A First In The World of Professional Cycling

Filed under: On the Road Again — admin @ 6:54 am

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 bags or 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  the Giro 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!

Steven and Jen Go On Another Adventure This Time It’s The Akea Store

Filed under: Adventures,Gallery — admin @ 11:11 am

February 16, 2011

For Steven life is an Adventure even at the Akea store in Girona, Spain

Brett Richard of Handlebar Mustache Apparel Interview Steven Cozza, Team NetApp

Filed under: Talk with Steven — admin @ 4:42 pm

February 10. 2011

"I'm living a dream."

Bret Richard of Handlebar Mustache Apparel www.hbstache.com has a chat with Steven Cozza. Steven’s answers are thought provoking, sincere, sometimes cute, and always candid with a flare of humor. Enjoy the interview!

Giving Back:

1. What was the first charity or cause that called you to get involved?
It wasn’t one thing that called me to get involved. My parents raised me in believing how important it is to not just think of ourselves but others as well especially those in need of help.

2. Where did the idea for Race for Kids come from?

After traveling and racing all over the world being cheered on by so many kids on the side of the road, I decided I wanted to give back to them. I believe that every kid deserves a fair chance in this world, so I want to do all I can to help as many kids as possible live a better life.

3. What has been the best/most touching moment so far with Race for Kids.

Meeting my 3 year old friend, Aaron Phelps, who is currently living with SMA. Attached is a photo of Aaron. Also, my dad has some photos of me and him together.

Little Aaron Phelps is one of my heros

Cycling:

1. Most kids dream of being a Pro athlete, but when did you realize you had a gift on the bike?

I never realized I had a gift on the bike and I still don’t know if I do, but that doesn’t matter to me. Its what I want to do. I have set goals for myself and all my life I have worked my butt of to achieve my goals. First it was getting through school and now its pursuing my dreams in cycling. Next? That’s top secret. Your will is your greatest tool for reaching your goals in life.

2. You have some different feelings about race radio from many of your peers; can you share you views on the topic?
I personally don’t mind if we race with or without a radio. To me, its not the end of the world. I think it has turned more into a power struggle between the UCI and the riders. It’s too bad it has to be a child/parent kind of relationship because most the racers I’ve spoken with in the peloton actually say they are more happy racing without radios. For me, I can focus more, get in the zone and have less distractions without a radio. The radios have never helped keep me safe, nor have they helped me tactically. Why don’t we ask Eddy Merckx and racers of the past how it was racing without radios? I’m sure they will have no complaints what so ever.

3. If you could win just one these races which would you choose The Ronde’, Roubaix, or a Grand Tour Stage?
Any of them would put a smile on my face.

4. Most fans know you as a Classics guy, but you have strong TT back ground. It’s been a while since you got to go all out in TT; are you looking froward to this part of your new role?

Ya I was really great in the TTs up until 2009. I look forward to pushing the limits again this year.

5. Any funny stories of being on a European based team that you can share with us?
Yes plenty of funny stories. I am rooming with my Spanish teammate Jesus Del Nero at the Mallorca Challenge. Every day is bike racing as well as Spanish and English lessons. It is so funny trying to communicate with him. It is like we are both 2 year olds trying to get our points across with hand gestures and Spanglish.

6. Who are you BFFs in the Pro Peloton?

I don’t have any BFFs haha. I thought that was a Paris Hilton thing.

7. We gotta ask, are we gonna see the stache this year?

Maybe.

8. Who were the riders that influenced you as you studied Pro Cycling?

No one.

9. We know all Pro’s are tough, but besides the obvious (Jens Voigt) who are hardest of hard men in the current peloton?

Dan Martin the little Irish Man is.

10. Any races you haven’t gotten to ride in that are on your cycling bucket list?

The TDF of course.

Life/other:

1. How does one meet and go out with a Podium girl?
You should start off with looking like a mechanic. When Jen (my fiancee) and I met, she figured I was a mechanic because of the mustache. And then you got to shock her by getting on the podium. I passed her a note on the stage at sign-in the day after I accepted the Best Young Rider jersey at the Tour of Missouri. We kept in touch after I flew back to Europe and the rest is history.

Tour of Missouri Jen, Podium Hostess & Steven 2009

2. Tell us about your upcoming charity ride.
Its called the Giro Bello Classic and 100% of the money goes to two very important charities that I have chosen. One is for Myeloma and Blood Cancer research and the other is to eradicate the Polio disease in poor parts of the world. Limited to 500 entrants and filling up fast. Check out.

www.girobello.com

3. We know you are an outdoors enthusiast – If there was a Survivor season for Pro cyclists, what special skills would help you win?

Me being an Eagle scout would help me along with my insane will to survive any situation or challenge and to never give up.

4. You have been to Everest base camp, how did that come about? Any plans on climbing Everest when you retire?

I have always loved hiking. Everest is the mother of all mountains, so just going to base camp at 18,500 feet was incredible. I hope to go back one day with Jen and hike the Annapurna circuit.

Steven with Dad, Scott at Mt. Everest Base Camp October 29, 2004

5. Obviously not a pressing issue, but after you retire from cycling, what are your career/life plans? Top secret.

6. Outside of politics and religion we feel this is one of the more polarizing questions we can ask: The band Cold Play good or evil? Ha Cold Play. Terrible. Can’t stand their music one bit.

7. If you could go to dinner/have a drink with 5 living people who would they be?

Ali, the other four would be homeless people that I’d treat to dinner

"Muhammad Ali A Courageous Human Being"

"A Hero of Social Justice"

 

"A Great Warrior Inside The Ring and Outside The Ring"

February 7th, Trofeo Cala Millor-Cala, 1.1, Mallorca, Spain

Filed under: 2011 Cycling Season,Gallery — admin @ 7:05 pm

http://www.vueltamallorca.com

Steven Won the Sprint Jersey and Best Combination Classification

"A Very Happy Smile" Stage 2 Mallorca, Spain

Steven asks, "Are there any good fishing spots around here?"

 

"Ready to Rumble"

"Staying Focused On One Objective - A Win for Team NetApp"

"It's everything you got for the team."

"Stepped on the Gas"

 

Trofeo Inca-Inca "It's a Battle"

 

Trofeo Magaluf-Palmanova "Conquer The Mountain"

 

Trofeo Magaluf-Palmanova "Never Give Up!"

Vaughn Trevi of the Daily Peloton Interviews Team NetApp Rider Steven Cozza

Filed under: Talk with Steven — admin @ 8:22 am

Interview: Steven Cozza – NetApp Team Pro Rider  
Steven Cozza on moving on to NetApp, the 2011 season  and the cycling press…


Team NetApp climb at this weeksMallorca camp
Photo courtesy Team NetApp

www.dailypeloton.com   Pro Cycling News

Interview by Vaughn Trevi

January 31, 2011

If Steven Cozza, made his bones racing in Italy and Europe as a junior, born to a family of Italian heritage in Petaluma in the Sonoma valley in Northern California on March 3, 1985, Steven will turn 26 in a month. Cozza started racing Laura Charameda in 200 Team Swift Junior Developmental Team and progressed in the next 3 years racing with Danny Van Haute  in in Europe with the USA Junior team at the age of 16 and in Belgium with the USA U23 team.

His progress has been steady since. He joined Jonathan Vaughter’s development team TIIA Cref  at 20 years old in June of 2006; and stayed with the team through its evolution from – Slipstream-Chipotle (2007-08) to ProTour outfit as Garmin-Slipstream 2009 and Garmin-Transitions 2010.

Last fall signed with Div II team NetApp based in Hamburg, Germany sponsored by the American company NetApp, that creates innovative storage systems and software.

His best successes came in 2007 when he won a stage at the Volta Chiahuawa in Mexico as well as a year later at the Volta a Portugal and the Tour of Missouri where he won the Best Young Riders classification. Of course we shouldn’t miss that he stood on the top of the podium with his Garmin teammates after after winning  team time trials and was the top American (23rd)  at the World Championships in  Varese, Italy in 2008.

Steven is a talented all-rounder.  a more than able climber, capable of a fast time trial and an aggressive rider at home in breaks in a one day classic or stage races. Cozza has gained invaluable experience  in the past eleven years that will be  an invaluable asset to the NetApp team in 2011 as he steps into a leadership role.

Vaughn Trevi: So having met your team mates at this point how is the ambience at the camp?

Steven Cozza: The team is great. I am really happy racing here at NetApp. The entire group including the staff and management all have respect for each other. I think to produce a successful team the riders must respect each other but more importantly respect and get respect from the boss. With this kind of atmosphere we are all prepared to go into battle as one and leave no man behind except for the competition.


2007 Tour of California Prologue (10thn at 22 years old)
Photo © 2011 Mark Adkison Ph.D.

V.T.: Who are your favorite riders to train with?

S. Cozza: I enjoy training with the entire team. I live in Spain and so does Jesus Del Nero so its fun having that in common with someone on the team. I’m also Italian by blood and Cesare on the team is Italian. That is also pretty cool to have an Italian teammate. There’s 8 or so different nationalities on this team. Pretty cool.

V.T.: ow is your early season training going? How are things going at camp for you and the team in Mallorca this week?

S. Cozza: Training this early season has gone great. My coach Dario Fredrick from Whole Athlete works closely with me and always gives me a great training program.


2008 Steven Cozza riding to 4th place in the ITT at the USA Championships
Photo © 2011 Kurt Jambretz -Action Images

I am a strong supporter of clean racing and will always race as a clean cyclist. I love the sport too much to dishonor it by cheating as others have done. Winning means a lot to me, but not at the expense of the sport I love or of my own integrity as a person and a cyclist. Steven Cozza

VT: Do you plan on coming into the season with a roar or aiming to peak at the tour of California now that the team has been confirmed?

S. Cozza: I definitely would like to start the season off on the right food. My goals for the early season are het Volk, 3 days of De Panne, the tour of Turkey and of course the Tour of California.

VT: When I hear your name I remember your aggressive riding and activity in breaks… a guy who is willing to go for it all in the long break with a group as as you did with new team mate Jan Barta at Paris-Bourges  or your solo pursuit of a break at the tour of Romandie in 2009… and of course a mustache.  This may sound stupid, but what keeps you motivated out there in that situation?

S. Cozza: I do enjoy racing aggressively. For one its the best way to get stronger. You also can create a lot of opportunity for yourself this way. I enjoy putting on a good show for the fans. We are entertainers after all. I get the most satisfaction from racing my bike hard and I will continue to race this way till I stop cycling.


Cozza leads the break at the 2008 USA Road Championships
Photo © 2011 Kurt Jambretz -Action Images

  V.T.: Do you just like to be out there making the race instead of sitting on?

S. Cozza: Ya for sure.

V.T.: Will you have more opportunities like these this year with team NetApp; can we expect more of the same bold moves this season?

S. Cozza: Ya I believe so. It all depends on my head and legs. I want to win some races this year and its not going to be beating cavendish in a group sprint so I have to be a little more creative.

V.T.: What is your favorite European Race? American Race?

S. Cozza: I raced Amstel for the first time last year and really loved it. I’d have to say I enjoy any race I can do.


Paris-Roubaix 2010   Photo © 2011  Fotoreporter Sirotti

V.T.: The one race you would like to win in the future.

S. Cozza: Any of them sounds good to me.

V.T.: If you had to describe yourself as a rider and your talents how would you do it?

S. Cozza: I would say I’m a Bold cyclist that creates his own opportunities. I’m ready to tap into that again this year.

V.T.: Do you have a rider in the past that you admire and would like to emulate during your career?  A current rider.

S. Cozza: Jens Voigt is pretty dam hard to beat. If I can be half the cyclist he is I’d be pretty dam proud of myself.

V.T.: Do you think that most cycling sites and mags are too fixated on doping that they fail to report good or worthy news like your Giro Bello benefit ride to the detriment of cycling? 

S. Cozza: Ya of course. I think its important these sites bring light to what’s going on because we must not ignore such an important issue but hey come on, don’t need to beat it into the ground. It gets old and repetitive. Report on positive things to please like my www.Girobello.com charity ride with 100% of the money raised going to two very important causes.

V.T.: Do you feel they do justice to riders and teams involved, or are the too often fixed on lies and rumors?

S. Cozza: I think the majority of the stories reported are twisted and distorted. Accuracy is very far away from the bulls eye.  Yes on the lies and rumors; that’s exactly what they are.

V.T.: Give me the good, bad and ugly about being a pro cyclist?

S. Cozza: The worst thing about Pro Cycling is I have to live so far away from my family. The 2nd worst thing is I can’t own a dog. And the best thing about it is I get to live my dream. The day its not my dream anymore you won’t hear about me know more. I do have some pretty cool plans for when cycling comes to an end one day.

V.T.: You do a lot of work for causes on your website, Giro Bella Ride, Race for Kids Fan Club,  and you Fun for Kids section… I see there is another side to Steve Cozz most might not be familiar with. Did your coming up on the Team Swift program influence your doing these activities for kids?

S. Cozza: I’ve always loved giving back and helping others. I believe as humans it is the rent we pay for living on this planet. We must do all we can to help others. Its our duty from the day we are born to the day we die.

V.T.: Tell us a bit about your Simplon bike you and the team will be riding.

S. Cozza: The Simplon bike is hands down the best bike I have ever ridden. I’m not just saying this because its my teams bike. Its Austrian made and just rides and handles incredibly. Its incredibly stiff yet absorbs all the bumps in the road.

V.T.: Thanks Steven for making the time for this interview while you are at camp. One last thing, will  you be riding the Giro Bella in June?

S. Cozza: Yes, I will definitely be there. I’m going to be doing the 200 mile route.

There ya go folks you’re invited to join Cozza on a good long ride on roads he trains on hrough the beitoful Sonoma County wine country, the Bodega Coast, the Geysers and more,  all to benefit Rotary’s Polio Plus eradication program and the Institute for Myeloma and Bone Cancer Research aim to cure blood and bone cancer. Don’t forget to wear your mustache!

A new video of Steven riding on the roads with more details has just been posted on the Giro Bella site with more details of the ride, dinner and expo. Steven may have other pro riders as guests on the ride so stay tuned to the DP for further announcements and register for the ride and book your hotels soon.

Follow Steven Cozza on:
Steven Cozza Website
Facebook + Twitter
Giro Bella Website
Giro Bella Registration
Giro Bella Facebook + Twitter
2011 Giro Bella Announcent
Steven Cozza – Million Dollar “Race for Kids” Club
Team NetApp