Students at LAHS are involved in sports both inside and outside the school, and compete in sports that range from football to lacrosse to horseback riding, whether it be for competitive or recreational purposes. In the midst of this diversity, sophomore Adrien Costa competes in something many students do to simply get to school: biking.
Adrien is a road cyclist, competing in a bike races ranging from local junior races to the country’s top amateur races, such as the Tour of the Gila in New Mexico. He is also a part of Slipstream-Craddock, a competitive biking team based in Texas with members who compete both individually and as a team in local and international races, stage races and time trials.
Adrien was first inspired to start competitive cycling when he watched the Tour de France on TV when he was eight. When he went out for a bike ride shortly after, Adrien knew this was the sport for him.
“After going out on an old mountain bike on the local hills, I was hooked,” Adrien said. “I love the speed, freedom and exploration that is possible through cycling. Riding to breathtaking places that nobody knows of is really special to the sport, which makes training so much more enjoyable.”
Due to the rigor of the sport, Adrien spends a lot of his time outside of school training for races. His usual training hours consist of climbing local hills, completing interval workouts and sprinting to improve his capacity on every terrain. Because the races he participates in can be as long as 120 miles, Adrien finds himself on the road up to 25 hours a week.
Although he enjoys the time he spends to improve, Adrien acknowledges that it has its drawbacks — he has to sacrifice time from other activities and follow a strict diet. However, Adrien believes that the pros outweigh the cons.
“There are countless physical benefits to cycling, including health, mental clearness and the ability to overcome obstacles,” Adrien said. “Cycling has also brought me to beautiful places throughout the world that would otherwise be overlooked by normal people.”
One day, Adrien hopes to become professional and join a European team. While he plans on going to college, Adrien only wants higher education as a backup plan if cycling itself isn’t able to financially support him. But regardless of what he decides to do, Adrien knows that cycling will definitely be a part of his future.
“I want to live the dream life — getting paid to do what you love and travel the world,” Adrien said. “But really, enjoying the sport, the countless adventures, the fresh air, the views, the exhilaration of going down a descent, pushing yourself to your physical and mental limit — the little things that make the sport beautiful — is what I want the most.”