A well oiled machine
For Masakazu that is just the start
It is not just young athletes who dream of becoming professionals in the world of cycling
When Masakazu Iemoto graduated from University this Spring and moved to Europe to work with EF Education-NIPPO Development he was on his way to making his dream come true as an expert race mechanic.
Though he had enjoyed cycling with his father as a small child, Masakazu became more interested in cycling at high school. He was also fascinated by machines, from Lego bricks to large and complicated plastic models as well as radio-controlled cars and making radios.
Self-taught initially, Masakazu's subsequent formal study was enhanced by work experience at bike shops, with road race teams, and Japan's national track team. Moving to Europe was the natural progression in a career path dedicated to the sport of cycling.
"I had no choice but to become a mechanic after graduating from university. To be honest, I was both anxious and excited about going to Europe. I was worried about whether I would really be able to make it, and at the same time I was excited about how far I could grow. One of the reasons I came to Europe was because I like the projects that NIPPO supports, NIPPO's Japanese riders and staff work together as a team but here they integrate with many other nationalities. It is a fantastic opportunity.”
Take great care. Never stop thinking. Don't be lazy.
"I try not to neglect checking the procedures as I have been taught, because forgetting to tighten a single bolt can affect the life of the rider, the result, and the credibility of others".
"There are countless things to learn to be a good mechanic but as well there are many things beside bike maintenance, like communication in other languages or finding where to park team vehicles at the race site.”
"My goal is to become an indispensable member of the team in the future. If I have to work harder to do that I will. Right now I am exhausted after even a one-day race but I know that I have done everything I can. My goal is to someday be able to work smoothly for the team in a big stage race, knowing I have earned the trust and confidence of the team.”
Masakazu's challenge continues.