Fruit of two nations
The name Ivan Stevic is one most North American cycling fans wouldn't have heard very often - their team, Aerospace Engineering-VMG is probably even more enigmatic in that it's the fruit of two nations' ability to work together to produce talented riders capable of winning races. Cyclingnews' Mark Zalewski sat down with Stevic to find out a little more about the Serbian rider and the little-known Serbian/American team.
The Aerospace Engineering-VMG cycling team is a unique program; based in both Florida and Serbia, it consists of a UCI Continental team as well as a developmental amateur squad. In 2003, the amateur team scored a big with 18-year-old Keith Norris winning the US elite criterium nationals. This year marks the first time the team is entering professional races in the US, and it wasted little time in scoring wins. Team leader Ivan Stevic won three of the four stages of the Vuelta de Bisbee and the challenging Laguna Seca circuit race of the Sea Otter Classic, finishing fourth overall.
Cyclingnews: First, tell us a little about yourself and how you began racing.
Ivan Stevic: I was born in Serbia...in Belgrade. I raced there as a junior and my first year as an elite. I did two world championships as a junior for my country. After that I went to Italy to race - I did five years there. I had two teams; Team Futura 2000 where I did one year. After that I went to central Italy and did four years there. I won about twenty races in those five years.
Last year I had the jersey of the best foreign rider in the baby Giro for five days. I won six races, and after that I took this opportunity to come here and race in the US - first because I have never been to the US, this is my first time here and my first races here. I have to say I like it here - I like racing here.
Click here for the full interview