BEING PRO: CORMAC MCGEOUGH
Team: Wildlife Generation Pro Cycling
Hometown: Fall City, Washington
How about a recap of your cycling experience leading up to your time with Wildlife Generation Pro Cycling?
Racing for me started by participating in the NICA Colorado high school league with the Colorado Rocky Mountain School mountain bike team. I didn’t even know how to ride a bike until just before high school, but as soon as I started, I was hooked. I was a big gamer before, too, so cycling, with its high speeds, competition, technical challenge, and even the controller-like shifting and braking, was like a real-life video game for me.
While at Fort Lewis College in Durango, Colorado, I started racing more seriously, taking part in mountain bike, cyclocross, road and track racing, which were available to any student on the team. I was completely unknown as an athlete, and I owe my success in cycling to the collegiate club model, which allows anybody to come race as long as they are motivated to have fun and compete.
As soon as my first road season was over, I was dead set on racing as much as possible. I think a lot of people who knew me back then can attest that a switch flipped pretty quickly after my first year in school, going from a relaxed hippie bike bro just trying to shred to a hyper-focused, unmerciful bike mercenary out to kill. Shortly thereafter, an important mentor of mine, John Sheehan, encouraged me to take advantage of my Irish citizenship and heritage to race in Ireland in various local races there and also the grueling eight-day Ras Tailteann.
Following that up with some racing back in North America later in the year, I got in contact with Danny Van Haute and was invited to be on the Jelly Belly cycling team for 2018. I had a great year on Jelly Belly racing with a fun squad, wearing the coolest kit in the world, traveling the globe, and getting molded into an efficient and deadly racing assassin by Sport Directors Danny Van Haute and Matt Rice.
I am grateful and excited to say that 2022 will be my fourth year working with Danny, Matt and Leah, the owner of Wildlife Generation. I love everything about road racing—the speed, the game-like aspect of it with strategy and playing poker, and meeting and racing with other riders who are from all over the world. I am also extremely lucky to be on such a tight-knit team. We know how to have fun, but also when it is time to get down to business. Having a fun and tight-knit team helps with the hard days, the long travel and general adversity of pro cycling, and just makes it an enjoyable experience overall that makes you want to keep coming back.
Since becoming a pro you’ve trained and raced all over the world. What is your favorite place to ride?
To choose my favorite place in the world to ride is really difficult. I like many different areas for many different reasons. Belgium and the Netherlands are great because of the extremely well-designed bike infrastructure. Actually, riding in Los Angeles is great, too, because there are so many choices. I like to wiggle around the quiet, narrow and hilly neighborhood streets in the Hollywood Hills, where there is an endless combination of loops. I’ve spent a lot of time in Umbria, Italy, and it’s really fun to ride, eat food and drink coffee there. Durango, Colorado, might be my favorite, though, because of the world-class mountain biking all close to town, the quiet country road riding and the great cycling community there.
Do you use Zwift at all? In what ways is training on Zwift most useful to you?
I use Zwift every so often. When I am in bad weather, I have no problem doing almost my normal amount of training on there. I spent a lot of time e-racing back in 2020 and had a lot of fun. I really like the pace partner feature, and I think there is a ton more potential there.
Any races you are targeting for the 2022 season?
I’m not 100 percent sure what races we will be attending, since we tend to not follow a regular series or calendar like a WorldTour team would. I do hope that with all the increased interest in cycling over the last two years, and despite this, many of the cornerstone USA races being canceled, that we can get back to having UCI races in America next year. That would mean a lot to me.
You’ve been making videos of some of your races over the last year. Do you have a tip you wish you knew sooner that’ll make someone’s first time recording and editing a cycling video easier?
My tip would be to be creative and not try and just copy anyone else too much. Bring your own flair to things, and remember that you don’t need to have super-complex editing; you just need to have cool raw footage.
Tell us about McGo Performance. What is one type of ride or workout that you’d recommend for someone looking to improve their overall endurance?
McGo Performance is a play on my last name, which is difficult to pronounce for many people. It’s actually pronounced more like “Mc-Gyo,” but most people end up saying “McGo” or something close to that. But, it makes for a nice name for my LLC. The goal of McGo Performance is to get more people out riding and enjoying bikes. Part of this for me is coaching and mentoring a few individuals.
The best way for most people to get more fit is to just be consistent. Get out on the bike every single day, even if it’s just for a little bit. Find a group to ride with, and you can all motivate and push each other. Find a mentor, someone in your community who can give you direction, teach you skills and challenge you.
What is the best place for people to follow your journey online?
The best place to follow me online is probably my Strava. It is where I am most active, and you can be sure that it will be very up to date. You can find all my social links Instagram, Strava and my YouTube.