Growing up, cycling was not a sport but a necessary means of survival. Bob used cycling at a young age to escape from a difficult home environment. He would disappear for hours and purposely get lost. Bob gravitated towards physically demanding sports. He began competing as a swimmer at age 14. He joined his High School wrestling team. In college, Bob really immersed himself in the sport of swimming. He became addicted to the feeling he would get after really pushing himself during a hard workout or race.
By the time Bob graduated college he had achieved a lot as a swimmer. The opportunities to train and race in that sport were limited. As soon as he found full time employment, Bob bought his first mountain bike — a 1998 Garry Fisher Big Sur and rediscovered his passion for cycling. No longer needing to escape, he immediately set out with training and racing in mind, but, found that the strength and fitness he developed as a swimmer did not directly translate to mountain biking. That first season was full of sore legs, bruises, and broken bike parts. It was a harder sport then he anticipated. But, eventually, he started to climb hills and ride through technical sections of trail that used to cause him to get off his bike and walk. Racing a mountain bike was gradually becoming a possibility.
Time for a real bike – Bob ventured into Ridgewood Cycle and bought a 1999 Klien Attitude Race with a light to dark blue faded paintjob. As much as is possible with an inanimate object, Bob fell in love with that bike. Bob entered a beginner MTB race at Ringwood State Park. He attacked on the first climb and didn’t see another rider after that. He competed in an occasional race over the next couple of years and moved up in category to the sport class, then finally set his sights on competing in a series. He competed in the 2003 New Jersey State Championship Series in the Expert Class and continued to find ways to get on the podium. He finished second in the New Jersey State series that year as a Cat 1 MTB racer. Bob took time off from racing in order to complete his graduate studies, but, continued to ride most every weekend with friends.
Robert Crescitelli raced for the first time since 2006 in 2014. He joined the 2015 CRCA/RBNY Racing-Sommerville Sports road team and is excited to be racing with the Elite Endurance Cyclo-Cross team in 2015.
December Weight: 160-165 lbs.
Race Weight: 157 lbs.
Birthdate: September 16, 1975
Childhood Heroes: “My first swimming coach. He saw something in me early on and made me believe in myself.”
Hobbies and Interests: “Mountain biking, hiking, playing with my 5yr old son.”
Favorite Movies: “The Princess Bride.”
Musical Tastes: “Buddy Rich, and other great drummers. Led Zeppelin, Dave Matthews Band.”
Favorite TV Shows: “The Daily Show, and The Colbert Report.”
Favorite Meal: “My wife makes the best Asian pulled pork.”
Favorite Breakfast Cereal: “Homemade organic oatmeal with homegrown blueberries.”
Favorite Pre-Race Meal: “Homemade smoothie, oatmeal, coffee and an egg.”
Favorite Ice Cream Flavor: “coconut with dark chocolate chunks.”
Childhood Dream: “To live in the wilderness, in a house on a cliff overlooking the ocean.”
First Car: “1979 Pontiac Firebird – that’s right, with the shaker hood just in the movie, The Bandit.”
First Job: “Re-shelving books part time at a public library.”
Favorite Vacation Spot: “Sedona Arizona – with my MTB.”
Pre-Race Feeling: “Usually a bit nervous, feels like I’m getting ready for a fight.”
Early Racing Memory: “Racing in the 24hrs of Allamuchi as part of a four man team in 2003. I took the first leg and gave our team the overall lead which we held into the early next morning, until, one of our riders overslept and couldn’t be found for his turn on the relay. We had to wake him up in his tent. Our team appropriately named, “One Jackass” took second in that race.
Funny Racing Memory: My first Crit. Augusta Training Series April 3rd 2014. I wanted to hit the starting line with a high heart rate – engine primed and ready to go! So, instead of listening to the starter’s instructions, I continued to warm up until the last possible second. When the gun was fired, I was immediately able to jump to the front of the group. About 15 minutes into the race, an official rang a bell. I remember thinking to myself, “this can’t be right? I thought this race was going to be at least 40 minutes. Why are they cutting it so short? ” As I was contemplating this mystery, a group of riders attacked and formed a gap. I went into the red zone to bridge it alone. One rider had sprinted off the front, so, I had no time to recover. I chased him down right before the final turn. I sprinted passed him! and threw up my arms for my first road victory!!
Some riders patted me on the back, and everyone rode on for what I figured was a cool-down lap. I just soft pedaled for a while, all alone, catching my breath. Eventually, a dropped rider pulled up alongside me and congratulated me. “Thanks,” I replied.
“So what did you win for that?”
“I’m not sure … I didn’t think there were prizes for winning the race.”
“You didn’t win the race. That was a preme lap.”
“You just one a pair of socks or something. The race isn’t over yet.”
I was able to chase back on to the group of riders somehow, and work my way back to the front. During the real bell lap, a rider attacked, I bridged the gap catching the leader at the final turn, and out sprinted him at the finish. I always listen to the starters instructions now!
Greatest Racing Moment: “Nittany Cross 2014 Day2. I was seated dead last in a field of 103 riders. I fought my way through the field by being very aggressive in the turns and technical sections. I thought I caught the leader on the bell-lap and passed him just before the finish, but, a rider I never saw had a lead and won the race. I ended up taking second, but, it really felt like a complete victory.”
Most Painful Moment In Life: “Currently watching a family member struggle with a terrible disease, and not being able to help.”
Worst Injury from Racing: “I was training for the first MTB race of the 2006 season after a long layoff from the sport. I cornered a bit too hard and my front wheel caught an edge. I fell hard into the Ringwood rocks right on my left hip. After taking 8th at the first MTB race in April, I eventually figured out that I needed arthroscopic surgery to remove a lot of torn cartilage from my hip joint, my next MTB ride was in January.”
Closest Racing Friends: “All the great Cyclo-Cross racers I met at Wednesday Worlds in Clifton and hung out with at the races, My RBNY team and Ken Lundgren.”
Funniest Racer: “Has to be Sean Runnette.”
Favorite Race: “Can’t decide, but has to be one of the MAC series cross races.”
Embarrassing Racing Memory: “Nitinany Cross Day 2, 2014. Yeah I know I put this down as my greatest racing moment as well, but, I really thought I won this race. So, as I crossed the finish I threw my hands up! I was celebrating my first cross race, and my first victory in Cyclo-cross. Then I found out I took second…..and was definitely embarrassed.”
Toughest Competitors: “Has to be Kenneth Lundgren. How can he perform so well in every discipline of cycling?”
Favorite Athletes to Watch: “Man I hate this question, everytime I get into watching a pro cyclist or just about any professional athlete, I find out they are using PED’s. Soo….I’m picking my EE teammates like; Brian Carbone, I love the way he quietly and unassumingly dominated the MAC series. ”
Qualities You Most Admire in People: “Empathy, Resolution and Application.”
What You Love Most About Riding Your Bicycle: “The feeling of freedom it gives me.”