Mario Paz Duque. From Madrid streets to international top rider

In the general criterium boom worldwide, in recent years we have attended the maturation and evolution of many athletes in the fixed gear scene. Mario Paz Duque certainly is one of the athletes who best represent this kind of evolution. He has turned a normal kid fondness for bike and fixed gear bikes into a more visceral and committed lifestyle.

Mario enjoys great popularity in the world of fixed, as we know behind a public person there are always an ordinary person and stories of great passions.

“I am a 20 years old sonny boy who loves music, spend time with my friends, my girlfriend and clearly with the bike. I am very ambitious in what I intend however I’m realistic.”

Mario, like many of us started in the street with alleycats and when the fixed gear just arrived to hit hard in Europe. Hence the first criteriums.

El IRD Modena team was a dream for all riders who have been in the second Criterium Gijon (2012), when they came with their superb bikes, clothes, good vibes and being by far the strongest of the edition.

2012 a year in the history of fixed phenomenon can be tagged as the year of the final boom regarding mainstream level, year in which spread out a global pandemic of Criterium, suddenly the most fixed gear riders who until that time were nourished by red lights or get into impossible gaps in the traffic suffer a radical mutation, The Red Hook Crit Series together with those of Gijon, Berlin and Rotterdam start the “new era” of fixed gear riders. In this time everything was probably more pure and “improvised”.

“I contacted with and had the opportunity to share with them hotel in Berlin. I came very well prepared to this race with a very ordinary bike for what was there and even so I won. When the race was finished, who was for me a bearded madman, offered me to race for them, then my life changed. It was an incredible motivation and that was the reason to try to improve every minute of every day, every month, every year until today.”

There are things in that inadvertently you go full in and an overnight change your life. In the life of Mario Paz Duque athlete so far were two fundamental factors, the first is Iride Modena and the second is the Red Hook Crit. 

Red Hook Crit is a dream for me, know cities, people, brands, equipment and do what I love, grip very strong the handlebars, grit your teeth and pedaling until crossing the finish line enjoying the suffering of every race moment.”

Perhaps the greatest achievement that David Trimble has done is to rescue the cycling considerate a “boring” sport, creating a deadly combination of speed and adrenaline. At first only the most daring cyclists and bike messengers raced criteriums, in the last two years many people have come to this new discipline, and not surprisingly the level has grown exponentially.

“The Red Hook Criterium is professionalizing and every year is more difficult due to the level of riders who are coming, but if it was easy everyone would do it.”

Mario is starring in Red Hook for years, winning the Breakfast / Prime, or rather the first lap of the race in a death sprint. Perhaps with time “the Chino who is winning all Primes” has become a tag a bit uncomfortable for him. Year after year we have seen a brutal evolution of this rider, who already knows how to behave in a race and in a league as PRO such as the Red Hook, second qualified in the overall ranking in 2014, demonstrating its tactical intelligence on more than one race and most recently winning almost all national criteriums.

 “I am not a specialist in this, just try to secure at least the podium and it’s better if you can secure it from the minute 2 of the race.”

“In the Red Hook Crit people despised me because I was not a rider so prepared as others, I came from the street, I raced BMX and MTB but long ago. The qualities are lost, the willing for victory. NO! I think I’ve matured as a cyclist, especially in the last year. Before I was a beginner and now I am a cyclist. I have learned to sacrifice many things to perform more during the trainings and clearly in the race, right now I’m taking the coaches for an amateur cyclist route, now I can fulfill the role of sprinter.”

Madrid 

“What I love from Madrid, is riding with my friends in summer or go the town center for a beer.”

“The shop that helps me in Madrid is Fixedland.”

“There are not so many fixed gear groups in Madrid, the only group that is doing very cool things is The Roosters.”

Just for fun

Well, the difference when I started is now they take care of me more than before, lol.  It has also its good side, every time I feel more comfortable and at home wherever the event.”

A Motto

“Cycling is the freedom turned into a vehicle, everyone chooses his way.”

Thanks to

 “I have to thank my father, is the one who instilled me this passion, Carlos Barredo (my coach), Matteo Zazzera IRD Modena owner and all partners and sponsors that make this possible. My girlfriend Riana also. “