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Interview with Peter Mazur
 
By Manny Samaniego
Date: 3/5/2002
Interview with Peter Mazur
 
One night back in the old TDP days, Vaughn and I were on a late "disco" chat, when a young fellow entered the session. After all the introductions were made, and the conversation established, we quickly realized that our chat friend was none other than Peter Mazur.

YES!!!! Peter Mazur, the 2000 Junior World Time Trial Champion. I told Vaughn that this one was a first for both of us, I mean, when was the last time a World Champ chatted with any of us mere mortals??....so we decided to try not to ask too many "dumb questions", but we were surprised by Peter's willingness to answer every single question (we had plenty). He talked about his background, racing and training. After much harassment from the two of us, Peter signed off, but promised to keep in touch with us. And he has, which I personally appreciate. He agreed to do an interview for the website (the first out of many we hope!!!), but I decided to hold it, after we got news that the old site was going under.

So, without further review, DP readers, I introduce you, 2000 Junior World Time Trial Champ, PETER MAZUR.

1. How did you get involved in cycling?...

I think I've been involved in cycling ever since I was born. I don't remember a time when I was without or not around bikes.

I did my first race when I was 9 years old. But I didn't get serious about training until I was 15. My dad was always and still is a cycling coach at the elite level. His riders had medals at the Olympics and multiple World Championships. I took partin all sports when I was younger but cycling was something that I seemed to succeed more at. So the choice seemed natural.

2. You were born in Canada, but race for Poland, what's the story?

When I was 12 years old I went to Poland and did some training rides with my dad's old team. I was surprised by the interest in the sport and the number of riders that took part in races. It was the first time I encountered an atmosphere where cycling is of great importance. My initial feeling was that I wanted to compete with the large number of riders. I returned a couple years later fully prepared and was successful basically from the beginning. After a few races I was invited by the Polish National Team for camps and ever since then they have been supporting me.

3. You won the Junior World Time Trial in Plouay, France (2000), did you get noticed by big teams there or because of your age, you wanted to wait a bit longer to turn pro??

My first goal of that year was to win the Junior World Challenge. As I was leading this through the year I was approached by Carlo Bomans who said that he would like to put me in contact with some managers. I was a little surprised, it was my first thought of big teams. But after the World Championships I was approached by teams within hours. Mapei, Domo, and Mercury were the first teams to give offers.

4. You spent a training camp last winter (2001) with the Mapei squad...any good stories and which rider helped/influenced you the most during the camp?

The camp in Tuscany, Italy was an interesting event. It was definetly a high point in my career so far. The first thought that came to my mind was not to crash anyone! Which thankfully I accomplished. The riders were very nice, they treated me as a part of the team. All day we had cameras following us up every climb. The actual training wasn't any problem although the speeds were a bit high. But at the camp there wasn't enough time to get to know anyone. Later on I spent some time with Oscar Friere in the Mapei houses. Both of us were ailing from injuries but from Oscar's actions you would never get a signal of it. I could almost get the feeling that he would be back in no time. He seems to have great self confidence and acts like a normal person despite the fact he is such a great champion.

5. Do you consider yourself a pure time triallist, a climber, or a rolleur?

In the senior level I won't be the greatest of climbers. My race weight is around 73kg so for now gravity will not allow it. I believe my time trialling is at a high level, but only time will tell. I never really was just a time triallist. I won more road races than time trials by far.

6. You have plans to continue your studies while continuing to achieve your goal of turning pro..pretty big challenge???

Yes, it's just about impossible, but not completely. I will do what I can, at a slow pace. Just to make sure I am doing something else. It is important to have back-up for my time after cycling.

7. When off the bike, what's Peter Mazur like??

Quiet and concentrated is probably the best to describe me. If I plan to do something I try my best to do it. I try not to waste energy on too many things.

8. 2001 was a "lost" year due to your injury, what exactly went wrong with your knee and is everything back in order for 2002?

It's a complicated story. I have always had one leg shorter than the other. I used this leg a lot more than the other. In the winter of 2000 I began working on the other leg. By February I had pain and after trips to many doctors I had the cause. A bipartite patella. A birth defect present in 1% of the population where there is an extra bone in the knee cap. This was hurting my cartilage. I had surgery to shave the bone and completed 4 months of rehab.

This winter, things are going good. I was in San Diego for training in the mountains. I feel as though I can push with both legs pretty well up the climbs. So far so good.

9. Best bike you ridden so far?

I got a Colnago C40 from Mapei for the winter. Just a temporary replacement- not bad! It seems pretty good so far. It's light and stiff and no bad thoughts have come to mind.

10. Your favorite place to train?

Southern California is definetly my favorite place. I like the area close to Lago di Garda in Italy but I haven't become accustomed to it yet. I have been going to California since I was 12 years old for my dad's training camps.

11. What's your favorite race??

Definitely the World Championships. Not because of how I've done but just because of the atmosphere. Everyone is anxious and nervous. Only a select number of riders can perform well.

12.Where will you be racing and what are your plans for the next few years?

This year I will be living at the Mapei houses in Northern Italy. I will be riding for one of Mapei's amateur teams for the first year - VC Mendrisio -Mapei. Then the next couple of years I will be a part of the Mapei GSIII Pro Team. Hopefully I will be able to learn a lot by being within such a professional team.

13.Do you have a website?

During my injury I found time to play with the computer so I put together a small site. It's located at www.petermazur.com.

Many thanks to Peter and we wish him the best of luck....


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