Interview: Steven Cozza
By Luke Allingham
Date: March 8, 2012
The Daily Peloton / Pro Cycling News
Interview with Steven
Cozza who recently put his career on hold due to health problems. Steven rode
for the teams of Jonathan Vaughters and joined German Team NetApp in 2011.
Steven Cozza started his career as a professional
cyclist at the age of twenty-two, when he joined Jonathan Vaughter’s Pro
Continental squad, Slipstream Powered by Chipotle. He rode with the American
based team until the end of 2010. At the beginning of 2011, the young cyclist
signed for German based Professional Continental team NetApp. He rode in Team
NetApp colors until March, 2012 when Cozza put a pause on his career due to
During his five year career Cozza had some impressive results. In 2005 he
took a victory at U.S U-23 National Time Trial Championships. During his first
year with Vaughter’s team (2007), Cozza won the Best Young Rider’s
Classification at the Tour of Missouri, the team also took the Team
Steven Cozza (Garmin-Slipstream) was in the breakaway
for most the race at the 2009 Paris-Roubaix. Photo © Scott Cozza
How did you get interested or started in the
sport of cycling? How old were you when you started?
I started off BMX racing. Then switched over to the mtb when I was 12. Friends got
me interested in mtb racing. Then I broke my shoulder in a high school wresting
accident so I had to ride my mtb on the road for 1 year. From then on I was
hooked. That was in ’99 when Lance Armstrong won his first TDF. That really
What advice would you give to a
amateur cyclist, who dreams of becoming a professional
Keep dreaming and having fun.
You raced with Team NetApp until just recently when you put a hold
on your career, what did you experience with team while you raced with them?
What were some of the good and bad moments with the team?
It was pretty interesting going from JVs Team Garmin to a German team. Completely
opposite in terms of personality and vibe. NetApp is a new team and they are
growing very fast much like Garmin did. The environment was extremely serious
and strict much like how it was as an U-23 on the US National team. I think all
teams would be a lot better if they would relax, loosen up and have some
If you had to choose your favorite pro
cyclist from any era, who would it be? From the current
Well all my previous favorites have tested positive
or are being investigated so they are out. Its sad. Growing up, my walls were
covered with Pro Cyclist posters. Since then all those posters have been thrown
in the trash because every single one has been charged or suspected of doping.
My favorite athletes now are all the new up and comers like, Matthew Busche,
Brent Bookwalter, Andrew Talansky, Peter Stetina and Tejay Van Garderen.
Steven Cozza at the team NetApp 2012 training camp.
Photo © Scott
What music do you keep on your
Bush, Tom Petty, Incubus, and the Spice
In 2005 you took first place at the
U.S U-23 National Time Trial Championships – tell us about that victory and what
your feeling on it are.
It was cool. The day before I had
raced off the front of the road race the entire day, so to win the next days
Time Trial and by such a large margin was cool.
At the 2007 Tour of Missouri you won the Best
Young Rider’s Classification and your team won the Teams Classification. Tell us
what you remember about that race and what your experience was.
Its great. As a team we were having so much fun and racing our butts
As I mentioned in a previous question, you recently called a halt to your professional career – what made you decide to do that? Do you ever think you will return to the top level?
I had been struggling with stomach troubles for some
time now. I was finally properly diagnosed with Colitis. Since being diagnosed
it has been a learning process to learn how to prevent flair ups. I no longer
could race as I use to and it became extremely frustrating to be controlled by
health issues. I am giving myself sometime to do other things in life and I hope
one day soon I will have a grip on my stomach troubles so that I can return to
Now that you’ve stopped
racing, what will you be spending most of your time doing
Working, kite boarding, kayaking, playing with new
puppy, fishing, hiking and camping with my Fiancé, Jen, and all the things I
couldn’t do while racing bikes.
If you could thank anyone who was involved with your cycling life who would it be and
My Dad and Mom who gave me my first racing bikes and
always stood by my side supporting me through good and bad times. I also thank
Jen for helping me stay strong while I was having to race with health issues and
putting up with me when I was depressed and not the person she once new. Big
thanks to my coach Dario from Whole Athlete for coaching me for 7 years and
guiding me to incredible fitness and lastly I thank all my loyal fans who have
supported and cheered me on this entire time. I would also like to thank the
coach of Team Swift, Laura Charameda, for introducing me to cycling and pointing
me in the right direction.
Is there anything else you think we should talk about or anything else you’d like to
Yes!!! My Race for Kids fan club is still going on.
You can become a Race for Kids fan club member by going to www.stevencozza.com and
choosing a child’s charity of your choose. Its also tax deductible. Just a month
ago my 2 year old God Son, Brody, was diagnosed with Leukemia. He’s been supper
strong but needs financial support. You can donate to Brody by going to www.stevencozza.com. Or you
can mail a check to.
Race for Kids
A Global Program helping children world wide
Please make checks out to Race for Kids and put at the bottom
for Brody Tatman.
After we receive your donation you will become an
official member and earn the chance to win cool cycling things throughout the
Follow Steven on his Twitter or website
Celebrating our tenth year!