Cozza’s Go To Poland

Filed under: On the Road Again — admin @ 9:59 pm

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

On My Way to Poland

Filed under: On the Road Again — admin @ 9:52 pm

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 Debut Paris-Roubaix 2009

Filed under: On the Road Again — admin @ 10:18 pm

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.

Cozza 2009 Paris-Roubaix

Filed under: On the Road Again — admin @ 10:10 pm

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!

Tour-ing with CycleTo – Catching Up with Cozza

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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.

Tour-ing with CycleTo – A TT Clinic with Cozza

Filed under: On the Road Again,Video — admin @ 5:31 pm

Steven Cozza and Team Swift from CycleTo on Vimeo.

Written by Bob Cullinan
Sunday, 19 July 2009

Forget the controversies in France…the future of the sport of cycling is alive and well back here in the US.

Garmin-Slipstream rider Steven Cozza spent an afternoon this week with his old team. Well, not exactly old…let’s call it his former team, the team that set him on his way to the pro peloton.

Team Swift is a Santa Rosa, CA-based youth development program, lead by retired world-class pro Laura Charameda. She brought Steven back to talk to her current crop of kids about time trial tactics and preparation, and how to put those tips into action on the road.

To see more photos from Steven’s day with the “Swift-ies”…go to www.cycleto.com And see what Steven had to say about his afternoon with Team Swift in the following CycleTo video.

Almost On The Road Again

Filed under: On the Road Again — admin @ 8:33 pm

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

Doug Ellis on Garmin

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Doug Ellis on Garmin at Roubaix from CycleTo on Vimeo.

racing day

Filed under: 2008 Cycling Season,Gallery — admin @ 6:10 pm

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more Spain…

Filed under: Adventures,Gallery — admin @ 6:09 pm

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