Mountain biking or mountain biking is considered a risky sport. It is a competitive cycling organized in natural circuits through mountain paths, which present many ways. This type of cycling is part of the life of Rocio Garcia, known as Rocio Dinamita, who has become a Spanish landmark for Cross Country (the most common specialty in mountain biking). 

Rocio became interested in cycling when she was only 8 years old. From a very young age, she enjoyed touring her town, Villa del Prado (Community of Madrid), on her bicycle until she had her parents enroll her in a club. The cyclist participated in her first competition a year after she started in this sport and had the great opportunity to participate in competitions such as the Madrid Open.

Little by little he began to fulfill his dream, entering races at the national level. So, in 2013, Rocio won her first Spanish cyclocross championship and that’s when she decided she would fight to become a professional.

From the Rocio del Alba to the Dynamite Rocio

Rocio del Alba Garcia inherited the nickname “dynamite” thanks to her return to Val di Sole in 2005. However, in her early days it was not always clear which way she liked best. For this reason, he alternated cyclocross and mountain bike seasons . At the time, there were people who encouraged her to try road cycling. And despite the fact that it didn’t look much like that way, he decided to give it a try. What was initially going to be a few months turned into a few years where he specialized in and led the Giro d’Italia, a three-week competition that is one of the three Grand Tours.

As time passed, Rocio lost his illusion in this modality because he saw that it was a different world, not as familiar as mountain biking . This disappointment coincided with the 2016 Rio Olympics, when Carlos Coloma, a Spanish athlete specializing in mountain biking, won the bronze medal. Therefore, Rocio went to the event that was organized in Madrid to congratulate her. Still not knowing that at that moment he will start an important relationship with Carlos, which will mark his professional and personal life.

Some time later, the athlete met Carlos, who told her that he was willing to help her on her professional path as a mountain biker . For this, he wanted to see how he defended himself by bike in the mountains of La Rioja. This proposal was a challenge for her, since she had withdrawn from that world for two years to focus on her studies, leaving the bikes aside.

Carlos lent her the bike he rode to the 2012 London Olympics and the moment he saw Rocio in action, the Olympic medalist could see that the young woman had a promising future. This is how he recovered his cycling passion and started competing in the World Cup, among other major competitions.

Rocio says in an interview with Blog Think Big that “Carlos is a key player in my life, both in sport and personally, because if it wasn’t for him I think I would have left the bike or not I would have followed. so many years“.

Rocio Dinamita’s competitions and her 35th place in the World Cup

When preparing for competitions, it’s essential to recover from travel, listen to your body to see how it’s doing, and above all, arrive rested and ready to race, says Rocio. Especially in the competitive season, the training should not be very strong. In addition, the short circuit, which is a test that takes place before the start of the UCI World Cup, which is used to define the grid, is a race that does not allow you to have much load during that week, as it is necessary to recover from that test.

If they manage to finish in the top 24 in this test, they enter the top 24, with the UCI ranking then applied. The main World Cup race consists of an hour and a half circuit, approximately 4 km, which is usually 5 or 6 laps. Rocio Dinamita ranked 35th in the 2022 World Cup.

Despite competing in big events, Rocio still prefers the ones that take place in Spain because it is very special for her that her family can come to support her. One of the European championships he enjoyed the most was in 2018, the European Championship in Graz (Austria), where he won the bronze medal. “Although sometimes you have bad moments and there are no good lines, all the sacrifice is worth it because you know that when the moment comes you value it very much and enjoy it twice as much,” explains Rocio about her experience.

Rocio’s biggest challenge: the 2020 Tokyo Olympics

Qualifying in Tokyo was one of his big challenges. Although it was not an easy road, I had every chance to be part of this competition because I had managed to be part of the UCI ranking. Once there, he experienced the Games in a very special way because they were marked by the pandemic. This experience was a learning experience in his professional life. She remembers it as a beautiful stage, but adds that it was not her best moment after so many years of preparation.

In addition, Rocio Dinamita raced with two injuries since there was heavy rain the night before the race, which caused the circuit to change completely, becoming very slippery. Therefore, when he went out to see the circuit, in addition to having no sports coach nearby, he had the misfortune of falling. The ground was very wet and he suffered a severe concussion, in addition to a broken finger and a fractured rib. However, even with all those injuries, Rocio competed.

This whole experience was a great learning experience for her. Even so, he describes it as a bittersweet feeling . The important thing for her is to look to the future and focus on the next Olympics. From all the negatives it is important to take something positive and remember it as such. In this way, continuous learning perfectly defines Rocio’s work: “I have learned a lot and I continue to learn because you must never stop learning and listening to people.” Good and bad stages are normal and part of the process and life itself. So for her it is important to be happy with what you do, to enjoy it and value it.

The support of his environment, a key piece in his career

In this sense, the most important thing in mountain biking , in the cross country specialty , is technique and confidence in your own abilities. This has contributed to numerous Rocio Dinamita values ​​all these years. Among those that stand out, the desire to excel and commitment. As a high-performance athlete, the environment you rely on every day is essential.

Here, psychological preparation is a key factor. Rocio Dinamita says he has a work group that gives him a lot of peace and calm. She confesses that these are people who know how to pick her up and help her. His family plays a fundamental role in the support he receives. Besides Carlos who is his pillar for everything.

This support was also received through Podium scholarships . The cyclist entered the program in 2018, which was a great support for her personally and financially. “The support we have from Telefonica and from the Committee and all the people who are involved in this program is incredible.” Rocio particularly appreciates the fact that Podium enables the creation of a union between fellows, which is key to their professional development.

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