Christian, 18

Christian, 18, with El Grupo since 2012

Superpower: Teleportation

Favorite Band: Phoenix

Favorite Trip: Durango Trip

Favorite Hobby: Being Active- “I like being active because it makes me a better person and happy.”

Favorite Bike Ride: The Shootout and Tuesday Morning

Favorite Dessert: Gelato


What are your hopes for l’Abitibi?

I want to do well in the stages. Hopefully get a top ten, get looked at.

Coaching and preparation has got me fit, strong enough to be at that level and it’s taught me new skills that I need to know to be on that level. The selection camp challenged me because there were some good riders, but I wanted to win it so that challenged me to ride harder. I came stronger this year. I had it in my mind to win and get top 3 everyday, and that worked.


What were you like when you first started to now?

My riding skills weren’t that great, they were okay. My personality is the same- maybe a little more mature. El Grupo has made me more responsible and I look at things a different way, like being at a place on time or even earlier, respecting your elders, stuff like that. As a rider, I learned more bike handling skills and got stronger month by month. It’s got me places! Personally, it’s just helped me grow up more.


Why do you like riding your bike?

I like riding my bike because it’s fun, competitive. I like being active plus going fast down Mt. Lemmon. El Grupo is fun and you learn new things!


What do challenges in cycling teach you?

Challenges make you stronger and you want to go for it. They give you more ambition.


Tell me about a highlight from your experience with El Grupo.

My highlight was going to Canada last year and being able to go again this year. Also, having Nacho and Daniela take me in because my family had to move back to Mexico. Letting me stay and finish school and keep racing my bike. Staying helped me to stay on track in school and graduate on time and made me a better rider.


What would you like to do with bikes after El Grupo?

After El Grupo, I hope racing bikes will go a long way, and then passing riding bikes along to other kids, even my kids. Hopefully, I could get on a Youth 23 Development Team or any Pro Team.


What would you like to see in El Grupo’s future?

I would like El Grupo to have a bigger sponsor with bikes, gear, and helmets.


Logan, 18

With El Grupo since 2007

Superpower: I think about this a lot…I’d like to control an element. Hmm, I choose Telekinesis.

Hidden Talent: Plays the piano

Favorite Race: Criterium

Favorite El Grupo Trip: Durango

Favorite Hobby: I like learning about computer science (my major).

Favorite Tucson Ride: The Shootout

Favorite Food: A really good burger

What are your hopes for l’Abitibi?

I hadn’t really thought I’d be going until the first day of selection camp. As far as results, I’m really looking for an experience. I’m not really looking for high placements or signing a contract, though that would be awesome. It’s more about the experience.

How has El Grupo coaching prepared you?

Without El Grupo’s collaboration with other coaches like David and Jason, I don’t know what fitness we’d be in now. It’s because of the coaching help that I can say that we are as strong and ready as we are now. I’m happy to say that I am very ready to go and race this race with a couple hundred other guys.

What do you believe your strengths riding are?

I’ve always enjoyed the tactical aspects of many things. I like seeing that dynamic. I think one position I’ve held as the team captain and tactician is to give commands in races. Someone pointed out to me a few months ago, that my teammates really respect me. That sort of surprised me, even though I’ve been told I have some sort of leadership quality, I saw it happen.

Tell me about your first time riding with El Grupo:

All I had done with bike riding before El Grupo was commute to and from school. We were going to a park to do some basic drills like turn and use release brakes and I wasn’t paying attention and crossed wheels with someone and crashed- so that was my first crash.

How have you grown in skills and character from then until now?

As far as bike skills go, it takes a lot more for me to crash- not just bumping into someone. I’m really used to close proximity riding and bumping and all that stuff and of course I’m a lot stronger. As far as character, I started so young but I’d say I’ve definitely developed in a way that may not have happened without El Grupo. I’ve become more mature and more independent as a result of joining the team. I’ve taken on sort of a leader role over the years, which has helped me develop into my present personality.

Talk about the commitment you make to El Grupo.

For those who are wanting to become fast and race ready, the commitment is not easy. It requires so much personal strength and perseverance. You need to push through all of the obstacles you encounter. You’ll learn about yourself in the process and what you can handle. If you really want a goal, and you work for it, you’ll get it.

How do you deal with challenges (physical, mental, emotional)?

When you face a challenge with El Grupo, there will always be someone else. You’ll never be alone, someone will be able relate and help you through it. Occasionally, you have to figure something out on your own but you’ll be supported. Going through challenges together, it strengthens our bond.

Tell me about the social dynamics of the team.

For me personally, I don’t make a lot of friends, but the friends I do make are good friends and I know I can trust them, they’ll be there when I need it. El Grupo really fosters those kinds of relationships. Everyone here is really good friends- we all train together and see each other everyday. Ultimately, we all put up with each other’s problems and help each other.

What are your plans after El Grupo?

I’ve gained a lot of leadership qualities that will help me in college. One of the first things I plan on doing when I get there is talking to the cycling club and actually riding with them. I’ll keep riding and racing, but takes breaks for work and school, but I don’t see myself stopping entirely. It’s a big part of me, so it’s inevitable.

What would you like to see in the future of El Grupo?

I think of a brand new, big building with different rooms: a mechanics room- clean with tables and with with the tools set up; a training room for VO2 max training and testing…I just see a facility that is flourishing. We are rapidly expanding and I think it will go strong for awhile.