You may already know how the story was ... Back in the old TDP days, during the Christmas Holidays, two prominent members of the site's crew, Vaughn and Manny, were in the chatroom, when a young fellow entered the session. Quickly they found out their chat friend was not an "ordinary" visitor, but no less than Peter Mazur, the 2000 Junior World Time Trial Champion. During the chat session, Mr. Mazur kindly agreed to do an interview for the website, an interview he gave to Manny, whose text is AVAILABLE HERE. He talked of his background, racing and training. Said it all about his double Nationality and timetrialling skills, his preferred training ground and the perspectives (very good ones indeed) for the future.
Unfortunately I missed that chat, but nonetheless I really enjoyed the interview. And what a surprise it was to me when, while surfing the net earlier today, I came across another interview with mr. Mazur, a kind of "update", as the Polish-Canadian rider was adding further details about himself and talking of the latest developments in his career. The interview was given to "Il Giornale del Popolo", a paper of the Italian-speaking part of Switzerland, where his current team (VC Mendrisio, an amateur team linked to Mapei, the mighty squad he will be part of in 2003) is based. I'm talking about Mapei's GSIII team, the "minor" one of course, but nonetheless a very great squad, as the several victories they have got this year so far prove. Thanks to the likes of Cancellara, Pozzato, Clerc and others, they are atop the UCI standings for teams victories, and no doubts that such a talented youngster as Mazur is entitled to become part of this "wonderteam"
Back to Mazur's interview with the Swiss newspaper, the man (who, according to the journalist, is very fluent in Italian) first explained (once again) the "Polish or Canadian" story: "I was born and raised in Canada, I'm a resident of Hamilton (Ontario) where I live with my parents, who emigrated there after spending a short period in Italy. I go back to my Homeland (Poland) from time to time, as I have got friends and relatives there, but my life is on the other side of the Ocean".
To the purely sporting side now, his unlucky 2001 in particular. Last year Peter didn't hit the headlines that much, but it wasn't his own fault anyway: "All I got in the past season was bad luck only. First I underwent surgery due to knee problems (see interview with Manny Samaniego for details), and I was forced to stay away from the races for about six months. And just after I got on my bike again ... I had to undergo another operation, this time it was appendicitis". That could be enough for him be awarded a World Title for bad luck, but it wasn't over yet: "When I started racing again, I took part in the Tour de Pologne, but then I suffered a lot due to bad weather and I was definitively forced put an end to my 2001 racing season; I couldn't take part in the Portuguese Worlds either".
But Peter sounds like an optimistic person, used to see the glass as half-full. And he can find something good even in his extremely unlucky 2001: "I could rest, both physically and mentally, and wasn't under pressure at all". And now Mr. Mazur is back in the saddle, ready to get new satisfactions with his new VC Mendrisio outfit (the team he would have been riding for in 2001 if it wasn't for the above mentioned troubles). In the past months he took part in some training camps in Arizona and California, where he found ideal training conditions ("it was too cold in Canada"), and also in a small Time-Trial, where he lost by 8" only to the current U23 World Champion Danny Pate. Not a bad result at all for Peter !!
But he gave a further proof of his talent in Europe too, where last week he raced the Giro del Mendrisiotto, the first round of the 2002 Under 23 World Cup, and ranked eighth (3'17" behind the race winner, and also U23 Bronze Medallist at Worlds, Ruslan Gryschenko of Ukraine), but at the same time took the "Canton Ticino Champion" Title, reserved to the best rider of (or better belonging to a team from) the local Swiss Canton. A title which came as a surprise to him (he was admittedly unaware that such prize was at stake in the WC race) but nonetheless Peter sounded like he was satisfied with his first success of the new season.
Maybe the first in a long series ? Which are the man's next targets ? "Well, I'm in good shape now, but I hope to be at the peak of my condition in the month of June, when I'll be racing the Poland's National Championships, and in October for the World Championships (Mazur's favorite race, according to what he said in the DP interview)".
And after the World Championships in Zolder, a new part of Peter's career will get underway, as he'll become a pro rider with Mapei's GS3 squad "A team that will let me mature gradually, an environment I already know well too: last year I trained with the (Mapei) boys and now I live in Varano Borghi (that's a small town located in the Varese province of Italy, near Swiss border) with some of them. An experience that will definitely be of help to me in the future. But in the meantime, I hope I may get some satisfactions with the VC Mendrisio outfit".
The "Daily Peloton" wishes him the best of luck both with his current team and for his future as a pro rider.