Local teen loves being a pro cyclistBy: Matt Long, Sports Editor
With the Amgen Tour of California coming through town May 18, young cyclists will likely be dreaming about the day they could possibly compete in the event.
Folsom’s Cole Davis has that dream. The soon-to-be 19-year-old rides professionally for Hagens Berman, but is not ready for the competitive Tour of California at this point in his career.
“My team is entering the race, but I’m not on the roster,” Davis said. “I’m young and my body is not ready for that yet. Hopefully, in the next couple of years, I’d like to be able to race in that event.”
Davis was born and raised in Folsom, attending Vista del Lago through 10th grade before switching to an independent study so he could concentrate on his cycling endeavors as well. Davis’ step-dad got him into cycling early in his teenage years, and when Davis turned 15, he started to take it seriously and began working with a coach.
“At that point, I wasn’t thinking of cycling as a career,” Davis said. “I just wanted to perform on a national level. There were a few big races nationally that I wanted to perform well at.”
Training six days a week anywhere from an hour to five hours a day, Davis improved his skills, not to mention his stamina and endurance. When he won US Nationals in Louisville, KY., in July of last year, it was his time.
“My coach’s son raced for Hagens Berman and he aged out of the team, and there was a spot open,” Davis said. “Within two weeks of winning US Nationals, I signed with them.”
Life has been good for Davis since turning pro. He’s one of 16 riders on Hagens Berman, a team which is made up of nine Americans and six Europeans between the ages of 18-22. He’s only raced once with Hagens Berman, but has been in several races in Europe through the US Cycling Association.
“I’ve raced in Croatia, Italy, the Netherlands and Belgium,” Davis said. “Last year as a junior, I was able to race in the Czech Republic. I loved the natural beauty of it. I love traveling and love seeing new places. I never take it for granted.”
After enjoying a week in Folsom, Davis is currently in France with trips to the Netherlands and the Czech Republic coming over the next two months. Davis is enjoying his time as a professional, but is working toward bigger goals.
“Right now I’m focused on my development as a rider,” Davis said. “I need to find out what kind of rider I’m going to develop into and then I can pick the races that I’d like to try to win. My goal is to get to the top professional level, which is the ‘world tour.’ Right now, I’m in the middle of the three professional levels, which is called ‘pro continental.’”
As Davis works to achieve his goals, he has some advice for other young cyclists who want to pursue the sport.
“I’d tell them to enjoy the process,” Davis said. “Take a step back, look at the big picture, and enjoy the moment.”