Although the season just started, Cesar Valenzuela is one of the big discoveries of this year. Despite being only 18 years-old, Cesar already won the Mission Crit IV. He achieved this victory through a very impressive solo riding away from a world-class level break-away with Colin Strickland, David Santos, and Addison Zawada. These elite riders could only watch him go and were incapable of chasing him back. A week later he confirmed that his performance during that race wasn’t a coincidence as he fought his way to the front of Red Hook Criterium Brooklyn No.10 taking himself out by a stupid mistake of himself while leading the peloton taking Aldo Ino Ilesic, and David van Eerd down with him. Luckily, they were able to restart but Cesar was transferred to the hospital where a broken collar bone was diagnosed. Due to these highly impressive results for someone that is so young, many teams were chasing Cesar to get him onboard. Today we can announce that Colin Strickland’s Intelligentsia Racing team is the team that Cesar will be racing for during the rest of the season. He will represent Intelligentsia Racing in the upcoming Red Hook Crits and the Red Bull Last Stand, San Antonio. We spoke to both Cesar and Colin on the transfer.
Text: Brian Megens
Header Image: Tornanti.cc
Cesar on joining Intelligentsia Racing “I joined Intelligentsia racing for the benefit of myself to grow in experience to be along side great strong teammates to gain so much that’s the main thing and honestly might shape me into the profession I’ve been chasing for some time now. Nonetheless how the team is self built by Colin along side sponsors I’m blessed to be apart. As in what do I expect to get out of this?.. Nothing but experience. That is currently my main thing I need right now so I am looking forward to working with this great squad to make our impact in Red Hook Crit series.”
When we asked Colin Strickland why he got Cesar onboard he answers “Nowadays you need more firepower to compete, we could win with the team we had but that could mean just getting lucky. I mean we have 3 riders but you need at least 3 at the front to have some control on the race and with only 3 riders in a team that is a risk. The team needed more firepower and Cesar has exactly the power we need. Furthermore, in Mission Crit IV I had first hand experience watching him ride, his power was pretty impressive, he really knows how to ride a bike, his bike handling skills are really good, that combined with his ability to pump out watts alone is enough to compete in the front in every crit. He doesn’t only get up the front, but attacks and those attacks are done to win. When you can do that you have to have some idea of what you are doing. I think he has a very good toolset but I hope to help him in finetuning it. As I have quite some experience in cycling I hope to help him with nutrition, race tac-tic (…) just make him a better fixed gear crit, and road racer. So I approached the sponsors of the team if they could provide me with extra supplies and Intelligentsia Coffee, Pinarello and Giordana Cycling were very happy to do so. It’s also very cool that he’s American so we can represent the true America abroad and not the one that is going around in the news nowadays.”
Currently, Cesar has recovered from the crash in Red Hook Criterium Brooklyn No. 10 and he is back on the bike training to battle in RHC London No.3 alongside Colin Strickland, Marius Petrache and Stefan Rothe representing Intelligentsia Racing.