SCOTT just launched an all-new goggle called the Prospect, and held a huge media event in Park City, Utah, to promote it. The moto media headed to Utah this week to check out the goggle, ride some SCOTT bicycles, and chat with two riders who have ridden with the goggle already, Adam Cianciarulo and Justin Barcia. It should debut at the races shortly.
We grabbed Cianciarulo after the presentation to talk about a variety of topics, from goggles, to training, his growth spurt and Cooper Webb winning everything these days.
Racer X: You still haven’t had podiums or moto wins, but you seem to feel that Washougal was a really good ride for you. You went 6-7 in the motos. You’re seeing progress?
Adam Cianciarulo: Yeah, I think at this point to get the results that I want I need that last ten minutes of the moto. You see the top five guys—Cooper [Webb], Jeremy [Martin], Alex [Martin], Joey [Savatgy]—those guys are strong the last ten minutes. That’s where a lot of the positions are made up. That’s where a lot of the passes happen. Until I have that I feel like I’m not going to break into that top three, at least not without some luck. So I feel like these two weeks off will help me. But definitely encouraged with my ride at Washougal. First moto I got a really terrible start. I was actually right behind Webb and was able to kind of follow him up until he passed [Zach] Osborne, and then I wasn’t able to go any further. But I feel really confident in my speed, and I don’t feel like I’m hanging it out. Sometimes in practice you’ll go out there and you’ll feel fast but you’ll come back and you’ll be like, “Man, that’s all I have.” Sometimes I come back to the truck and I’m like third or fourth fastest but I’m like, “Man, I’ve got a lot left,” and you feel better about yourself. I still feel like I have a lot left. I feel like I’m at 60 percent of my potential right now, fitness-wise and where I’m at racing-wise and just my mind and everything. I’m healthy, so I’m 100 percent from that perspective. The speed is hard. It’s hard to get that back, for sure. So I’m glad, even though I’ve been off all this time, I feel like I can still go that fast.
So where is your program at right now? We know that you left Aldon Baker and everybody’s watching on Instagram saying, “Look AC’s training with Ryan Hughes.” Turns out that wasn’t necessarily the case. Who are you with now?
I’m training with Peter Park, who trains Ken Roczen. It works out really good for us. Obviously Kenny and I live a mile apart from each other in Claremont [FL] so we go to the gym together, kind of like we did with Aldon. With Peter he really customizes the program to both of us. We really don’t do the same thing. He doesn’t really control what we do on the motorcycle. Kenny and I have been around and we know what we should do bike-wise. But a lot of our training is done on the motorcycle, a lot of our high intensity work. Everything else kind of comes second to that. But obviously we’re in the gym and with Peter it’s a lot of work on posture and also for me, coordination. After my growth spurt, that has helped me out a lot, even throughout this year. Unfortunately after Colorado when I crashed and I had that contusion on my shoulder I wasn’t able to do some gym work for about a month, but I feel like I’m getting caught back up. It’s a new program for me so I’m still learning it, but I’m really happy with the communication and how everything’s going so far.
So because of the growth spurt, there are certain things you’re training specifically for that?
Yeah, exactly. A lot of it’s posture and also work with my shoulders, too. It’s hard for me to explain because I’m not a trainer and I’m not smart like that and I don’t even want to try to talk like I know what I’m doing. But there’s a lot of purpose to what he does. I find a lot of comfort in knowing that the program is mine and mine only. There’s nobody else doing what I’m doing, not even Kenny. We each do our separate deals. I think it’s cool so far. I think it’s exactly what I need.
My buddy Grant Langston was pointing out that he thought something you might be struggling with—and then you actually said the same thing—you missed all this riding time at the exact time you had this growth spurt, and it might have affected the way you have to ride.
100 percent. I grew so much I found myself like stepping over my own feet sometimes! I know it sounds weird, and it’s not like I’m a seven-foot tall basketball player, but it does affect the way you ride, coming in as a small kid. For me, the biggest thing has been how it changes the bike when you move your body around a lot. When you’re little and you’re moving around, you’re not changing the weight on the front end or the rear end, so much. So now when I move forward or I move back, it’s a big change. It’s upsetting the balance of the bike a lot. And I still feel like I’m not big! So getting that mindset and having a lot of emphasis on technique has been a big focus of mine, being technically correct.
But that’s something that probably takes tons of repetition, tons of laps and time?
Absolutely. I feel like even this off-season some things happened and then with I had my wrist problem and all that stuff, so it’s only until now that I’ve been riding a lot. I haven’t really put in as much riding as I’ve done during this season in a long time. So I do feel like I’m improving. Every week I go to the track I feel a little bit more solid in what I’m doing. I’m not there yet, by any means, but we’re getting there.
When you watch yourself, do you see yourself doing something better from where you were say in May?
Yeah, absolutely. I think the biggest thing is, in the beginning of the season when people were passing me and stuff like that I was freaking out. I don’t like getting passed! At the same time I’d come in, I’m thinking to myself, “You’ve just got to get into it. Don’t do anything stupid, blah, blah, blah.” But then you have three guys come by you in a matter of a lap and that all goes out the window. It’s like, “I’m pinning it!” So I was crashing twice, maybe three times a moto in the beginning of the season. I feel like I’ve gotten to a point to where my racing mind is coming back, where I’m kind of in a bubble and focused on myself. I feel like I’m able to kind of dissect the track a little bit more, even small things like figuring out lines. Beginning of the season I’d kind of get my line and stay in it, even if it started to suck. Now I’m able to kind of have the presence of mind to say, this line sucks, change it. So it’s little stuff like that. It’s fun kind of learning how to do everything again. You race for your whole life and then you take as much time as I have off and you have to kind of relearn how to do everything.
I want to talk to you about this rivalry people talk about between you and Cooper Webb, which I have always thought was a little overstated. You won all these titles at Loretta’s and had all this hype, but now look at Cooper. He’s the guy. A lot of people wonder if that’s something that bothers you. But, first of all, was there as much of a rivalry as people seem to think? People seem to put you two in the Alessi/Villopoto or Alessi/Millsaps category, which I didn’t think it was like that.
No, we were never in that category. Yeah, we raced and we both wanted to win so not everything is going to be perfect when that’s happening, we had a few incidents, but really I would say there was just a little bit of “I want to beat that guy,” but only because we all just wanted to beat whoever we were racing. It was the same thing with Matt Bisceglia. I had the same thing with him—I looked at all those guys the same. I don’t know how it was perceived, maybe it looked different between Cooper and I, but I always looked at those guys as kind of the same. Chris Alldredge was right there, too. There were plenty of guys back in the day. There would be times where we’d show up and Bisceglia and Jesse Masterpool were better than both of us! That’s just the way it was. So I don’t think it was ever one of those things that went the way that people want to make it. But I get it. If you want to make something exciting, what do we do as humans? We compare it to the past.
So the fact that he’s doing so well now, that doesn’t drive you insane?
It drives me insane that anybody wins. Anybody in my class; anybody that wins races. To me it’s like getting slapped in the face. Like, how dare they win? That’s my win! That’s just how I’m programmed. It’s not disrespectful, it’s just the way you think when you’re a competitor. I have respect for anybody that’s willing to put in the work and get there. If you see anybody up there consistently winning, they deserve it. I have respect for it because I know how hard it is. Him winning doesn’t bother me any more than anyone else winning. I want to be the guy that’s winning. Anybody else is just stealing it from me. That’s my mindset.
The one thing you still have in your back pocket is you haven’t raced supercross in a long time, but when you did you won three out of five. So do you still have that in the back of your mind? Like, I’m building now, but maybe next year when I finally get back in supercross…
No, I think I’m as good an outdoor rider as I am a supercross guy. I’ve always liked supercross and it came really easy to me when I first started riding it. I do enjoy it a lot—even technical outdoor tracks. I enjoy that aspect of riding to where you can’t just go out there and pin it for 30 minutes and be fit and win. I like being technical about it. I feel like I will do well in supercross, but I don’t go to sleep at night and think to myself, “Oh man, I killed it in 2014. I’m going to win every single race, or I’m going to get first or second for the rest of my life in supercross.” It’s not going to happen. At the same time I’m confident in my ability, indoors and out. But supercross is exciting and I haven’t raced it in a while.
Let’s talk about this goggle launch. It’s pretty cool to go this big. I think SCOTT’s starting to integrate the other cool things of the brand in—like the bicycles—so it’s a pretty cool overall atmosphere.
Yeah, I think it’s cool. I’ve never been to Park City before. It’s cool. You see a lot of people out here, kind of a bigger setup. It kind of reminds me of Mammoth a little bit out here. Everybody’s excited to get on bicycles and go hit the trails. I’m super excited with the new goggle. I’ve only ridden with it a couple times, but from the riding I’ve done so far… I liked the goggle before and I think it’s substantially better than the previous goggle. The field of vision is excellent.
You’ll finally get out there in the races with it shortly, do you think?
Yeah, I’m not sure if we’ll race with it at Unadilla or not. I’ve actually only ridden with it a couple times during the week because I don’t want to go from the new goggle back to the old goggle. But from what I’ve seen so far, it works, and even the designs are super cool. I’m stoked on it.
You’ve pretty much always wore SCOTTs?
Yeah, I’ve worn SCOTTs I think every year except for maybe one year when I was an amateur. I’m stoked to be part of their family. I have a lot of friends here, a lot of guys that I continually call my friends, that aren’t just co-workers or whatever you want to call it. It’s always nice to have that atmosphere and feel like you’re more than just a racer to them. They want you around. It just makes for a cool vibe. They’re motivated to continue to innovate and continue to get better. That’s all you can ask for in a company. Family atmosphere, nice people, and great products.