SEG / Cycling
Monday February 27, 2012
Steven ‘The Stache’ Cozza to pause his career
After struggling with enduring health problems, Steven Cozza has decided to pause his career as a professional cyclist.
“For too long now I have been struggling with Colitis. I am getting better at managing it but at this point it is not improving fast enough for me to continue at this professional level in the sport of cycling”, says Steven Cozza.
“I love the sport of cycling so to only be able to perform at 50% of my best because of my health has been very frustrating. I miss the rider I use to be – the aggressive one attacking nonstop throughout the race. Therefore, I have made a really tough decision to change my focus away from racing. I have to get my body and my health right – that’s all that counts. But in the end I can be proud because I know I gave it my best until the end”, explains Steven Cozza his decision.
“Team NetApp has been very supportive and I am so happy that they have reached such a high level of success in such a short time. I wish so much that I was able to give more to the team. I will miss all the guys and wish them the very best this season”, continues Steven Cozza.
“Steven was so crucial for helping our young team to advance. After our first year he was brave enough to believe in our ambitious plans. I take my hat off to this very private decision to pause the stressful side of life and to recharge his batteries“, says Ralph Denk, Team Manager Team NetApp.
“I want to thank all my loyal fans for all their support through the good and hard times of this sport.”
I am asking for help from my friends and family and those I don’t know, but are willing to help my little buddy. My Godson Brody Tatman 2 years old was recently diagnosed with leukemia. Please help Brody by making a monetary contribution to The Brody Tatman Trust Fund.
Please spread the word and donate if at all possible.
Make checks payable to The Brody Tatman Trust Fund and please mail to:
Telephone – 707 524 3000
If you’d like your donation to be * tax deductible then you can make your check out to
Your generous contribution will help pay for medical expenses and care that Brody’s parents, Jeff and Erika Tatman cannot afford.
|This is Erika and Jeff Tatman’s personal page to update us all on Brody’s
progress and a place where we can support them. -thanks all, Steven
A CaringBridge website was created to share health news and receive support.
Show your support. Visit and keep up to date. Leave a message in the
Find Brody’s site at http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/brodytatman.
CaringBridge provides personal websites that connect people experiencing a
significant health challenge to family and friends, making each health journey
“I was a bit speechless when I got the news. Although we presented ourselves in a confident way when applying, we also knew that we stood only an outside chance. Now it feels like the first season win. It’s a great confirmation for us,” was the reaction from Ralph Denk, Team NetApp’s team manager.
“Our thanks go out to RCS as the organizer of the Giro d’Italia. I’d like to thank them for the decision itself and for the implied confidence in our young team. The Giro will give us an opportunity to prove ourselves. I’d like to emphasize the courage it took RCS to venture down a new path in terms of awarding the wildcard,” Ralph Denk added.
The Giro d’Italia will be the highlight of the season for the tour specialists on the team. Thanks to the organizer’s early decision, the team can design its racing program and preparation for the season in such a way that it will be competitive at the start. With a view to the general classification, Team NetApp will send its young Czech rider, Leopold König, to compete there. In 2011, König was placed second in the Tour of Austria, third in the Tour de l’Ain and fifth in the Tour of Britain. “We believe that Leo still hasn’t exhausted his potential and that he will be able to finish the Giro in the top 20,” stated an optimistic team manager, Ralph Denk.
This year’s Giro d’Italia will be held from 5 to 27 May. It will start in Herning, Denmark, and finish in Milan. The professional riders will have to cover nearly 3,500 km over 21 stages. Two individual time trials, a team time trial and five mountain finishes are scheduled.
October 29, 2011
The off season is here and that means it is time to do many other things along with riding the bike. This fall has been a unique one because I have been dealing with an illness that I was finally properly diagnosed with. Thanks to Team NetApp’s medical team for setting me up with a very good hospital in Germany for complete testing. I spent 3 days in the Aachen University Hospital undergoing every test you could possibly have for digestive health issues. The end result was that I was told I had Colitis of the intestines. I am now doing a lot of work to fix this so that I can be at my best in the coming year of racing. To change things up a bit I have been cross training in many different ways. Some days I run, other days I lift weights and even have been doing a bit of kayaking. For more relaxing activities I have been doing quite a bit of fishing, hiking and even building furniture. I am currently making my fiancée Jen and I a dining room table. It’s pretty cool because all the power tools I am using are German made and from the 70s. My friend, who I am borrowing the tools from and learning good technique is also German.
Along with all the cross training and hobbies I have been spending as much time as I can with my friends and family. They are always happy to have me around for the off season and holidays. Dealing with Colitis has been quite stressful so it is so great to have the close support from my family for a few months. I am doing everything I can every second of the day to get better from what plagued me during my first season with team NetApp. I look forward to updating you again when l get back to racing full swing ahead.
Thanks for reading,
Professional Cyclist Team NetApp
June 24, 2011
A Triubte To My Friend Dino Garcia, by Gene Berman
From the below, you can very clearly discern what motivates me to raise massive money to cure what took Dino’s life and complicates mine. This should NEVER happen! And because of your incredible generosity, it may not, again. Thank you very much!!
Dino Garcia-Rossi’s Obit:
Dino Garcia-Rossi, a former biologist at Bodega Marine Lab, avid cyclist and father of three young boys, died June 17 after a five-year battle with cancer. He was 47.
Born Dino Garcia in El Salvador, he came to the United States while in high school to escape the civil war ravaging his homeland.
“He fell in love with California and his bicycle,” said his wife, Heather Garcia—Rossi, an English teacher at Montgomery High School.
Though he spoke little English, at the age of 17 Garcia-Rossi rode solo from Portland to Southern California. His love affair with the natural world blossomed.
After graduating from high school, he followed a family member to Georgia where got a degree in business as his father – a doctor who owned coffee farms in El Salvador – expected. Both his parents were killed in a car accident while visiting Georgia for his graduation from Berry College,
He returned to California and for a time stayed with his sister in Windsor. With his English still improving, he began taking classes at the Santa Rosa Junior College.
“He learned English by listening to Beatles songs,” his wife said.
While studying at the JC, he decided that he would not go into business, as he father had planned, but would follow his passion for exploration of the natural world and become a biologist.
“He loved everything about how the natural world works,” Heather Garcia-Rossi said.
It was at the JC that he also met his future wife, Heather Rossi. She followed him to U.C. Davis and eventually he got a job at the Bodega Marine Lab, studying everything from invasive species to fish genetics. He went on to receive his master’s degree in ecology from Sonoma State.
The couple made their home in Santa Rosa, and Garcia-Rossi did all he could to instill within his three sons – now ages 12, 9 and 5 – the same sense of wonder he felt about nature.
“It was completely normal for us to have the life cycle of some creature in our kitchen,” she said. “He thought it was really someone’s most important job to know about how the world works.”
In addition to cycling, he was an avid surfer and guitar player.
As his work in Bodega was ending, he was offered a job as a researcher at the National Cancer Institute in Washington, D.C.
A short time later, he was diagnosed with multiple myeloma, a form of blood cancer, on the day his youngest son was due to be born. He went through a series of bone marrow transplants that gave him spells of remission.
Throughout his illness, Garcia-Rossi showed immense bravery and always put others first, his wife said.
“He was amazing,” she said. “He was the most curious person I ever met.”
Services will be at 1 p.m. on Sunday, July 3, at Congregation Shomrei Torah, 2600 Bennett Valley Road in Santa Rosa.
A fund for his children has been established at the Westamerica Bank branch in Montgomery Village (424 Farmers Lane, Santa Rosa CA 95405, phone: (707)576-3670).
And how I came to know and admire Dino:
I only came to know the Garcia-Rossi ‘s through Dino’s and my mutual diagnosis with MM in early 2007. At that time, Heather was a welcome pillar of support for Enid (my wife) as she was attempting to come to grips with a life-changing event. Generosity of spirit has been a continuous and laudable hallmark of the Garcia-Rossi family.
When I had stabilized and started to live with my diagnosis, was when my friendship with Dino began — he spurred my interest in cycling. I warned Dino that I was a slug on wheels, and that I did not want to hold him back. He laughed and said we should just “enjoy the ride.” Dino knew every scenic and strenuous route in the area and relished in finding the “warm-up hills” and the “one last hills” on each ride.
One morning, we were out in the Dry Creek Valley — instead of taking the usual turn to head us back toward Healdsburg on West Dry Creek, Dino suggested that we continue on Dry Creek to the state park at the end of the road. Once there, he led the way as we started the (until then unknown-to-me) ascent to the Lake Sonoma overlook. As was the routine on any hill climb of significance, Dino would climb ahead, double back, to see if I was OK, then climb again. On the third return, when truthfully, I would have happily and as easily hopped off the bike, to head it back down the hill, Dino (sensing this, no doubt) rode up alongside me, and placed is right hand in the small of my back and pushed me up the last part of the climb. When we reached the Lake Sonoma overlook, with me realizing what I would have missed (never having been there, even by car, before), I thanked Dino for the assist. He said, “that’s what friends are for.”
Dino always treated me and anyone I ever saw him encounter with generosity and gentleness. There was a calm around Dino that always made our times together very special, and a welcome respite from the day-to-day stuff in both our lives, and in managing with our illness.
I last saw Dino on his 47th birthday (June 13). He was sleeping when I arrived. I stood by his bed and watched him for quite a while. He opened his eyes, awoke, and gave me my last ‘dose’ of calm, humor and concern for me. As I parted his company to share his awake time with others waiting to offer their birthday wishes, Dino’s last words to me asked that I stay in touch with Heather and the boys. Dino to the end! I promise, I will, Dino. I will love and admire you always.
The Press Democract, Santa Rosa California
Published: Monday, May 23, 2011 at 8:43 p.m.
Last Modified: Monday, May 23, 2011 at 8:43 p.m.
That slow, painful drip of water you felt on your forehead Sunday, you felt it before, haven’t you? It was excruciating, wasn’t it, one drip at a time, one rumor at a time, again and again, to the point it felt like a hammer on your noodle and you never wanted to hear “Barry Bonds” and “steroids” ever mentioned again.
Now we have “Lance Armstrong” and “doping” and if I hear or read anymore about it, my skull will crack and I will bleed from the ears.
Tyler Hamilton said on “60 Minutes” Sunday he saw Armstrong dope and I wouldn’t care if he saw Armstrong put on lipstick except that the clean guys, the up-front guys, their message and their lifestyle is lost in the endless sea of sensational speculation, of he said, she said, who said. This internet virus — call it The Wagging of Tongues — can take a burp and turn it into a reason for a federal investigation in less than 15 minutes.
So I searched for sanity and I came across Steven Cozza, the Petaluma pro rider for Team NetApp.
“I am really stoked about the future of cycling,” said Cozza, 26. “Truth will set the sport free. I am proud that I have never taken drugs. The only thing I have ever taken is caffeine. When I am 40 I want to be able to look back at my career and be proud that I did it the right way. Life is choices and the previous generation made some bad choices. I don’t feel bad for whoever is being ousted or getting caught. I do expect them to stand up, come clean and make the sport better. And I want to make sure you know I’m not accusing Lance of doping at all.”
Cozza doesn’t know. Who does? Tyler Hamilton?
“His credibility is so diluted,” said Don Winkle, a Santa Rosa attorney, an avid cyclist and ex-racer. “He denies he ever did drugs and then gets busted.”
Who does? George Hincapie?
“I have no idea where they (60 Minutes) got their information,” Hincapie said to a 60 Minutes report that he reportedly told the feds he did drugs with Armstrong. Who does? Me? You? Oprah?
We have ex-riders like Hamilton and Floyd Landis singing like birds. We have four of Armstrong’s U.S. Postal teammates who allegedly, reportedly, apparently, who either were forced or volunteered eyewitness accounts. Where does all this lead? To The Wagging of Tongues. And the formation of conclusions.
We have had so much time to deal with Armstrong that people already have made up their minds about him, the same way people made up their mind about Bonds. Bonds’ 73 homers in 2002 is a false positive the same way some people view Armstrong’s seven consecutive Tour de France victories. They have made their peace with it, one way or another, justifying it one way or another, and the rest of it is just conversation, like the brief one I had with Jim Keene of NorCal Bike in Santa Rosa.
“I am certainly not surprised,” Keene said of Hamilton’s televised confession. “It does seem implausible he could win seven in a row, defeating everyone else who tested positive. It didn’t come as a shock but, then again, who knows?”
Maybe the feds will. Who knows? They didn’t exactly nail Bonds to the yardarm after spending $6 million. Let the feds do their thing and one day they’ll tell us they are prosecuting or not. No tongue wagging, it got in the way of a great 2011 Tour of California. It got in the way of the top two finishers, Chris Horner and Levi Leipheimer, California residents winning a California race that, by the way, didn’t need to have Armstrong in it to succeed wildly.
“I’ve been very busy all day,” said Leipheimer early Monday evening in an e-mail responding to a request for comment. “I don’t have anything to contribute to the 60 Minutes story. Of course I saw the headlines but I wasn’t able to watch it.”
You could say Levi was fortunate not to have seen the piece. I mean, enough, already, about interpreting the veracity of Tyler Hamilton’s comments by analyzing his facial expressions on “60 Minutes.”
Like everyone just became a FBI behavioral analyst. Oh, Tyler was dabbing at his lips there while being asked a question. Oooh, now that’s a guilty man. Stop it. We must be patient and realistic. We need closure but it’s going to be awhile before the feds make up their mind. They don’t want to look as inefficient and wasteful as they did chasing Bonds.
In the meantime we need to get a life, a hobby, anything to fill up those National Enquirer moments of mindless curiosity because, unfortunately, this won’t go away until Armstrong goes away, one way or another.
“I agree,” Cozza said. “Cycling is such a beautiful sport.”
For more North Bay sports go to Bob Padecky’s blog at padecky.blogs.pressdemocrat.com. You can reach Staff Columnist at 521-5223 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
May 10, 2011
To Cycling Fans
I have been diagnosed with a Parasite and a Yeast infection of the Intestines (Candida Albicans). I have been having stomach problems for sometime now so I am happy that the Doctors have found out the root of the problems.
I just can’t wait to feel good again on the bike and am very motivated to do all I can to make this happen.
Bike Monkey Magazine – http://www.bikemonkey.net/
Written by Yuri Hauswald
February 19, 2011
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!
Team NetApp’s first camp was held at Hotel Chartea Crawhez in Clermont on the border of Belgium and Germany. I flew all the way from Petaluma, California, where I live, for the camp. The first Team Camp is always very important because its where you meet your new teammates, do team photos and get fitted for all the clothing.
The Belgian weather was at its best with freezing wind and rain. The freezing temperatures made it a challenge for our team photos. This was not a photo shoot for runway models. Only true warrior athletes like my teammates could handle a photo shoot such as the one we did at camp.
The Chatew Crawez setting was perfect for our team camp. At least inside that is. It was a very cozy and intimate environment – perfect for us all to get to know each other. Warm soups were served for lunch and gourmet German/Belgian dishes were served at dinner such as deer with knodli. Knodli (my favorite), I later learned is a typical Bavarian dish. After meals, the team all pitched in to get the dishes done. Washing dishes as a team was actually really fun and a good way to work on teamwork. I figure if we can all do the dishes together, racing together will be very easy! Ha ha.
Other activities we had were meetings, health tests, fitness tests and interviews. The first meeting we had was with the Anti Doping Control. We have all heard this speech every year, but its important for them to continue to educate the riders about the process and how to keep them informed on our whereabouts.
The second meeting was with Hohenbalance, an altitude training system company. Team NetApp is making two of the rooms at the Team house altitude rooms. The speaker explained to us how the system works and when and how to use it to best increase our performance. It was all very interesting and exciting that the team is investing in healthy, natural ways to improve our performance.
Next, each rider had an individual meeting with directors Ralph, Jens and Enrico. This meeting was to discuss with us our job on the team as well as our race schedule for the coming racing season.
The health checks we did were done by our team doctors and it looked like a science project. During the ECG test, I had wires attached all over my chest and back to monitor my heart’s functions.
The most painful part of the camp, even more painful then the photo shoot, was the fitness test. XP sports group is working with the team along with SRM, so they decided to come to camp and torture us with a physio test. We had to ride on the SRM fitness bike for over 20 minutes with the watts increasing every 3 minutes by 40 watts. Congrats to Jan Barta for destroying the test with the greatest power output. I’m glad Jan is my teammate this year! All the guys did extremely well, especially considering it is only November.
With a great November camp completed, I am now headed back to California to train for the winter and be with my family, fiancee and friends. I will be back in Europe for the team presentation in Amsterdam on the 12th and 13th of January. The teams first real training camp will be in Majorca from January 17th to the 30th.
I leave this camp and my teammates with great excitement and motivation for the coming season.
Thanks for reading,
Friday, October 08, 2010
Being at the race Paris – Bourges last Thursday we took the chance to talk to Steven Cozza who’ll be joining Team NetApp in 2011, when he stepped out of the race, after being in a break with our rider Jan Barta right from the start of the race until the buffet.
What do you know about Team NetApp so far?
From my first races they seem very well organized. And it was cool being in a break with Jan. At least for a little bit until I started cramping. I never had cramps in my life before, so that was pretty depressing but Jan looked strong. I am sure he will continue on well in the race. It’s been a horrible day for me. But I am already looking forward to next year. The Team looks cool and I am exciting to go to the team help them grow.
What are your expectations, are there any races you ‘d prefer?
It would be cool if the team could get some of the classics. Like the spring classics, hopefully the Tour of California that would be great and maybe the Tour of Colerado. I think it will be cool to be racing with an up and coming team because I know everybody is gonna be really motivated and everybody is gonna have a real good attitude. I think that’s important. It is good for me, it ‘s good for the team and it’s good for the sponsor.
Did it matter that Team NetApp has a US company as a sponsor?
It didn’t matter so much but it’s cool that they are from California. It’s good to race for a good sponsor that’s close to home. The Tour of California just announced their stages and the tour passes by the headquarters of NetApp close to San Jose. That’ll be great then if we can get into that race. I’ve done the race three times now. It is a good time of the year, the weather is great and it would be good for the team.
How important is your families’ support to you?
Well, sometimes it can be very overwhelming (laughs). My dad helps me a lot with my race for kids fan club, which is cool because I really believe in that and it is motivating for me.
What do you do for your kids charity?
People can join my fan club by donating. All my fans can donate certain money to different youth charities for disadvantage children around the world so it’s global and there are over 20 charities on there. In return they get like an autographed card and they also get into our internal draw every month to win certain prizes like signed jerseys. Right now I raised over 8,000 USD in just under a year.
Paris – Bourges has been the first race for you racing with Team NetApp. Were you curious and did you check out our riders?
I met some of the guys, like Jan (Barta) and Andreas (Schillinger), but I didn’t get much time because right from the beginning I went in the break with Jan but I’ll get to meet them in November. I met the young guy from Belgium, too, Dimitri Claeys. So he is a funny guy. He seemed cool. He just came over and said hi.
So mid November Team NetApp will have its team meeting. What are your expectations regarding the team meeting?
I was gonna stay in Europe but since I never get to see my parents I just fly home for three weeks and come back for the team meeting. It’s a lot of flying but it’ll be worth it. I think it will be fun to just meet everybody before the season gets on the way. In addition we’ll have a training camp in January on Mallorca. I’ve never been in my live on Mallorca so that will be fun too. I look forward to that.