Jeremy Santucci got his moment of fame as the ‘angry cyclist destroys bike at red hook crit’ last October when the video where he smashes a bike to the ground went viral reaching over a million views and made headlines with Sports Illustrated, The Huffington Post, and The Daily Mail. The 26-seconds-long video, see below, had a great impact on Jeremy. He became “the biggest cycling villain on earth” in the eyes of many as he describes it himself, even receiving hate mail and death threats. Although many saw the video and formed their opinion on it, only a few are aware of the circumstances wherein it happened. We wanted to know more about the guy behind the video.
Text: Brian Megens
Header image by Chiara Redaschi
Jeremy is born and raised in Washington DC where he was a carpenter and a motor fanatic racing motocross and ATV which caused 25 broken bones. When his dad passed away he decided to move to New York City and started a modelling career which is 13 years ago now. In NY Jeremy came in touch with fixedgear cycling and has been racing fixedgear crits for 3 years.
How do you combine your work as a model with fixedgear racing?
Although being a model has the stigma of the ultimate lifestyle, it demands a lot of travelling which makes a consistent training schedule almost impossible since I cannot drag my bike around the whole time. So I often end up doing work-outs in gyms which I also need to do for my work anyway. Being a model also means no job security, it is a tough business, but I believe that this does help me with racing.
How was your 2016 season?
In RHC Brooklyn, I crashed because of a stupid move by someone else, I almost got my eye ripped out and couldn’t get back on the bike although I really wanted to. In RHC London, I made it into to final through the last chance race and actually made it up to 40th position or so but then my legs run empty. RHC Milano was just the icing on the cake, I was in a very good shape which was shown by setting the fastest Strava (account name Mr Jones) time on the legendary Vigorello velodrome during the RHC Track Day. In the qualification heat of the crit we were on our way to setting a really fast qualification time when our train went into the corner way too fast. The guy in front of me couldn’t hold it and I had to go for the wall cushion in order not to hit the rider. It was a bad crash, I hit the wall very hard and was very confused and of course very disappointed. What I did was stupid and I shouldn’t have done it but at the end of the day it is not that I physically hurt people.
What impact did the crash and video have on you?
The crash broke my nose and gave me a bad concussion. I only saw the video when I was about to board the plane, my phone was dying because I got constantly new messages from people. It was hard to deal with all the negativity, I received a lot of hate mail and even death threats. All those people hated me without knowing me, I mean everyone that met me knows that I am not a bad guy. Also with my stupid action, I never meant to hurt anyone and I never did, I even had to go straight into the wall to avoid riding into another cyclist, but despite all this I still became the biggest cycling villain on earth. I borrowed the bike, but of course, I reimbursed him with all the damage that was on the bike, from both the crash as the throw. However, later I realised that it also got a lot of publicity for Red Hook, which I guess is a good thing.
What was your best moment 2016?
Red Bull Last One Standing in Texas. I mean, after I went down in Milan and all the negativity from the video I seriously thought about quitting it all. The race in Texas turned things around. Although I wasn’t in my best shape due to the crash in Milan, I probably shouldn’t have raced as I still suffered from the concussion, but I felt that I had something to prove. The crash in Milan and all the stuff after turned me into a different rider. The race went well resulting in a 14th place, the course was awesome, we were drifting through the corners like crazy rodeos. Although it was not the best result, knowing I was racing with my buddies who all ended in the top-15, plus the organisation who was very accommodating, it made me realise that I don’t want to leave this awesome scene.
What are the goals for the 2017 season?
We are starting a new team. The name is Revo and we will have Keira McVitty, The Lewis brothers: Tobias and William, and me. We will be riding on custom factory racing bikes with sacred geometry and NASCAR tubbing by Weis Manufactory which is so awesome. I am also really looking forward how the youngsters will do, they all have the talent to compete in the front of each race.
How do you see the Fixedgear racing scene?
I love the sport and have huge respect for all riders, I mean everyone going into a fixedgear crit is like a rodeo, you have to be very courages and skilled at the same time. I think it is going to be big. Cycling is changing. No-one wants to watch 4 to 6-hour stages, and a crit only lasts 30minutes where constantly stuff is happening. It is so spectator-friendly, I would compare it with downhill. You see people doing crazy stuff and you just wonder how is that even possible, the best thing is that also the women are just as f*cking crazy.
In case you are in Brooklyn for the RHC, don’t forget to drop by the party that Jeremy is organising together with Goldsprint, Brooklyn Brewery, and they are giving away some custom Weis frames! More info on Team Revo coming soon!
The video of Jeremy after the crash from the FB page of The Wonderful Socks: