Competitor Spotlight: Jo Celso

May 23, 2013 in Civic Center Crit, News, Race Events, Rider Spotlight, Wolfpack A

Cancer survivor, Jo Celso, took first in ladies geared for the 2nd time in a row at this year's Marathon Crash Race and came in and astounding 14 seconds after 1st overall winner, Evan Stade. She is gonna be back for more at Wolfpack's CVC CTR CRIT as she plans to race both the ladies geared AND fixed categories. "I'm a total bike junkie at this point in my life. It doesn't help that So Cal is one of the most beautiful places in the country for cycling." Buy her first road bike in 2010, "an old townie with a lot of character," she tackled her first races the following year on an old steel Bianchi. "I've been hooked ever since!" She races both road and track locally in San Diego, but has been more involved in unsanctioned races since having a blast at the 2012 Marathon Crash Race. "Having a great season after overcoming cancer in 2011 - 2012 and subsequently, encouraging others undergoing hardships, to get back up and on a bike. This has been the most rewarding part of riding and racing so far for me."   One on One with Jo Celso: What influence you to pursue racing? Why? I have no idea how my then-boyfriend encouraged me to try my first couple races, but something about it kept me coming back for more. I think it's a mixture of the speed and the strategy; it's physically and mentally challenging. What have been your race result this year in "sanctioned" and "unsanctioned" races? I've had a pretty good season racing with my teammates on Skyflash Revolution/Zoca in sanctioned races, and am blessed to have seen the podium at almost every race I've done, with a win at one of my favorite road races, San Luis Rey. Unsanctioned races have been equally good-- I took a win at the crash race this year and accomplished my goal of staying with the lead pack until the end. I'm excited for what the rest of the season holds. What do you think about when you train for races? Not getting dropped and how good food is going to taste when I get home. What interests do you have outside of cycling? I like making things out of recycled materials-- everything from knitting to origami to bookbinding to dream catchers. I made an awesome wall decoration out of toilet paper rolls once, which sounds a lot weirder than it is. I also like being out in nature, camping, hiking, swimming and just exploring. What is your all-time favorite racing moment to this day? In one of my first races, they rang the bell for the first prime. I sprinted but was too far back and missed it, but something in my brain just turned on and said "keep pushing," so I did. I heard someone shout behind me "she's still going!"; I looked back and the field was way back. I spent the remaining 7 laps alone, off the front and picked up the remaining primes and the win. What are you looking forward to this year whether in "Sanctioned" races or "unsanctioned" races? Red Hook at Brooklyn Navy Yard while wearing a fly Wolfpack Hustle kit. My dad's never seen me race before and he's traveling up from North Carolina with my little sister to watch.