four leaders and the race ended in a sprint. What a day for those brave cyclists to take on the peloton, knowing the odds were against them. But to have the courage to face the odds is what I’ll remember the most.

Throughout his life, Steven has been challenged with many other obstacles. He has faced them all with bravery and courage. The act of going against the odds (and now in his life to challenge the peloton) is something that Steven was made to do. He races as he lives his life. As he said recently in an interview, “You’ve only lost if you quit. So don’t quit.”

August 3, 2009
Written by Steven Cozza

I had the best seat in the house today at stage 2 of the Tour de Poland. I was able to make it into the day’s break with 3 other riders for the 220 kilometer stage. It was such a painful day for me, but I was so inspired by all the Polish fans cheering me on. I couldn’t help but think of the older men and women standing on the sides of the roads cheering and smiling after so much pain in their country’s history.

It filled me with so many emotions and made my pain and suffering on the bike nothing compared to what they have all been through in war-torn days of the past. It made me feel so good to know that as I passed, little kids and old timers alike were cheering and smiling.

As we neared the finish with 20k to go, we had just under 3 minutes on the peloton.
I really thought we were going to make it – and the four of us gave it our all. There were 3 finishing circuits of about 6 kilometers long, including a 1 kilometer cobblestone section. Boy did that hurt, but we kept truckin on.

With two laps to go, we had a 1:20 lead and I still believed it was possible. With one lap to go we had 30 seconds and began to get swallowed up by the giant peloton storming up behind us. We were caught with about 2 kilometers to go. It was a shame, but I was proud of my effort and enjoyed my new view of the polish countryside.

Oh yeah, and my dad was able to come along the course today in the follow car! He was able to watch me all day in the break. That was another great motivation for me and I was so happy to give him that experience.

Thanks for reading.

Steven Cozza.

Sunday August 2, 2009
Written by Scott Cozza

Jeanette, Anne and I were fortunate to get seats in the stands right in front of the announcer stage and the jumbo screen. We watched the entire race on the big screen.

The race was very exciting especially near the last few laps as the 2 break-away cyclists got caught and the teams began to set up their sprinters for the winning sprint.

The amazing thing about the race were the spectators.They were dancing, clapping and singing throughout the race. The music was a mix of American hard rock and Polish rock songs. Both adults and children were participating in the celebration. I just loved being a part of this special event. Jeanette, Anne and I became part of a community celebration. The announcer even gave out T-shirts and other prizes for the best dancers voted for by the fans! It was so cool to see, I guess 9 year old little girl on her father’s shoulders dancing. And the big smile on her face when all the fans cheered for her and she won a prize. The Polish fans were amazing! I found myself at stage 1 enjoying both the race and the fans.

Road Racing is such a cool sport. As the two break-away leaders from different teams got caught, they shook hands as if to say “we gave it our best shot, good work”. Now that’s sportsmanship! And as in America the fans cheered as loud for the first place finisher as they did for the last place finisher.

It was great seeing Steven back in the peloton. As he raced by I could see by the expression on his face his joy of being back in the peloton again.

Scott Cozza

Sunday August 2, 2009
Written by Steven Cozza

It felt great to be out racing in the peloton again today. I have to say I can’t remember it being as crazy and sketchy out there as it was today.

Today’s stage one of the Tour of Poland was a 12 kilometer circuit that we did 9 times. Two guys broke away on lap one and the peloton relaxed until they had about 5 minutes. At about lap 5, things started to pick up and the peloton started to charge down the road.

I made sure to stick near the front to try my best to avoid any crashes. With one lap to go the team worked great together to help deliver CJ (Chris Sutton), our sprinter for the day, to a 6th place finish. It was a super fast finish – around 75 kilometers an hour!

After not racing for over 5 weeks my lungs sure burned, but my mind was clear and my legs felt great. I really believe I’m on my way to having a great finish of the season.

[Side note: Tom, my roommate, just pointed out a huge spider in our room. And now another. Oh man, our room is full of huge spiders and mosquitoes the size of maple leaves! It’s as if we have our own little Polish ecosystem in our room.]

Well, wish me good luck! If I make it through the night with the bugs, I will write another report tomorrow.

Thanks for reading.

Steven Cozza

July 31, 2009
Written by Scott Cozza

Jeanette, Anne and I arrived in Warsaw, Poland on Thursday, July 30. We are here to watch Steven and his Garmin Team compete in the Tour of Poland, 7 stages. This morning, I was eager to get up and begin the day. We stayed at the Oki Doki Hostel which has a community bathroom. I told myself that I’d get up early to beat the crowd. So there I was in the dark. I figured it was about 6:30 AM. I gathered my wash cloth, tooth paste, and other sundries and raced to the bathroom / shower room. I figured there would be a lot of people competing for a place to shower. Well, when I got there, two people were already ahead of me so I had to wait. They were brushing their teeth. When it was my turn, I was thankful I had the entire bathroom to myself. I quickly shaved and showered and got back to my room and dressed. I woke up Anne and Jeanette letting them know they should get up to beat the crowd. Anne looked at her clock in horror. She said, “Dad, it’s 1 AM in the morning. What are you doing up?” I forgot about the 9 hour time difference between our home and Poland and had gotten up thinking it was 6 AM. I later realized the people in the bathroom were a man and woman who were brushing their teeth before going to bed! So there I was standing in the dark ready to begin our first full day in Poland; but the day wasn’t to come for another 6 to 7 hours!

More to come from the Cozza team on our adventures at the Tour of Poland

Scott Cozza

August 1, 2009
Written by Steven Cozza

After a good 5 week break from racing, I headed back over the great big pond to my racing home base in Girona, Spain. I have to say it sure feels good to be back to this European paradise. What a place Girona is both to ride bikes and live.

The time I was able to spend at home in California was great but also frustrating at times. I had more than my share of doctor appointments and test for my GI problems. It was frustrating the whole time not knowing what was wrong with me but after working with 5 different people and doing loads of my own research, I think we have determined that I have IBS (irritable bowel syndrome). This condition is not as serious as other ones I was worried I had, but it still can be a huge problem if ignored and not treated. I am starting to figure it all out and learn what I can and can’t eat, along with other strategies to try and settle things down a bit… if you know what I mean! haha J.

Tonight I got all packed up and ready to fly to Poland tomorrow morning. I am more than excited to go to a country I have never been to before and race all around it. My parents and sister will also be following the whole race, so I am really excited to see them over here. It’s not everyday my family gets to see me race, so this is a big deal to me.

Tour of Poland is a seven day stage race with long stages. This is just what I need to get the speed and endurance of racing back into my legs after such a long break from racing.

Right now I am taking it day by day and race by race, but it is very possible I will be racing my first grand tour this September in the Vuelta Espana. I will keep you posted and will find out more as time goes on and as I find some form.

Well, it’s time for me to go to bed. More posts to come from me and my family.

Thanks for reading,

Steven Cozza

Garmin’s Steven Cozza had a front-row seat for his debut at Paris-Roubaix on Sunday
By Andrew Hood
Published: Apr. 16, 2009

2009 Paris-Roubaix: Cozza made the early breakaway.
Photo: Graham WatsonSteven Cozza had a front-row seat for his debut at Paris-Roubaix on Sunday.

The 24-year-old bolted into the day’s main breakaway and then led the move across the famous Arenberg cobblestone section. Luckily, he wasn’t seriously injured in a late-race crash on a slick corner and was able to finish the race.

Things didn’t go as expected for the Garmin-Slipstream crew, who were quietly optimistic Martijn Maaskant would reach the final, top-three podium.

But for Cozza and the rest of his teammates, Sunday’s disappointment at Roubaix only fuels their motivation to come back and settle the score with the Hell of the North.

VeloNews European correspondent Andrew Hood caught up with Cozza to talk about his first experience on the cobblestones. Here are excerpts from the interview:

VeloNews: So the team tactics were built around riding 100 percent for Maaskant?

Steven Cozza: We all had confidence in Martijn. It was all for him. We wanted to get someone in a move if a big break went up the road and if there were a lot of big teams represented. I saw the move go. It was in a crosswind section. Eight guys were going and I jumped into it. It was good for the team to have someone up the road and then be there to help when the rest of the team pulls up. Martijn ended up having some bad luck, with a couple of flats and a crash.

VN: So you were assigned to try to get into the early breaks?

SC: It was me, (Mike) Friedman and Hans Dekkers. We didn’t want to waste too much energy early, but if something substantial was up the road, we needed someone in there. It worked out perfectly and it was really cool see the race by being in the break. Some big names were in the break, so it was cool to be riding with them over the cobbles. I was quite disappointed when the front group caught us, because I was not strong enough to stay with the leaders. Tom Boonen came by like a freight train. I didn’t have much strength left by then.

VN: It seemed like it took awhile for something to go, how was it working into the breakaway?

SC: It went about 40km into the race. It was really tough. There was some crosswinds and I saw the peloton was getting strung out. They weren’t letting anything go. A few guys were jumping up the road and some gaps were opening. I jumped from one rider to the next and kept moving up and I jumped from three riders to get into the break. We were really driving it for the first hour, but they wouldn’t give us more than one minute. Some teams were missing, there was no one from Silence-Lotto or a Katusha, so they were chasing pretty hard. When we hit the first cobbles, we immediately saw the gap grow by two minutes. At the Arenberg, we still had three minutes, but everyone was weakening by then.

VN: You had some pretty interesting riders in the break, including former winner Knaven, what did you learn from that experience?

SC: I was paying attention to see how they were pedaling, their position. (Andreas) Klier and Knaven were saying, ride the paved sections hard and take the pavé easy, hard on asphalt, easy on cobblestones, until they catch us. We didn’t kill ourselves in the cobblestones, but it was interesting to see what gears they were pushing on the cobblestones. I thought you had to push a big gear on the cobblestones to stay grounded, but they spin quite a bit. Our break was working well together, everyone was taking a rotation.

VN: So how was it through the Arenberg?

SC: That section was sweet. I was able to lead it into the Arenberg. It was like riding into a tunnel of people. I had so much adrenaline, I didn’t even feel the cobbles.

VN: How much more did you ride before the break was caught?

SC: I was looking forward to having Martijn come through, but when the group caught up, it was disheartening not to see anyone there from the team. My radio wasn’t working, so I didn’t know what was going on. Then I got dropped pretty fast. I was in the group with Hincapie, but I went back through that, and then I found Wiggins in a group about 20 seconds back. Wiggins was pretty strong. He’s really good on the cobblestones, it’s actually a good race for him. If he focused on that, he could do quite well.

VN: So you tried to stay in that group to help Wiggins?

SC: There were about 30 guys, but it was such a weird group. When it hit a cobbles sector, about half the guys would go off the front, the others would get dropped. I was floating in the middle and we stayed together until the finish. I was pretty tapped out at that point. I was just focusing on finishing.

VN: And you crashed pretty hard late in the race, what happened?

SC: It was about 5km to go. I was leading my group through a turn, either fans were throwing beer on it or there was oil, because it was so click. As soon as I hit it, I knew I was going down. I didn’t have a chance. My front wheel just slid out. It was kind of funny, I made it all the way through Roubaix without a flat, no crashes, no troubles, and then on an easy turn with 5km to go, I crash. You just never know at Roubaix.

VN: Banged up, but no serious injuries?

SC: The shoulder I crashed on, I’ve broken it before. I whacked it pretty hard, but it was just bruised. I am just really sore. I didn’t break anything.

VN: Now that you’ve had a few days to recover, how do you reflect on your first experience at Roubaix?

SC: I really look forward to the race in the future. I had a good experience. I love the cobbles. They don’t scare me at all. During the break, I was happier on the cobbles than on the paved sections. It was an honor to be up there in such a big race. I’ve been watching Roubaix since I was 15 years old. It’s always been a dream to do the race, then to be in the break in my first Roubaix was just so exciting.

VN: Were the cobblestones as hard as you expected?

SC: I actually didn’t think there were as bad as they said they were going to be. The worse is in the Arenberg and there are a couple pretty bad sections after that. Personally, I had no problems on them. Felt had some special bikes made. They were awesome. Compared to our normal road bike, it really made a huge difference. It was a longer frame, with a bigger space between the tires and the forks were longer, so it was a more relaxed ride. We had brakes on the top of the bars, too, and Zipp made some special Roubaix wheels for us. They were super strong.

The cool thing that really helped me in the race is the Garmin computers were programmed for the entire race. The 27 sectors of cobblestones were programmed into the unit, so my Garmin would tell me all the details about each sector: how long before I arrived, how long each sector was. It was such a huge advantage. I could rely on my Garmin because you could not remember the entire course. It was pretty damn sweet and it’s all done with GPS, so it’s exact. It scrolled through automatically.

Plus, we had the entire team there at the race. It was a tremendous effort. We had six cars, five mechanics, four or five soigneurs. Every sector we had bottles and a set of wheels waiting for us. It’s crazy what can happen in this race, but I was really lucky.

VN: How did the team react to the disappointment of not putting Maaskant in contention to win?

SC: Our team did everything right, except the bad luck. Martijn was super strong, we had everyone where we wanted. I was in the break, Mike and Will helped him chase back after his flat, but in the end, it was too hard to come back from that many misfortunes. We realized it’s Roubaix, that kind of stuff happens. We did our best in the situation. Of course, we were bummed, but it wasn’t because of a lack of preparation. We did everything we could, but these things happen. We will live to race another day. I know we all look forward to coming back and getting revenge.

VN: Were there any riders in the peloton that you admired or followed when you were watching Roubaix as a young racer?

SC: I’ve always looked up to Hincapie. I always wanted him to win the race. On Sunday, I wanted Martijn, Hincapie or myself to win. I was really bummed to see George in that second group. The Boonen group came through and then you saw George in the second group and you knew he’s not in contention. I hope he decides to race it again next year. He’s had such bad luck, he’s bound to have a year that luck goes his way. He’s such a super talent.

VN: Do you see yourself trying to evolve into a classics specialists like Hincapie or Boonen in the future?

SC: I love racing in Europe. I have a contract with the team through 2011. By the time that’s up, I will be 27, so I have plenty of time to develop. It’s been a dream of mine just to race Roubaix. I look forward to getting as many results and do the best I can for the team. The classics are best for me. I’m a good time trailer and an alright climber, but I am not good enough to be a grand tour leader. I see myself doing well in the grand tours to help my teammates and maybe win a stage. I think I can focus on the classics. The longer, 250km races are good for me. The longer and tougher, the better it is for me.

VN: So after a well-deserved break, what’s next?

SC: I’m a reserve for the Giro, but I will probably do Catalunya and then the Tour de Swiss. Since I am a reserve, I have to train like I am going to do the Giro, so then if I don’t go, I will be super-fit for Catalunya.

VN: Will you be staying in Spain or returning to the United States?

SC: I will stay in Girona. I am pretty set up over here. I like it in Girona. I will be doing some fishing, maybe do a little camping. I go fishing down on the Med. It’s pretty fun and we’re close to the sea. I have a car, so I just drive out there. I just fish from the rocks. It helps take my mind off racing when I need a little break. There’s a lot of fish out there.

April, 12th 2009
‘Hell of the North’ lives up to its name for Argyle Armada
Cozza in break, Wiggins top twenty-five

Even though the weather was very cooperative and un-Classic like for the 107th edition of Paris-Roubaix, the parcours, fast racing and bad luck made up for that aspect in making the race tough for Team Garmin-Slipstream. The team’s leader Martijn Maaskant had an untimely crash and puncture, making him have to chase for much of the race. As well five of the Argyle Armada came out of the race with many scrapes and bruises from multiple crashes. According to team doctor Prentice Steffen, none were serious.

Early in the race things looked up for the team as Steven Cozza was in a significant early move of eleven riders. “It was fun racing in the front,” said Cozza. “I was fortunate enough to jump to the break in a cross-wind section and just had a blast racing over the cobbles. I was like a kid in a candy shop today! The rest of my team raced super trying for the moves the first hour and racing so strong for Martijn after his flats and crashes I already look forward to getting revenge in this race next year!We all know a win is possible its just a matter of luck going our way.”

Director’s report from Johnny Weltz

Today was the big day we had worked so hard for — staying in a super-nice hotel, new bikes that the mechanics has worked on for weeks, nice weather… With the last two weeks’ results and the riders overall improvement, we had good reason to be optimistic!

It started out very fast and one break after the other went and our guys were always there. At 42km a group of eleven riders took off and we had Cozza in — they gained up to 3 min before the first section of cobbles which was a good situation! All our guys were in the front group over the cobbled sections, until the last one right before Arenberg! Then the ‘hell’ broke lose… Martijn had a flat rear wheel and Hans crashed.

Martijn got a new wheel from our mechanics on the road but the bunch was already split in two. Huub , Friedman and Will did a hell of a job to get him back to the front group. Martijn hit the Arenberg an the end of the caravan and smashed up towards the front. But then a new crash blocked the road completely. Even though he came out in the third group Brad and CJ waited for him to bring him all the way up to the front. We where back in the game again!

But it didn’t last, and there was a price to pay. Martijn had spent too much energy and couldn’t follow the top guys. That was a big blow but that’s why this race is so epic!!!! We got most of our guys to Roubaix and Brad had a really strong finish and was 25th on the day. On the whole we had a really strong team performance without the pay-off . Martijn was really depressed, but after a reflection on the whole situation he is ready to get back on the hunt for a race he know he can win in the future!

Steven Cozza on Garmin at the Tour from CycleTo on Vimeo.

Written by Bob Cullinan
Friday, 17 July 2009

While his Garmin team is animating the race at the Tour de France, Garmin-Slipstream’s Steven Cozza is home in California…resting, recuperating and getting ready for his next big race in Europe.

We found Steven in the wine region of Sonoma County, leading an afternoon clinic for Team Swift, a local youth development program.

Look for more on Steven’s work with Team Swift this weekend on CycleTo.

To my fans,

Welcome to my new and improved website. It is still in the making, but well on its way to becoming what I have envisioned it to be. I am really excited about this new web site because it will keep you guys more updated and informed on how I am doing – along with where I am in the world. I really appreciate all your continued support and look forward to hearing from you and answering any questions you may have. I now have the capability to do this – directly through written or video updates.

Also, as many of you know, helping others is very important to me. Very soon, you will be able to join my official fan club and receive cool stuff autographed photos and get exclusive access to interviews and video. The most important aspect of the fan club is that all membership dues will be donated to charity to help children in need all over the world. This will be a new driving force behind my desire to race and achieve success. It will be a great feeling to know that my fans are behind me to help raise money and offer help to children who are in less fortunate situations. More details on this endeavor will be posted to my site very shortly. And thanks again for your support!

On to the latest report…

This year has probably been one of the more challenging years of my career so far. After a hard winter of training, I was ready for the racing season. Usually as the season goes on you have your good days and bad days on the bike. In the past, I have had way more good days than bad, but this year has been a battle against the bad days.

I have broken through quite a few brick walls this year – always trying to keep my focus and my head up. This spring I was strong, but not consistently strong, and struggled all the way into the summer. After the Dauphine stage race in France, it was definitely time for me to take a break from racing. This came at a good time because it was always in the plan to either race the Tour de France or go back to California to rest and rebuild in my training for August, September and Octobers races.

Since coming back to California for the month of July, I was able to take a little over a week off the bike and just canoe and fish the whole time. I even was lucky enough to get to have Jen fly out over the 4th of July weekend. Since she is so busy with work back in Georgia, I really don’t get to see her all that much. And of course I miss her to death, so this was a nice break for us and also a chance for us to go camping together – something I’ve wanted to experience with her for a long time now.

Since then I started to rebuild by just doing rides in accordance to how I felt and now I am back working closely with my Coach Dario to prepare for the up and coming Tour of Poland, starting August 2nd. Today I just completed an awesome motor pacing session behind my dad and feel really positive as well as motivated on the bike – both very important things. My dad is great at driving the Vespa, but today he got a bit crazy in one of the turns going down HWY 1 towards Bodega bay. He looked like Evil Knievel on that thing and I was sure he was going to skid right off the cliff. He kept it up but man I have never been so worried for him in my life. Haha!

Tomorrow I go in for my last medical check. It’s not going to be such a fun day having to get a colonoscopy, but I’ll get through it. I have been having trouble with my digestion the past year and am trying to figure some things out and possibly linking it to my less than great form this year. We will see, but one thing’s for sure – tomorrow’s going to suck.

After this check up, I will continue my preparation for tour of Poland and then head back to Girona, Spain, later this month (my European home base). I am very excited for these last 3 months of racing.
Despite being down and out for the past month, it has been so great to be able to spend time with my family and friends, along with train on some of my favorite roads in the world back in Sonoma county. Just this week I was able to do Kings Ridge, the Geysers, Fort Ross and Colman Valley. It’s truly a cyclist paradise.

More exciting news to come…

Thanks for reading.

Steven