Team Slipstream's Steven Cozza showed he is on his way back to full form by logging a record-breaking ride at the Marin Double Century on August 4. In it's four-year history, no one had broken the 11 hour time barrier for the 200 mile race with 15,000 feet of climbing. He finished in 10 hours, 50 minutes after riding alone for most of the distance.
Cozza, a Petaluma, California native, broke the previous best time of 11 hours, 13 minutes set by Graham Pollock last year.
"I set a goal to average 30 kilometers per hour," Cozza said. That translates to just over 18 mph. "I hoped people would stay with me, but I did 170 miles by myself. I started at five in the morning, and I got in just before four in the afternoon.
"I stopped for water maybe five times. They say it's not a race, but I went into it pretending that it was a race. I followed all the traffic laws. I wasn't an idiot."
Cozza hasn't raced in three months, since he suffered a major head injury while racing in France in May. The injury kept him off his bike for most of the summer.
"The crash happened 15 minutes into that race," Cozza recalled. "I went with an attack, and as I turned my head to see if I was clear of any riders, all of a sudden the guy behind me jumped to the right. He hit me and I landed right on my face, right on my head."
After returning home, Cozza found he couldn't ride. "Everything was off. I slept constantly, I didn't eat, and I was really depressed. Just the week before I was normal, then all of a sudden I had all these problems." It took three weeks for his appetite to return.
Cozza was given the green light to resume normal training some time ago, but he's only recently been cleared to race again.