No spoilers from todays XCC races at Val Di Sole, but the interview after the mens race was awesome. Sam Gaze was featured, and if anyone remembers how this guy sounded and acted 5-6 years ago when he first broke on the scene, you’d be happy I think. He beat Nino in a famous sprint, at a time when NO one could beat Nino it seemed. Here comes Gaze, with a perfect build for power, and won. But his attitude, outbursts, and whatnot seemed to overshadow his talent in my opinion. No need to dig up the dirt now. A few years ago he crashed at the Cape Epic, and fell off the circuit completely. Word got out he had a serious head injury and would need time to heal. It looked pretty tame, but clearly wasn’t. It was 2 or 3 years before he really made a comeback in 2023. He looked extremely fit, and determined.
Seeing the photo attached, I had totally forgot he rode for Specialized. He of couse shares a team with Puck and MvDP, two of the greatest of the greats. He’s the only male rider on his team that does MTB, along with Puck…just like Ineos with Pidcock and PFP. But Sam Gaze has shown he is in amazing shape.
But the point of this post is how he sounds now in interviews. He couldn’t be nicer, calmer, and really informative with his discussions on camera. His sprint is insane, and he’s no slouch at the XCO races either. I’ll be very, very curious to see how he goes on Sunday. It could be a precursor to the Olympic race. That race is wide open, fast, and would be perfect for Gaze. He’s physically bigger than other racers too, which I think gives him a bit of an elbow advantage if you know what I mean.
So hats off to Sam, he’s an incredible MTB talent, and I hope he continues to race MTB as much as possible to see how high he can really go.