What's Cool In Road Cycling

Kirk Obee – US National Criterium Champ

We recently were given the chance to talk to Kirk Obee – another home-grown hopeful, by Ray Cipollini, the Business Manager for the Navigators Pro Cycling Team. Kirk is the reigning USPRO Criterium National Champion, and the proud wearer of the stars and stripes jersey that goes with the title. After scoring 8 wins in 1999m Kirk rurned pro in 2000, and is now in his second season with the Navigators. You can read more about Kirk and the team at their website: https://www.navpro.com/home.

But for now, here’s what Kirk had to say to our “10 Questions”.

PCN1. What are your main objectives for the season and what type of preparation have you done?

Kirk – One was to have a successful European trip which I’ve already done and am now on my second trip to Europe which I hope is also successful. As far as
the rest of the season to win US Pro Road Championships is a big goal and also to defend my US Pro Criterium title. It’s nice to wear the stars and stripes in Crits. but I really want to be able to wear it all the time.

PCN – What about training and prep?
Kirk – A good winter base along with racing and rest makes for the best form.

PCN 2. What have been the high points of your season so far?
Kirk – Winning the GP de Rennes in France and GP Pino Cerami in Belgium.

PCN – and the low points?
Kirk – Dropping my chain in the final stage of the Sea Otter Classic while I was solo one minute up the road with about 10km left. Once the chasers had me in sight, it was just a matter of time before I was caught.

PCN 3. Which of the 3 Grand Tours is your favorite and why?
Kirk – Tour de France. It’s the biggest of the three and what everyone holds as the standard for excellence in racing.

PCN 4. How did you get started in bicycle racing and what motivated you to become a professional bike racer?
Kirk – For some reason I had an interest in racing bicycles at my local bike shop at a young age. I would go riding for fun around a lake near my house which was about 12 miles round trip. When I found out it was possible to race my bike I tried it out and after that first race, which was a time trial I was hooked.

After I was hooked on bicycling racing and saw how different it was from any other sport I had done it got in my blood. I progressively got better as I got older. The big turning point for me was when I qualified for the
US Junior World’s Team, which was my biggest goal at that time and I accomplished it. So, I went to San Marino, Italy to compete in Worlds and that’s when I knew it was something I wanted to do for the rest of my life.

PCN 5. What do you learn as a professional racer that is valuable in otherareas of your life?
Kirk – It teaches a great work ethic which can carry over to anything else in life. I have a good friend who raced for many years as a junior and senior then gave it up to bum around for a while. After time off he decided he
wanted to go back to school. When he began studying and going to class it was all easy compared to cycling.

PCN 6. If you were not a professional racer, what do you think you would be doing?
Kirk – I don’t know and I don’t want to know.

PCN 7. Before a race do you follow any specific routine or ritual for good luck?
Kirk – Not really. Every race is different and in a different place. Staying relaxed physically and mentally is key.

PCN 8. What advice would you give to a young rider looking to to be successful in the pro peloton?
Kirk – Be patient. Unless you’re one of the those freaky young guys who has success right away, know that your time will come sooner or later.

PCN 9. Is there anything else you’d like to share with our readers that we haven’t asked?
Kirk – I’m going to be a Dad at the end of September and I can’t wait! It will be nice to have something

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