Steve Cozza, the fastest moustache in the professional peloton, is set to ride the Amgen Tour of California next month thank to making a rapid recovery after breaking his collarbone at the Tour of Qatar.
Cozza underwent surgery and then spent hours riding the home trainer at his base in Girona, Spain, so that he could get back to racing in rime for the Volta a Catalunya in late March. He made it through the Spanish stage race and secured a place in Garmin-Transitions' team for the cobbled classics, helping Tyler Farrar finish fifth in the Tour of Flanders and win Scheldeprijs.
"I did everything I could to get back in time for the classics, I didn't want to miss them," he told Cyclingnews at the Brabantse Pijl race on Wednesday.
"I did the Volta a Catalunya, then came up north for Flanders, Scheldeprijs and then Roubaix," he added. "They're pretty hard races to come back in but my forms getting better and that's good. It was great getting the win with Tyler but then Roubaix was pretty bad. Everybody on the team except me and Danny Pate had some kind of crash and so we couldn't have had worse luck."
Cozza didn't finish the tough Brabantse Pijl but will ride the Amstel Gold Race on Sunday before getting ready to race on home roads at the Tour of California in May.
"I've got Amstel and then I've got a break until I ride the Tour of California,” he said. “It's so great to be riding it because I'm from Northern California and so it's like a hometown race for me. I'll get to see my family and that's always nice."
Cozza is popular in Europe because of his attitude, the hard work he does for the Garmin-Transitions team, and of course, because of his handlebar moustache.
Last week he was surprised to discover there is a group of supporters from Holland, who cheered for him at Paris-Roubaix, while wearing fake moustaches. They also posed under a huge banner saying: 'Supporter Steve Cozza – The fastest stache in the peloton'.
"I saw the photographs of it during Roubaix and saw them on the side of the road, but I don’t know who they are. It's pretty funny though," Cozza said.
"People can actually go to my website (stevencozza.com) and print out a paper moustache so they can wear it at races and support me. There's also a fans page on Facebook. I'd also like to remind people that on my website there's also a link to the Race for Kids Fan Club, where people can help raise money for disadvantaged kids."
Yet another reason to support Steve Cozza if you see his famous moustache at a race.