Kevin Oliveira’s path as a Professional Bicycle Mechanic began at Montclair Bikery in NJ, has looped the globe a few times, and now finds him in that storied outpost of North Americans in pro cycling, Girona, Spain.
Bikery owner David Adornato was amenable to Oliveira taking weekends to work races, knowing the kind of value it added to his shop, as well as realizing that it may help retain a good mechanic. Pitting for the Goguen dynasty (as RACE CF in 2013) immersed Oliveira in the ways of cyclocross race support and he supported a Junior National Champion, Peter Goguen, at Boulder that year. The team also took Kev to Tour de l’Abitibi, giving him his first real road stage race experience.
Like many, it was not until Oliveira had some solid experience that he attended the USA Cycling Bill Woodul Clinic in Colorado Springs to attain a Race Mechanics License. There, he met Andy Stone. Stone would give Oliveira a shot with Novo Nordisk Pro Continental team, the break of a lifetime. That gig moved Oliveira to Atlanta, inasmuch as a race mechanic lives anywhere.
Two years with Novo Nordisk lead to the Head Mechanic spot at Jelly Belly Pro Cycling and a move to California. Lachlan Morton’s Tour of Utah win was Oliveira’s biggest to date, and he can be seen, iPhone camera out the window, in the famous photo where officials allowed the team car to follow Morton onto the finishing straight in Park City.
Oliveira credits Stone and Ian Sherburne, of BMC, for driving home the value of attention to detail.
As for the uncertainty of a career in this line of work, Oliveira relishes the challenges. He has established Oliveira Velo Support to keep him busy with Service Course and Trailer consultations and installations, as well as private client support during racing’s down time.
Likewise for all of the travel, Oliveira has this advice, “The Power of Language...always bend a little bit out of your comfort zone, try the local language, study it before you go, the internet is your friend for this, learn some local slang just to try and fit in and show you try. Then keep at it and you’ll get it, man.”
That’s also at the center of the “Yo CHILL” lifestyle that Kevin Oliveira espouses and teaches. It is rarely about relaxing, but always about making sense, interpreting accurately and processing calmly.
2019 will see Oliveira working from Rally Cycling’s new Service Course in Girona, which he designed and outfitted with help from Jose Sousa for custom frame racking.
Find Kev at a race next season – maybe he has a little something for you.
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