303Racing recently caught up with Team Excel Sports rider Nico Toutenhoofd to find out more about this guy who has really taken on the Colorado racing by storm this year. First lets start with his 2008 results which show 7 wins and 13 podium finishes and is currently holding the Best All-round Rider title and Colorado Masters TT winner whom also had the fastest time of the day even in the P-1-2 field!
So who is Nico?
[303racing] Tell us a little about you and your cycling background, are you a former pro? How many years have you been racing?
[Nico] I started racing at the age of 12 in the Red Zinger Mini Classic, a week-long stage race for youngsters in Colorado. It was a spectacular event and was responsible for getting hundreds of kids into cycling. As a junior I was a member of the 7-Eleven Junior Development Team, and periodically a member of the United States Junior National Team, spending several summers at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs. Then my first year as a senior (there was no such thing as "Under 23" at the time) I raced with Lowenbrau, which was the premier U.S. domestic team of the mid '80s. To be frank, I was the worst rider on the best team, which is both good and bad. I then quit racing when I went to college in 1987. So back to your question, I was never technically a pro. Back in those days there was a stronger distinction between pros and amateurs because only amateurs were allowed to race in the Olympics.