My name is Justin Loretz, I am a cycling underdog.
Nobody told me, I don’t wear a label and most of the time it isn’t the first thought in my mind. But nevertheless, it is what I am. An underdog.
What does that mean? Well for me, and everyone is going to have a different personal story, it means that I am a dreamer, I dream of being a fitter, faster rider, a champion who can summon the strength of the gods at will to take a win.
I was born with Ferrari ambitions, but sadly I am powered by a Ford engine, try as I might, the top step of the podium (or the podium at all) are never going to factor in my future. That said, in my heart and in my head, I believe that I can reach higher, push my limits, challenge the favourites.
In 1885 my forefather Giuseppe Loretz was the first Italian National Road Race Champion, to prove it wasn’t a fluke, he returned in 1886 and came second. So, the family genes are good. Or they were…
With Giuseppe’s fighting spirit, more than his DNA in my veins, I do my best to be my own Campionissimo with every ride that I do.
I love to try, to hope, to push my limits. Many times, when I ride, I fail. I am mortal, I am the nail. I am blunted by a climb, the weather or the strength of the competition. But I still smile. Why? Because, I’m always learning. Learning about my body (I’m 49 and it’s still teaching me what it can do) and learning about my mind (I’m definitely tougher as I get older).
Digging deep to climb a mountain or chase down a break used to be something I feared, but not since I learned how to channel my inner underdog – focussing my ‘can do’ thoughts and letting my body follow them to the conclusion. Sometimes it’s a good day – they say ‘every dog has it’s day’ – even underdogs, and I am lucky enough to be the rider that I am in my heart - the hammer.
If this sounds like you, then you’re in the right place at UDOG.cc, we’re a global cycling club that nurtures this feeling and thrives on the belief that we can always win!
Keep being an underdog.