Riders To Watch: Jonathan ErdelyiBy: email@example.comPosted: Jul 15, 2002
Tell us about your background in cycling.
Well, I began cycling when I was 7 years old. My father had gotten me involved in the sport. I started doing tours and then little street sprints and then I worked my way up until I turned 10 and could actually race USCF. So the next year I went out to Indiana for the National Championships. That was the first time I ever encountered that type of hard racing. The following year was the Nationals at Bear Mountain and West Point. I had some luck at West Point and won myself a National Championship. Ever since then I have just been going at it trying to make a career for myself.
You had a great spring including a victory at the Pro/1-2 race at the prestigious Tour de Moore. How would you grade your season so far?
I would give myself an A-. I feel as if I should win more races to be honest with you. That is why I get so upset some times when I feel as if I could of won the race. I just remember my last year as a junior and how well I did. So I just want to see the results again. They are coming here and there though which is good.
Last week you finished second at the Four Bridges of Elgin, the only Espoir race in the U.S. on the UCI calendar and the richest one-day Espoir race in the world. Tell us about your ride that day.
It all began with Fitchburg. People asked me how I wanted to do at Fitchburg and I said "Don't really care because my stage race may start today but it doesn't finish till next Sunday." People were looking at me if I was crazy. So the day had begun like every other Elgin with a crash on the first lap. Then about another 20 throughout the course of the day. So the race is 12 laps and there is something fun to do every lap. They have sprint laps for the first half of the race then the halfway prime and then that begins the mountain prime for the last portion of the race. National Team had been going for the sprinters prime which after the day had ended they had won. They then also won the halfway prime as well. This whole time I am just trying to stay up front and enjoy the ride and stay out of crashes. Then with 4 laps to go, 4 riders go up the road and then I went. We opened up a gap and began to work. We worked somewhat ok together. Then coming into 2 laps to go Victor (editor note: Victor Repinki of Saturn Development) had bridged up alone. Half a lap later, a group of 4 bridged up including a teammate from Cbike. At that point we were going for the win, so I thought. I knew that it was coming but I just waited for everyone to react and no one did. So Victor had then put 5 seconds on us. By the time my team had gotten to the front to reel him in, he was gone. Then I had to be content for 2nd. I then won the sprint from the break. That was my 2002 Elgin. Till next year...
After your second place at the Elgin race you must be considered one of the favorites for the Espoir National Championships. How are you handling the pressure and who do you see as your main competition at Nationals?
I honestly have not really been thinking about Nationals because I have so many races in between now and then. I would love to do extremely well there though because I need the results. As far as competition, everyone knows who Mike Creed is and who the National Team members are. Then you get the few local riders who go well. So it ought to be an interesting Nationals to say the least.
You spent some time racing in the Belgium with the U.S. National Team. How did competing in Europe change your outlook on racing?
The first time that I went over was great. I had filled my role overseas as a team player for the National Team, so I thought. That was in the fall of 2000. 2001 was a totally different story. Everyone knows how Jonathan rides during the spring. So I went out to Redlands and that had begun it all. Got my butt kicked there and then 5 days later went over. Got my butt handed to me the next month and a half and then I said I had enough. I left on May 1st to come home and try to save some dignity. I figured I had a little time to get ready for Somerville and the bigger home races. Then around June 15th I went back over and did well. I just guess that it wasn't good enough for the National Team to keep on and they had all the right after the spring showing by Jonathan. It is hard over there but well worth it if you are considering being a bike racer. Just to have the experience is enough. Hopefully I will be back over there.
Last year you raced for the Jelly Belly Pro Team. What was that experience like?
Last year was full of experiences for me. I got to ride all of the greatest races in the country with no form. I loved riding Professional. I started with the new team at Redlands. Then the next time we all raced together was in Europe to get ready for the Criterium Nationals. So when I was absent from Espoir Nationals everyone had thought I quit. Anyways, just to be able to do USPRO is great. The people are fantastic and you just feel so special. Only so many people get to do what I have done at 20 years old. Hopefully though that is not the only time that I will have done the Pro deal.
What are your goals for the rest of the season?
To race the best I can and try to get some more results for myself. I will need a good showing out at the u-23 Nationals and then hopefully go back overseas.
What was your worst crash?
When I was 16. I was in the Tour of Somerville on the last lap in the junior race. It was the 3rd turn. Myself and Jonathan Retsick had both been taken out by the infamous Dustin "Rodamoucher". We also had some more people with us but they were able to ride away. I was banged up and my bike had a pretty dent placed upon it. I actually had the dent popped out and had the bike re painted and I still have it.
What do you like best about cycling?
The people and the traveling. I have met some great individuals throughout the sport. People that I know I never would have met anywhere else. Just to say that I have traveled around most of the Continental U.S. and most of Europe and other fine countries is worth it. I honestly don't know many people who can say they have traveled nearly as much as I have. I know there are only about 5 or 6 people who can say that they have sat down in a coffee shop with Donny Lopez and Brice Jones in Kortijk, Belgium. So for those experiences I love this sport and job.
What do you like least?
Those rainy days with the 40 mile an hour winds. The having to get up and say today I have to ride my bike for 5 hours. The "ok, today is Park Ridge and I feel as if I am going to die right here if I have to climb this hill one more time." Those are the things that I hate. I guess I love it more then I hate it because I am still here.
What are your long term goals in cycling?
Simple, to make it as a Professional and to make this my career. Right now I am not one for school and I can't give this up. So yes, I want to be known as Jonathan Erdelyi, a Professional Cyclist.
Jonathan Erdelyi Bio:
Born: Carteret NJ
Resides: Brick NJ
Current Team: Ideal Tile
Maximum HR: 198
Resting HR: 35
Watts/KG: Haven't done the test in a while more then happy to if someone asks.
Do you have a full-time coach?: yes, Christian Young
Do you train with a hear rate monitor?: During the winter
Favorite Food: Pizza, I recommend Pete and Eldas in Neptune City
Favorite Book: Street Car named Desire, Tennessee Williams
Favorite Type of Music: Club and Hip-Hop