The Sacramento State Cycling Team has a professional cyclist in its membership: Joseph Iannarelli.
Team vice president Mark Roberts, junior business major, said that Iannarelli started cycling at the age of 16 in a junior program and became a category two racer in about two years. He is now riding for Yahoo! Cycling.
Although they are proud of their teammate, Roberts and Saul Uribe, junior kinesiology major and team member, said it is more about fun and less about being professionals.
The Cycling Team was reestablished in 2009 by then-team president Emily Kachorek. Uribe said he believes Kachorek started the team because she felt there was a lot of talent within the school.
The requirements to join the team are to have a bicycle with brakes, a helmet, and the willingness to ride. As of now, there are 15 members on the team. Roberts said cyclists do not have to be on the level of a racing cyclist to become a member of the team.
“When we started off, a lot of us weren’t racing,” Roberts said. “We eventually came to the racing level because that’s where we wanted to push ourselves. You can start off as a recreational rider and work your way up to racing if you like.”
Regardless if they are racing or not, both Roberts and Uribe said cycling is a sport in which people should want to work hard and be focused.
“Cycling takes a lot of dedication. You pretty much have to be trained,” Uribe said. “You have to be on top of your game with food, resting, equipment and sleep.”
Both Roberts and Uribe also said cyclists need a lot of dedication not only because they have to stay consistent with training but also to be able to balance the tasks of school and cycling.
The members of the team ride independently but try to meet up at least once a week for a team ride. These team rides can last anywhere from one to six hours, Uribe said.
Right now, the team is participating in collegiate races in the California Northern Nevada Conference. The team hopes to do well in the Conference so it will be able to send some cyclists to Nationals, which would extend their season until May.