We catch up with our supported rider Rodney Soncco. Rodney has been making waves in the world of Ultra racing over the past few years and has recently returned from the Inca Divide in Peru.
Read on to find out about Rodney’s cycling career, his path into the world of Ultra cycling and how Inca Divide went for him.
Tell us about yourself Rodney. Where were you born and where do you live?
My name is Rodney Soncco, I was born in a small town called Urubamba situated at 2900m above sea level in Peru.
I lived in Urubamba until I was 12 which is where I also learned to ride a bike. However, for economic reasons my parents decided to emigrate to Italy and my 13th birthday was celebrated on Italian soil, where I still live today.
How and where did you start cycling?
The spark from long distance cycling came to me after an impromptu journey when I was 20. I cycled the length of Italy to Sicily and since that day my vision of riding a bicycle changed. It became my passion and since then I have toured most of Europe and South America, my life revolves around the two pedals and working in my family’s pizzeria of course!
You have had a lot of success in the Bikingman series over the past few years, what made you try ultra racing?
In 2017 I had 6 months of vacation where I wanted to return home to Peru to discover my country by bike.
When researching my trip online I happen to read about the "Incadivide". As I read the page I discovered a very particular race which takes place from the north of Ecuador to the south of Peru, 3500 km non stop. I knew I had to ride this race and it was the most beautiful experience of my life. To date I have participated in all the races organized by Bikingman, and as a result have travelled to countries I would not have imagined.
You recently finished second in Incadivide 2019. Tell us about that race, how did it go for you?
The 2019 Incadivide was very hard. I was super prepared and had everything in place, however suffered from a series of mechanical problems early on in the race. However once the problem was sorted I managed to relax and continue the race in the best way.
In the end I arrived in second position, this year the route was really very hard, with a lot more gravel, but the landscapes were something magical. The most beautiful memory of the Inca always remains the privilege of being able to ride above 4000meters, that’s really special.
What has been your favourite ultra victory?
My favourite victory I think is that of Bikingman Taiwan 2018. I really had a lot of fun fighting with Marcel Esser for two days during that race and climbing the 95km Taroko mountain at night was really nice. It was also my first time in Asia so it was all very special as everything was really new for me.
What are your plans for the rest of the season and also next year?
For 2020 I have in mind a good program of races. I will try to set two world records, one solo and another in a pair but for now I will not reveal them. It will be epic though!
I also plan to race 3 ultra races around the world. The main target will be the Tour Divide which I have been planning to ride for a long time.
However, the main aim will be to travel constantly throughout the year all over the world and ride my bike, this will be a new experience for me.
You can follow Rodneys Ultra Endurance exploits on his Instagram account @rodneysoncco and on the Bikingman social media @bikingman
Images courtesy of @styvdavid and @ospreyimages