Challenge Athlete

Andre Szucs fell in love with mountain biking in his home country of Brazil, and is now ready to conquer his greatest two-wheeled challenge yet: The Leadville Trail 100 MTB on August 12th. Here is his journey to Leadville in his own words.

Two weeks to go! I can’t think of a better way to start this story than to say that it’s an amazing feeling to be part of the event this year. One of the wonders around the world of mountain bikers is the Leadville 100 MTB. It’s a hot topic of discussion, one for the history books, and a bucket list for many. It’s definitely on mine and I feel very grateful to be joining Team CAF for this year’s event. To explain how special this event is for me, I need to do a quick flashback and mention my background with mountain bikes.

athleteIt was 1992 on a GT Timberline Chromoly when I first tried to bike anything over two miles nonstop. I was fortunate to have a good friend who was riding for sport that stayed true to his friendship values and invited me to go the distance with him. I was instantly hooked! For eight straight years, that’s pretty much what I was doing every weekend – riding all the trails around my hometown Florianópolis, Santa Catarina, Brazil.

By choice, I decided to sell my mountain bike around 2003 because I discovered swimming as my main sport that could take me to the Paralympic games and also became my financial income. I couldn’t afford to take a spill on my bike and affect my training in the pool. Time goes by. Eight years later my duties as a swimmer were done and of course, I was missing the contact with the mountains and all the good stuff that mountain biking offers.

I continued to pursue triathlons and IRONMAN races, sticking to my road bike for a while. Eventually in 2010, I purchased my current mountain bike on eBay. As soon as I tried the bike, everything felt right. I’M BACK!

athleteLeadville Trail 100 MTB is a respectable goal for many cyclists. For me, having a chance to race and see what kind of result I can achieve will be the pinnacle of my lifetime experience on two wheels, that started way back in the times of cantilever brakes.

I am also meeting some amazing people during this endeavor, getting to train harder and smarter than ever before. I’m acquiring more expertise to manage the technical trails while exploring new places and altitudes around my new town of Boulder, CO. It’s an amazing feeling to share all of these experiences with my family.

A special thank you to CAF and to all the fundraisers; this is only possible because of YOU!