Off Season Every Second Counts

Filed under: On the Road Again — admin @ 10:05 pm

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 Cozza’s “Big Catch and Release” Leopard Shark


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


Papa Scott Cozza caught a few smelt fish.



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

Eneco Tour Stage 3 Cozza

Filed under: 2009 Cycling Season,Gallery — admin @ 2:07 pm

Steven Cozza

Photo by: Albert Vreewijk


The Pressure Is On With Coozzzzzaaa At The Front of The Peloton

Filed under: 2009 Cycling Season — admin @ 1:47 pm


Garmin also spent a lot of time on the front today.

Garmin also spent a lot of time on the front today.

Cozza at the front of the Peloton. Garmin spent a lot of time on the front today. - Tour of Missouri 2009.

Photo credit ©Jon Devich

Nathaniel Brewster Interviews Steven

Filed under: Talk with Steven — admin @ 12:57 pm

Interview September 2009

Nathaniel Brewster’s cycling blog is

The Interview

Nathaniel Brewster- “Congratulations on Zabriskie’s win in Missouri. How was it defending the yellow jersey those last couple days? Any close calls?”

Steven Cozza- “Helping to defend DZ’s Yellow Jersey was very tough. I haven’t had to dig that deep in a long time and I loved every little bit of it. I was so tired the day after the race was over we did a ride with our Garmin sponsor. There were 200 people on the ride and I had to get in the car half way thru the ride. I left every last drop of energy I had in the race to help protect Zabriskie’s lead.”

Nathaniel Brewster- “When does the ‘off season’ start?”

Steven Cozza- “Its different for everyone. My off season started the day the Tour of Missouri ended.”

Nathaniel Brewster- “Do you use rollers,trainer or both?”

Steven Cozza- “Only use them when I have a broken bone and can’t ride outside. Otherwise won’t touch them. I enjoy the great outdoors.”

Nathaniel Brewster- “Do you own a tandem? And who would you like to ride one with?”

Steven Cozza- “No I don’t own a tandem, but they are great bikes for the blind to use to enjoy cycling. I helped raise money for the Earle Baum Center of the Blind, in Santa Rosa, California
( to purchase 5 tandem bikes a few years ago. I loved taking a great rider named Sean who was blind out on the tandem whenever I could.”

Nathaniel Brewster- “Have you witnessed changes in the domestic scene with the advent of races like the Tour of Missouri and Tour of California?

Steven Cozza- “I think having more races like the TOC or the TOM in the US is a great idea. The fans are awsome here in the US and it would be great for the domestic scene to get a boost with races like these.”

Nathaniel Brewster- “Those Garmin Edge computers are pretty snazzy. Do you find yourself lost without one?”

Steven Cozza- “I’m an Eagle Scout. One of my favorite off season things to do every year is to walk into the mountains with food and just a sleeping back. Bishop, California is my favorite place to start hikes out of. I dont even bring a map. Having a “Garmin edge” is a great tool to train with. I am so so so glad they are my team’s sponsor. Awsome company and an awsome product line.”

Nathanieal Brewster- “Garmin’s training philosophy seems pretty progressive. Do you have a personal coach and program? Or is your training more team-centric?”

Steven Cozza- “Yes Dario Fredrick ( is my personal coach. He’s help get me through the “ups and downs” of professional cycling. I reccommend him to any serious cyclist and or weekend warrior.”

Nathaniel Brewster- “Ever use those ‘Space Legs’? Do they work?”

Steven Cozza- “I do use them when I can. Do they work? Who knows. I think they help. If anything they look cool and funny to wear.”

Nathaniel Brewster- “Are you a DZ Nuts convert?”

Steven Cozza- “I use DZ Nuts for Shaving Cream. It actually works great.”

Nathaniel Brewster- “In the day’s break at Roubaix ’09. Certainly an accomplishment. Was it as difficult as you imagined?”

Steven Cozza- “I love the Roubaix race. I am addicted and its definetily in my eye for the next ten years. I love the cobbles and feel so at home on them. It was a real pleasure to race in the break all day at my first Paris Roubaix. The fans kick major ass.”

Nathaniel Brewster- “Will you do it again in ’10?”

Steven Cozza- “Yes. I’ll be there in ’10. I know I can be strong in the final for Martijn our classics leader. I want to save myself for the last 80 kilometers to help him win. When my opportunity comes I’ll be ready.”

Nathaniel Brewster- “What’s your favorite ‘hometown’ race?”

Steven Cozza- “Our old Tuesday night crits in Santa Rosa. I sure hope they bring them back.”

Nathaniel Brewster- “How long do you live in Europe each year? Do you speak any foreign languages?”

Steven Cozza- “I only spend the winters months back home. November thru December usually. The rest of the time I am in Spain working on my Spanish.”

Nathaniel Brewster- “How often do you replace your cycling shoes?”

Steven Cozza- “Once every 3-6 months of racing.”

Nathaniel Brewster- “You’ve had your share of injuries as a pro. What’s your advice for those who hit the deck and break something?”

Steven Cozza- “Enjoy your time off. Everytime I break something I always come back stronger and have the best races of my life.”

Nathaniel Brewster- “Does the mustache have performance enhancing qualities?

Steven Cozza- “Yes the mustache gives me “super powers”, ha ha. I cant wait to grow it back for the 2010 season. If you go to my web site on the home page you can print the “stache” to wear at the races I’m in. Hope to see my fans wearing the “stache”.”

Podium Hostesses Play Important Role In The History Of Professional Cycling

Filed under: Talk with Steven,Video — admin @ 9:26 am

Steven Interviews Missouri Podium Hostesses from scott cozza on Vimeo.

Steven rode the 2009 Tour of Missouri in support of Dave Zabriskie, who was the eventual winner. Steven had a special supporter throughout the week – his girlfriend Jen, who just happened to be a podium hostess at the race.

Here, Steven interviews Jen and Erin, fellow podium hostesses, to ask them more in depth questions about their role in the race.

My Favorite Ride – Steven Cozza

Filed under: On the Road Again,Video — admin @ 12:46 pm

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!

Cozza on Christian- “A Big Loss for the Team”

Filed under: On the Road Again — admin @ 10:48 am
Friday, 11 September 2009 Tour of Missouri
Click image to open!
Click image to open!

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. 
Click image to open!
Click image to open!

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.


Gilbert surprises with a sprint win ahead of Pinfold, Hushovd

Filed under: On the Road Again — admin @ 10:19 am

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

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.

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

Photo credit ©Jonathan Devich/

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/

Hellish Stage 6: Garmin Boys Fought Off Attacks!

Filed under: On the Road Again — admin @ 8:21 am


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 my red bracelet quite a few more times.  

Wish the Garmin boys luck!  


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/

Tour of Missouri 2009

Filed under: 2009 Cycling Season — admin @ 9:12 pm

Steven Cozza Tour of Missouri 2009

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