After ending last season with a team win, Ravelo excited to start training again
EAGLEVAIL — Cristhian Ravelo is enjoying his last few days at home before heading back on the road to start training for the 2020 cycling season.
He’ll head down to Florida first to take advantage of warmer weather, and then at some point he’ll make his way to Pennsylvania, where his road cycling team, CS Velo, is based.
And while it seemed like the 2019 season just ended — the last competition was Sept. 8 — the training period leading up to the start of the USA Cycling Pro Road Tour can be as long and intense as the season itself.
This year, however, Ravelo is especially excited to get back to it. Competing at home in Doylestown, Pennsylvania, the CS Velo team won the Bucks County Classic to end the 2019 season. It was the first time Ravelo was part of a team that won a race on the pro road tour.
“I was so excited, I didn’t even want to take a break for the offseason,” he said. “It totally changes the way you approach the next year, when you end a season on a high note like that.”
So Ravelo spent the requisite offseason running and mountain biking in Eagle County.
“It’s a great time for an offseason because the trails are nice, the leaves are changing, it’s beautiful,” he said.
In addition to having a full schedule of road cycling events on his annual cycling calendar, Ravelo has also carved out a way to participate in a long stretch of mountain biking competitions throughout the summer as a member of the Tokyo Joe/Yeti’s Grind team, as well.
Last year, his season highlights included a win at the Leadville Silver Rush 50-mile race and victory at the Berry Creek Bash, where he had to beat the most seasoned competitor he gets to face each season, Josiah Middaugh.
“Any time Josiah is there, it’s a serious race,” Ravelo said. “He never has a bad day.”
Being able to switch between mountain biking and road racing provides Ravelo with a type of stress relief as he tries to make it as a professional cyclist.
“The atmosphere of racing on a mountain bike is way calmer than when you’re on the road,” Ravelo said. “It’s only as serious as you want to take it.”
On a road team, with others depending on your performance, the fun factor can sometimes take a backseat to more serious concerns, Ravelo said.
“They call it the Monk Life,” he said. “It can be pretty brutal.”
Upon a payoff like a win, however, “all of a sudden you forget all that stress going into it and it’s the best feeling ever,” he said.
Which brings Ravelo, now 27 years old, to this season.
“I’m really excited I get to keep doing it,” he said. “With so much change in the industry, so many teams folding, I feel really fortunate to be where I am, able to compete the way I do and still have fun at the end of the year. … And really I owe a lot of that to the community here in Eagle County, and the support people give you when you’re out there trying to give it your all.”