In Colombia, all of the cyclists are super skinny, and they’re really focused on climbing. I’m the opposite. Sure, I like to climb, but even more, I like to ride down.
As a kid, I would try to climb up the highest mountain I could find, and then I would ride as fast as I could back down. I like pushing the limit, the rush of adrenaline. I don’t get scared; I feel invincible.
When I started riding, I told my dad that I wanted to be a pro cyclist. He said, “If you want that for your life, do it.” Some people in my family warned me that I wouldn’t make any money, that it was too hard. But my dad told me to follow what I believed in, and I believed in cycling. It wasn’t until I started racing in America that my family said, “Oh, he’s actually really good at that.”
I love American cycling—especially the crits because people are screaming, and they’re really into it. I always told my family that I wanted to go to America and try that type of racing—elbows to elbows, pulling hair, crashes around the corners. So when I got the opportunity, I was super pumped.
And then, to race for George Hincapie’s team? That’s just awesome. I studied all of the Classic races growing up, so I knew who George was. I knew his family was from Colombia and that he was a big deal. Now, I get to race for a legend’s team. That’s pretty cool.