In the series ‘Stories from the Peloton’ we want to get to know riders better that often do not have the spotlights on them. We kick the series off with Dimitris Dontsios who is an Australian track cyclist with Greek roots. He recently started to compete in fixed gear crits. As Dimitris just started to compete in fixed gear crits, there is plenty of room for improvement. During his recent visit in Greece, we met him and discuss about what motivates himself and many of his fellow athletes to follow the sport around the world.
Text: Panos Sinopoulos
|Hometown:||Fairfield Victoria AUS|
How long have you been riding and racing bikes?
I can’t even remember. It feels like forever. I started with bmx like many of us back in Greece, then moved to track racing for a few years and since last year I initiated in fixed gear crits. I find this format unique and amazing; you need clear mind, top fitness, and above all steel nerves.
You recently made a move back to Australia. How would you describe track bike criterium scene there?
Australia is a huge country with its own tradition in track racing. Races occur nearly every weekend with many participants. On the other hand, track bike criteriums are now evolving and many people are spreading the word and promote the sport. The last crit I raced this year was the one organized by Hunter Bros who put a huge effort to make it happen.
Could you tell us about your racing plans this year and about the level of commitment one needs to have to do all the season, especially for athletes who live far away.
It is great to see our sport evolving. When you love something, you go all in. Travelling across the world to race, and at the same time keep up with your work and social life is not easy. Every athlete, no matter where he lives, is facing the same difficulties.
Myself, I train many hours per week, trying to learn from previous races and constantly develop my tactics. That takes time away from you. But all that worth every penny and you realize that the moment you enter the course.
Regarding my plans for this year, I plan to race as many crits as I can, including Red Hook Crit series, 8 Bar crit and Track calendar 2017 in Australia.
What would your advice be for young athletes who want to enter the sport?
Take a bike, start riding, have fun; then everything will come to you. Train hard but wisely, learn from your mistakes and again, don’t forget to have fun!
What is your opinion about the development of track bike criteriums around the world?
I think every year the scene is growing faster and bigger. In Europe, we have races every month, it’s also starting to spread around the world from Asia to Australia so we need to keep it real!