Kyle Petrie, from the Basque to California and back

I spoke to 18 year old Kyle Petrie who has travelled to California to further his cycling.

You’re out in California training, riding and racing a bit – tell us where you are and what team you are with?
I’m living in Northern California in a town called Pleasanton. It’s a nice town and everything seems to be perfect, pristine and nice. The people are friendly there’s a massive connection of Scottish and English people here! The town is located near San Francisco and Oakland where I go to race, train and meet with my team – a shop team called CyclesFANATIC USA which is renowned in the Bay Area for its contribution to the sport and the great bikes!

Kyle Petrie Candlestick cross

How did the trip come about?
When I was in the Basque Country I knew I wanted to go somewhere for the winter. I asked friends for advice and California seemed the place to go. I feel I made the right decision – there is everything I need here: great training roads, extremely high level of riders, lots of group rides and tons of racing happening.

I know you had ridden the CX bike a fair bit last winter for training, but you never raced- is it a discipline you want to race more of?
Yeah I was doing a bunch of training on my cx bike back home last winter and I loved it! I find it so much fun being able to just ride on the road and then just decide to jump on to a trail and tear it up! I definitely will be going cyclocrazy over the next month and see what happens from there! It’s a whole lot of fun and great for improving your skills!

Were there any sponsors who made it possible for you to get out there?
Yes, I am forever grateful to CATco Investment Management for literally picking me up and allowing me to get out there and live the dream – huge, huge thanks to them for thixe. Also thanks to CyclesFANATIC, Clif, classbook.com and Vittoria are helping me get by. I

You have just done your first cross race out there- tell us what the field and course were like.
I have, it was a brilliant day and a great race. It was the Bay Area Super Prestige race at Candlestick Park, San Francisco. It was super intense and it was completely new to me. The field was big and at a very high level including some local pros (I counted three previous world champs and 2 current hanging around the course too) so I was pretty intimidated at the beginning but my manager told me to relax, keep it smooth and ride my own race so that’s what I did and eventually I got in the zone and started passing guys which brought up my confidence so I just went for it the whole race. I was really surprised and happy with my result and now I can only improve so I can’t wait for the next one!

Doesn’t sound very cold or muddy!
It was very hot and although there wasn’t wet mud it was very dry and dusty. My throat dried right up like a raisin in the first lap and inhaling all the dust is horrible! The dryness also makes it difficult to get fast because the gravel just goes away from under your wheels and round the corners it’s hard to keep control! I lost it going round one corner and hit the deck but thankfully I didn’t lose too much time and only came away with a few bumps and scrapes. It was a brilliant course!

So how have you been getting on in general?
It has been great to train and race with lots of pro conti riders and it’s a great place to come and get stronger and move up the ranks here. The riders here are super strong power engines! I feel my time in the Basque gave me the edge on the climbs but I’m been left eating dust in the sprints! Something to work on!