Fixed Gear Crit

Rider in Spotlight: Q&A with Miguel Indurain Jr. “I suffered, but I enjoyed the whole race”

Miguel Indurain Jr – son of 5-time Tour de France winner Miguel Indurain – basically loves sports. It’s as simple as that. Born in 1995 in Pamplona, a small city in northern Spain where he still resides today, he had his shot at professional cycling. Back in the summer of 2013 he won the Navarran junior road and time trial titles, followed by a period racing with Caja Rural-RGA’s under-23 development team. Today he is focused on graduating from college while spending his entire free time practising and discovering new awesome sports or places. And if it’s not sports he’ll probably be chilling with a good book (fantasy author Terry Pratchett is among his favorites), drinking beer or listening to rock music. His rule is to always feel free and be open to new challenges.
Text: Michele Colucci / vimeo: michele colucciinstagram: mikelone77

It looks like you really love sports. You’re a former pro cyclist but we’ve seen you skydive, free climb, go up mountains, ski…it seems like the adrenaline rush of a fixed gear crit does suit you well. You like pushing the limits, are we right?
Almost right. When I am riding my bike, climbing or skydiving I really feel free and alive, that´s the common thread. That´s why I love sports. Sometimes in order to achieve those feelings you must go further, push the limits. But I don´t think about it too much! I just do what I like. And about fixed gear crits… yes, they are awesome! Bikes, beer and great people. Perfect combination.

Was Barcelona RHC your first fixed gear crit and how did you get involved?
Yes it was the first! I would have loved to have at least raced one before, because I had never tried a track bike and riders at the Red Hook Crit fly. I loved Red Hook Crit Barcelona at first sight. Breakless bikes, great people, Barcelona and party…it’s enough for an amazing weekend. So in July I decided it would have been cool to participate. I began looking for information about the race, asked some friends about it. 3 weeks before the race I had a friend lend me his track bike, and day after day I got increasingly excited.

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What were your first thoughts on riding a brakeless fixed gear bike inside a closed circuit, surrounded by other crazy-fast riders?
That it’s incredible. I did not focus that much on the risks of the race. And…well…my family was slightly worried. I had to excuse myself with my mother! Anyway, I honestly felt different before heat 1 than before the final. Qualifying went great, I just wanted to start and go full gas. During the final´s countdown I was perhaps a bit more scared, or tired, and a voice in the back of my head was whispering something like “hey, keep calm…stay out of problems…”

What are the key abilities needed for this kind of races in your opinion, compared to road racing?
The key is in the bike handling. The race is very short and you have to go full gas all the time (at least in my case), so it´s not always easy to ride clean into those corners. You’re surrounded by other riders, with no brakes…control over the bike is essential. You also have to be very explosive and a little bit crazy…but just if you want to win.

Did you do any specific training before Barcelona and if so, would you like to share with us your training plan?
I did no specific training, at all. I trained for what I thought was going to be useful. During summer I was working as an intern in a bank office, so I didn’t have much time to train. I rode my bike once or twice a week (2 / 3-hour rides). Once I had the track bike I would sometimes go to a construction site with no traffic and train for 1 hour, simulating the urban corners of the crit in order to acquire more control over the bike and get used to pedaling into the corners. I also went to the gym and sometimes to swim after work. This was my training for Red Hook.

Can you tell us the highlights of your RHC Barcelona final? What were the top moments (both good and bad…) you recall from the race? 
The start was something special, with the crowd yelling and encouraging the riders. It was great. I listened to the countdown…ten, nine, eight…go!! I did not have a good start. I remember entering the first corner as if we were going to die there. It was crazy. Then lap after lap strong riders approached the front of the peloton while weaker ones came with me…I suffered, but I enjoyed the whole race, perhaps even more when the craziness of the lead group left and went forward. I had to leave the circuit during the 20th lap because the lead riders were catching up our group. Honestly, it was a relief! Riders in the final are too strong and it´s so hard just trying to follow them. For my first time it was enough. Much more that what I had expected.

Your father once said about your pro career that he wanted you to stay in professional cycling until you enjoyed it, that he didn’t want it to become a stress…is that the reason why you decided to stop?
Firts of all it was a personal decision. It´s hard to be a professional cyclist. There are a lot of good riders that are fighting to achieve this dream. After 3 years I started to feel stuck and I realized I had to change. I am very happy with the decision I made. I still love riding my bikes and I have more time to do new stuff.

Michele Colucci
Dead Cyclists Society
Copywriter & Videomaker
vimeo: michele colucci
instagram: mikelone77