Resplendent in stars and stripes, world traveler and local track hero Vincent Juarez is in town, training hard for the UCI Para-Cycling Track World Championships to be hosted at the Home Depot Velodrome in Los Angeles February 9-12, 2012. Vincent’s goal is to win the kilometer, one of the most grueling and painful events in cycling.
At last year’s world championships, Vincent placed second in the “kilo” in Montichiari Italy, coming within 0.1 second of the former world record and finishing one second behind Great Britain’s Jon-Allan Butterworth who set the new world record.
This year, Vincent is coming to the event stronger and fitter with the determination to win.
Vincent’s list of victories is impressive. In addition to 2nd place in the kilo at the world championships, Vincent’s victories include:
- 1st place in the kilometer at USA Track National Championships
- 1st place in the time trial at USA Para-Cycling Road National Championships
- 1st place in the team sprint at USA Junior Track National Championships
- 1st place in the points race at the NCNCA Junior District Track Championships
Living the Dream
Vincent wins bike races and is traveling all over the world to compete. At the young age of 19, he already has three national titles to his credit. In addition to Montichiari, Italy where he finished 2nd in the kilometer, Vincent has competed in Denmark (Road Para-Cycling World Championships), Canada, Australia, and Gualdalajara, Mexico (Pan-American Games) as part of the USA Paralympic National Team. After the UCI World Championships in Los Angeles this February, Vincent heads to London for the Paralympics.
Vincent serves as an inspiration for many cyclists who aspire to improve their fitness and achieve great results. When you meet him, he is soft-spoken and humble, despite his extraordinary results.
Yet, Vincent is disabled. At the age of 15 he suffered a stroke that left the left side of his body paralyzed. His stroke likely occured as a result of a blood clot after jaw surgery. After some physical therapy, he has recovered most of his function and appears to be fully functional to most of us. He competes in C5, which is the most able category in paralympics. He he has some lack of mobility in his left ankle and his left arm yet this doesn’t seem to slow him down on the bike. He explains the left side of his face doesn’t move as much as it should and his speech is slurred. He’s quite shy with new people, but his speech is very clear.
Prior to his stroke, Vincent played soccer. As his condition improved, he sought to be physically active again. He grew up playing soccer with Daniel Farhina who was also an avid cyclist, with great results both at the track and on the road.
Daniel encouraged Vincent to try cycling. Vincent joined Team San Jose/San Jose Bicycle Club and enrolled in the Hellyer Velodrome Juniors Program. Vincent took to it very quickly. His achievements are testament to his talent and dedication.
Preparation for World’s
Vincent’s humility and quiet nature belies the seriousness of his purpose and his commitment to training. In preparation for world’s, he rides on the track every Thursday with his coach Dave McCook. His training includes long rides on the road plus interval sessions with 3 sets of 3-5 minute efforts.
Back from his world travels, Vincent is enjoying riding in San Jose with his local friends but will be training on the velodrome in Los Angeles frequently during January. Margins of victory in the kilo are slim, so every tenth of a second counts. Being completely familiar with the course will pay dividends in time and potentially put Vincent in the rainbow stripes in February.
Vincent is the pride of the Hellyer Velodrome community. Vincent, we wish you great success in February!