Interview: Carmen Small McNellis
Interview with 28 year old Carmen Small McNellis of the Italian S.C.
Michela Fanini Record Rox team...
Can you introduce yourself?
My name is Carmen Small McNellis. I am 28 years old. Born in Durango Colorado,
Graduated with Mathematics Degree from Colorado State University.
Why did you choose cycling as your
I was always into sports growing up…played Volleyball in college and then
transferred to CSU were I started competing in Triathlons. That lead me to
What kind of rider is Carmen Small?
I am not sure yet? I think of myself as an "all-a rounder," for the past two
years racing with Aaron's Pro Cycling Team I was a worker for the team. I like
that job and hopefully did a good job in that.
Carmen Small McNellis
Photo © 2009 ActionImages
Which hobbies do you have besides
Learning Italian :, it seems like cycling has consumed my life right now. Moving
to a new country and trying to figure out how an Italian team operates really
takes up your whole day.
How do you look back on the 2008
In one word, successful. I was really fortunate to be able to race for the
national team for the majority of the year. Racing in Europe is much different
than racing in the US. I was able to "get my feet wet" without having a lot of
pressure and having a lot of support. I found out that I loved racing in Europe
and I am excited to see what this year brings me. Without last season I wouldn't
have this opportunity to race for a European team.
What performance/achievement you are
the most proud of?
I was really proud to be a part of Aarons Pro Women's Team the past two year. I
feel like I learned so much from my teammates and director Carmen D'Aluisio.
You are riding for S.C. Michela Fanini
Record Rox team. Can you explain more about the team?
The team is based in Lucca Italy. This is actually a very touching story so I
have translated it and cut and pasted what is on the website…
Michela Fanini Team History
Fanini family has always been involved in the women's cycling... The Adventure
begins in the 1968 season with the birth of a team dedicated to the fair sex and
directed by Peter Fanini. Riding for the team was the wife of the same Peter
(Rosanna Paolinelli) and that of Ivano (Mariapia Berti). Despite the fierce
competition of the caliber of athletes at the time: Tartagni, Bissuri and Brovedani, Rosanna
and Mariapia both had many successes the Italian team. In
those years the riders raced in one category: the young and old. In '86, with the
advent of the team "Mamma Fanini" the team entered its second epoch. The
new company, became
engaged with a men's team: it stands as a reminder of the mother of the brothers Fanini known by all as the "mother of riders",
who cared for and pampered all the athletes who traveled there.
Meanwhile one of the "small" athletes was already putting on a display - Michela Fanini, began to make
victories, often racing against the boys. The rise of Michela was commanding, as
Junior she raced in the national elite category. In'92 she made her first
appearance in the "Fanini
Sprint." team. Brunello Fanini was and organizer of the Giro d'Italia,
It was this race where he launched Michela (who had already won the Italian
Championships), she debuted in fifth place ('93 edition) and then returned to
win the race in 1994.
Joys and Sorrows: 1994 is the year that
marks the good and bad of the career and life of the champion of Lucca. Prior to
repeat of her victories in the Giro and the Tour, then
with the disappointment that followed the unfortunate collapse of the World
Championships in Sicily, where she was close to victory; it was a worse defeat
that she would not be able to replicate her success, as she died at the age of
23, after a serious car accident. To remember her name and his companies, after
his great loss, her father Brunello decided to continue the adventure, organizing the
Tour of Italy (until 1996), and "inventing" the Giro di Toscana
(already become a of the most important races in the world) in 1995. In memory of the champion
here is the "Michela Fanini Record Rox" that sees the glorious jersey
fuchsia that many riders have worn in competition. With the teams many victories: Under 23
European Championships with Francese Elisabeth Chevanne Brunel, the rainbow title
in 2000 with the Belarusian Zinaida Stahurskaia, and the prestigious World Cup world signed by German Regina Schleicher in the spring of 2002.
Along with champions, many interesting young people and grew the group of
managers and employees who orbit around the company of creative Brunello Fanini.
You can also check out our
With Flavia Oliveira you have a compatriot in your
team. How do two American girls end up in an Italian team? A totally different
culture than the NRC races.
I am not sure how Flavia ended up with this team…I was brought to this team
through Jim Miller (National team director) It is nice to have another English
speaker on the team. My roommate is Australian (Carly Hibberd) so between the
two of them we have someone to speak English with.
Recently you had a training camp with your new team.
Getting to know your new team mates. How did the camp go? And how does a team
camp looks like with the Michela Fanini team.
The first camp went well. It was all about getting to know the team (both
teammates and staff), getting our new stuff (bikes, cloths, etc…), going over
expectations, what the season is going to look like, and of course riding. The
second camp is coming up this month. It will consist of lots of riding and
getting to know teammates better. There are 5 that live in the team house and 6
that live other places so it is important to get to know one another to achieve
cohesiveness in the team.
What do you prefer the most in racing?
I am not sure yet…I like all the races so far; One days races, stage races, flat
races, hilly races, short races, long races.
What race has been a favorite of yours?
I always like Nature Valley, I have a love hate relationship with it. It was my
first NRC and I really like the courses, but I also broke my clavicle that year
and last year had a crash in one of the stages and did some damage again.
Unfortunately I won't be doing it this year.
What races would you like to race in Europe next
I am looking forward to doing some bigger tours this year like Tour De L'Aude
Feminine, Giro D'Italia, and Giro Della Toscana.
What race will be the 2009 debut for you and the
team? And how does your schedule more or less looks like.
We start the season off racing March 7th, GP Brissago in Switzerland. The team
has a full schedule racing World Cups and doing big tours.
for the racing schedule of the team.
Who has inspired you, or currently inspires you to
race. (Or in the present)?
I grew up being a very active kid, doing as many sports as possible. I started
out Nordic skiing competitively and stuck with that until I graduated high
school. My parents have always been very supportive and still are. I am not sure
where the drive comes from to race, but I know I love competition of any kind. I
feel like I have been given a once in a life time opportunity and I need to make
the most out of it.
How does your ideal preparation looks like for the
I have been working with Corey Hart for three seasons now, so he has a good idea
of how to prepare me for the upcoming season. He is a great coach and I fully
trust him to help me reach my full potential. I think coming over to Europe
early as been a good part of the preparation because I am able to train outside
with good riding. Otherwise I would be in Durango in cold weather and lots of
What are your goals for the 2009 season? and if you
don't mind…. long term career goals as a person and cyclist?
This year I would like to take what I learned this past season and improve my
racing for this season. I really don't have many expectation, we will see what
happens. Outside of cycling for long term goals, I would really like to go back
to teaching math and open a math tutoring center.
Blog Carmen Small McNellis
- Discuss this race and the sport with other cycling fans from around the
world on the Daily Peloton.com
Forums and Chat Room.
- Sponsor the daily peloton &
advertise your product - contact
- Do you have a passion for cycling and a yen to write? contact us