Mateo just spent his winter skiing Super G downhill in Jackson Hole and Sun Valley, and is back on the bike now where we got to catch-up while down at Sea Otter earlier this month.
Thank you for letting us Interview you about yourself and your great win on your Redline ‘Cross bike at Bend this year.
Mateo: Thank you for letting me tell you a little bit about myself. Not only do I ride the sport of Cyclo-Cross, I also compete in road and mountain. This is my first time being a national champion, and I am really happy. I remember the first time I did Cyclocross on my old, 30-pound mountain bike when I was nine years old. I tried to train, but it was very difficult. Finally I ordered a Redline. It came the night before a race, and I tried to ride with it the next morning. By the time the race came around I was more or less sized on it. I raced as hard as I could, and the bike felt a lot lighter than my mountain bike. I finished up my last season that very first Redline. It has felt lighter every year (or maybe I’m just getting stronger)!
What got you interested in the sport?
I got interested when some of my team mates on BYRDS were starting to ride Cyclo-cross. I was hearing from them that it was very fun and an excellent thing to try. When I started getting in to other events like road and mountain I wanted to try it.
Tell us about your training?
I transition from road cycling, take a few weeks off the bike, then I begin some longer endurance rides on dirt/gravel roads on my Redline. Once the ‘Cross season starts I typically train with my team (BYRDS) at a local park and do a variety of exercises. What we do in a typical day: We usually start at 4:00 and ride down to Camels back, (a local park), and then run down to a tree that our coach chooses. We then come back and get on our bikes and do a warm up like sprints while the coach sets up our barriers. Then we ride a coarse including the barriers. At the end of the day we go out on the trails and do a big loop and then ride back to the park. We then play a game called bumper bikes where we ride around between trees and try to knock others over without taking our hand of the bars.
What do you like best about the sport?
I like how ‘Cross is totally different from all the cycling types. It is a lot more fun because it’s always different. I like how the weather and conditions can totally change your race.
What are your goals?
I would like to participate with the US JR National team and ride at their Belgium campus and eventually earn a sport to go to Worlds.
What valuable lessons have you learned in becoming a national cross champ?
I learned to never give up. If you have a goal in the sport of ‘Cross it makes it a lot easier because if you don’t give up, the person you are trying to chase down could fall/could have a mechanical and therefore you could pass that person.