Fixed Gear Crit

Stories from the peloton: Enol Costales Cortina 

In the series ‘Stories from the Peloton’ our reporter Panos Sinopoulos talks with various people from the fixed gear crit peloton. The ability of the riders featured in the series varies from cyclists that can win the RHC Championship to people who just started participating in local fixed gear crits. This time Panos talked to Enol Costales Cortina who is from Gijon and although he is not direct family of Ivan Cortina, they are friends since childhood as they did grow up together.
Text: Panos Sinopoulos

“If I am family with Ivan? No no, we are not family hahahaha although we have the same surname, live in the same neighbourhood, and are childhood friends we’re not blood family.”

Tell us a bit more about your cycling past. How long have you been riding track bikes? 
Hello! First of all thanks for the interview and everything you are doing for the fixed gear crit scene! I’ve been riding trackbikes since 2011 more or less, because I didn’t have a driver’s license, so I built up an old track frame to save time on my way to the beach. After that, I discovered that it is my biggest passion and started racing and travelling around the world with my bike, meeting great people and visiting awesome places.

You have already participated in Red Hook Crit Barcelona. How would you describe this season so far for you? When did you first participated in a fixedgear criterium? 
I did my first critérium in 2012 in Gijón, where I won! It was also my first race on a bike ever so everything was new and awesome at the same time! Hahaha.

Here in Spain, it is difficult to set a clear goal for the fixed gear crit season because the races are decreasing and you don’t have a national calendar. So, I started training in November setting the goals on road racing and made few top tens but I was hoping for more. Then, hardwork paid off and I won the Lugones Criterium. Few weeks after Lugones, I took 2nd in KantoIkrit (the best race in Basque Country), another win at Criterium Gijón after a long break and then, bad luck got back to me and I crashed twice in Barcelona! I was hoping to make a good race as I did two years ago but… Hope next year will be better. Even so, two wins and top 5 in the rest of the crits it’s something to be proud of.

You are also racing with road team Elkar Kirolak and on top of that you are the founder of Santa Cantalina Collective and ambassador of Santa Catalina bike brand. Cycling runs in your vains. What a better person to ask about your opinion of cycling sport in Spain?
In Spain the cycling tradition is huge, but everything is going the wrong way in my opinion. The local goverment doesn’t support the small teams, U23/elite races are decreasing and if there are less races, teams disappear so it’s a pitty. The Crit scene is trying to grow little by little, but people and companies who have enough money to support the scene don’t do it, and this is bad for the sport. Hope those people read this and think over it.

Will you participate in other races till the end of the season? What are your plans for the future?
I had the Red Hook Crit Milano in my plans, but due to my crash in Barcelona I had to rest for almost a month and I decided to end my race season after Barcelona race.

Right now I’m resting for 3 weeks to recover body and mind after a hard season. At the same time I’m looking for new support to be able to race a good season in fixed gear crits next year, but it’s hard to find something nowadays because everyone wants to be on the best team and the level in the races is higher year by year. Let’s see if something good appears!

What would your advice be to other Spanish riders that would like to participate in fixed gear criteriums?
I would say that Fixed Gear Criteriums are one of the most awesome events that I’ve been doing in my life. So, if anyone is thinking of racing a crit, buy a track bike and your life will be better. Enjoy every minute in the race, make friends everywhere, train hard, and stay healthy!