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For the last decade Peter Stetina has been a major force in American road racing. Riding for Garmin-Sharp, BMC, and Trek-Segafredo, Peter has left his mark on races such as the Giro d’Italia the Tour de France and the Veulta a España. Last year his mustachioed grin began gracing mixed terrain cycling events like Belgian Waffle Ride, Dirty Kanza, and Leadville 100. While the gravel scene may be new to Peter, he’s no stranger to Floyd’s of Leadville or the dirt. During his youth, innocent bribery in the form of Jolly Ranchers from his father got Peter motivated to conquer the hills around his house, where he started racing competitively on the mountain bike at age fourteen. We had a chance to catch up with Stetina several times at events last year and it turns out he’s not only a big fan of CBD, but he’s swapped stories, and wheels, with Dave and Floyd over the years. When Peter decided to round up sponsors and focus on gravel racing in 2020 we were excited to jump on board. Last week we had a chance to sit down with Peter and talk bikes, shenanigans, CBD, and brewing his own beer; we think he’ll fit right in around here.
Thanks so much for taking a break from riding to sit down with us this week Peter, we’re excited to have you representing Floyd’s of Leadville this season. First off, let’s dig deep into those early racing memories when you honed your race skills with Zabriskie and Floyd.
“[DZ] was one of the superstars on Garmin and always the jokester. I roomed with him at my first Tour de Romandie and you could say that he taught me the ropes. I was never teammates with Floyd, but my first impression was when we had a fun weekend in San Diego. I finished up a big charity ride down Hwy1 from San Francisco to San Diego. Another teammate and I crashed at a baller pad that Floyd happened to be hanging out at that same weekend. Things got wild.”
Ha. Well, let’s just leave it at wild. We all have to learn the ropes somewhere, but Dave’s typically involve bizarre interviews, chamois cream and karaoke… in no particular order. Speaking of karaoke, if you could sing one song with DZ what would it be?
California Gurls. I’d suck it up and sing Katy Perry just so I could hear him rap as Snoop Dogg.
Excellent choice, and there was no hesitation. Sounds like you’ve been thinking about this one for a while. Your schedule does have a stop at Leadville 100 again this year and we’ve been looking for an excuse to set up a karaoke machine at HQ. Let’s make this happen. And, speaking of Leadville, you were up there in August and you looked like you were enjoying the vibe; when did you decide to make the jump back to dirt?
I got to dip my toe into gravel [racing] this season while still focusing on World Tour road [races]. It was eye opening; the community, the race format, the vibe. I quickly realized this was where I’m happiest. I began emailing a few connections and there was immediate interest. It was a scary jump to leave the known path, but once I committed it’s been gratifying to see the support.
We hear you on venturing into the unknown. In 2016 we took a risk and committed to cannabidiol and haven’t looked back. While we’re on the subject of CBD, what’s your favorite Floyd’s of Leadville product?
I’m a big fan of the hemp oil tincture. It’s fast acting and I can mix it into anything, or just hold under the tongue at bedtime.
It is super versatile. What if you could make a new Floyd’s product, what would you come up with? We need a Stetina Signature Collection.
I’d go with a shampoo. Imagine getting home from a smasher ride and simultaneously relaxing your aching muscles with both the hot water and while lathering up. Actually, I bet it already exists and that’s how DZ has such a flowing mane, he needs to share it.
It’s like you read our mind. No comment on DZ testing out top secret grooming prototypes but maybe we can throw a mustache balm in the mix for you. What’s your advice for someone trying CBD for the first time?
Start at the 25mg level. And if you have an empty stomach it’ll feel stronger, so just be conscious of that.
Good advice, that’s what we recommend as well. And as you enter new disciplines in a new year, why chose Floyd’s over other CBD brands?
Gravel and CBD are the perfect fit: Both are coming into the spotlight simultaneously and are LEGIT. I trusted [Floyd’s of Leadville] through the World Tour last year.
And as a professional cyclist at the highest level you’re subject to constant drug tests right?
As a tested athlete, and with a lot of new companies out there, FOL is the one company I can truly trust that I know what I’m getting. No taint.
We go through great lengths to laboratory test our products for purity and consistency so professional athletes like yourself can use CBD worry free. Out of curiosity do you use our full spectrum or isolate products?
I use both. I use the full spectrum while training or traveling… but at a race, especially as I can be drug tested at any time, I can trust isolate won’t ever get me in trouble, and I still get the benefits of CBD.
And besides athletic recovery, what do you use CBD for?
Pain management [with] my broken leg. Better sleep. I’ve used it for jet-lag.
Looking back, what was your favorite event of 2019?
My favorite event was the Belgian Waffle Ride in San Diego. It was my first foray into the alternative racing scene and the organization, the afterparty, and the entire event blew me away. Much more “pro” than most pro races. You could say that was the first impression that created this love affair.
And we hear you’re creating your own gravel event in Carson City on September 19th. Sum up Peter Stetina’s Paydirt in one sentence:
It’s a curated weekend and extension of my career in an attempt to give back to the sport I love, highlighting the best parts of cycling: Community, camaraderie, challenge, charity, and craft beer.
That sounds like our kind of event! We need to add that one to our calendar. When you’re not on the bike we hear you exercise your affinity for hops.
My next love after cycling is craft beer. This can be an in-season hobby too but it’s not always the perfect blend for my race weight. I have dabbled in homebrewing and my go-to is a crisp West Coast IPA.
Alright, let’s get philosophical for a moment; where do you see gravel racing in 5 years? What about the road scene?
If I had a crystal ball…I’m just living in the moment and currently gravel has my complete attention. I’ve gone all-in on this so I hope gravel continues to boom. I hope road racing can become more relatable again stateside.
Well, the long and storied history of road racing is rooted in gravel isn’t it? What about taking one historical figure out for a gravel ride, who would it be?
Floyd, he’s been retired a while now. What point does he become historical?
We’ll count it, but he’s young at heart! Thanks so much for chatting with us and we’re excited to have you representing Floyd’s of Leadville this season. We’ve taken a look at your schedule and it looks like you’ll need some help to #relaxandrecover from all those events. We started to add up all the gravel miles but our calculator blew up. Congrats on the transition and new season and good luck training! We’ll catch up with you again soon!