February 10. 2011
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!
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.
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?
8. Who were the riders that influenced you as you studied Pro Cycling?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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