The Conejo Guardian is proud to recognize Kyle Chromy as the Conejo Valley’s Graduate of the Month for March 2021. A 2020 graduate of The Century Academy, Kyle has taken his passion for going fast on his bike and recently signed his first professional contract with SEG Racing Academy for the 21/22 season.
“Growing up, I just remember always riding with my family – my dad, my brother, even my mom. We would all just go out and ride the local trails in Wood Ranch,” Kyle recalls. Kyle’s parents, Ryan and Jenee, and his older brother Jake, regularly made time for family rides that became a sort of Chromy family tradition.
Following in his older brother’s steps, Kyle began racing mountain bikes in high school as part of the Simi Composite Team. The team competed within the SoCal High School Cycling League, which was rapidly growing in popularity at the time. A standout racer on the team, Kyle was quickly gaining attention as an up-and-coming high school racer with the potential to be a varsity standout. Says Kyle, “I did well and won the overall league title in the Junior Varsity class. Mountain biking is what I had always done and I enjoyed the competition of it all.”
Kyle found himself riding with his brother Jake on the local (and highly successful) LUX racing team, when its manager and director Roy Knickman approached him. Knickman is a highly-respected coach and an olympic bronze medalist in cycling, and he persuaded Kyle to try road racing. “Mountain bike racing and road racing are just very different sports,” explained Kyle.
Mountain bike racing, even as part of a team, is generally raced as an individual sport. It is the racer against everyone else. Road racing is generally more team-orientated and tactical, with each man serving a different purpose to achieve the team goal. Says Roy, “Kyle came in as this local kid who rode mountain bikes. He was a true development rider with no results behind him, but he had a determination about him and a lot of God given talent.” Looking back at his first foray into road racing, Kyle recalls, “It only took me a couple races and I was hooked on road racing. I found the team aspect, the team tactics, all of it really just fit me.”
Kyle’s determination led to a fantastic 2019 and 2020 season on his bike. “In 2019, I traveled to compete in the “Tour of Ireland,” a gathering of the top 18-year-old racers from around the world. I was only 17 at the time, but still managed to hold my own,” says Kyle. Kyle did better than just “hold his own” against these older and more-experienced racers. He finished 4th overall.
When asked about what may lie ahead for Kyle, Roy says the future is truly whatever Kyle wants it to be. “In two years time, Kyle went from a kid on our team, to earning a leadership role, and now he has an opportunity to ride for one of the best development programs in the world with SEG Racing. Kyle is tremendously organized, thorough, and has been performing at such a top level — anything is truly possible for Kyle. I do not want to put pressure on him, but I would not be surprised to see him take his talents to the Tour de France one day if he wanted to.”
Completing his 2020 year as a junior rider on the LUX cycling team, Kyle continued to build upon his success from 2019. “I won the Valley of the Sun event, (which is) the largest junior stage race in America. I also won the overall title for the Tour of Southern Highlands,” recalls Kyle.
Kyle’s results earned him a selection on the U.S. National Team. Unfortunately, the Jr. World Championships were canceled this past year due to government and event restrictions as a result of the Covid virus.
As he progressed in his abilities and leadership role of the LUX Racing Team, Kyle has only fond memories of these past few years, “It was great being a part of LUX and really progressing through their program. Roy was awesome to work with, and my work with him and the team is what prepared me to take this step into professional cycling.”
The leap from the amatuer circuit to professional tour involves a great deal of specific and intense training programs. For Kyle, this means a lot of hours on the bike, a clean diet, and additional crossover training when not on the bike. “During a typical week, I will spend multiple days a week in the gym and then I will do about two or three longer rides a week that each average about 5 to 7 hours in saddle time,” says Kyle. To put these longer ride days into context, the average distance covered is about 150 miles. That is about the same as cycling from his home in Wood Ranch to Disneyland and back again, all without stopping. On lesser-intense days in the gym, Kyle is typically focused on core and lower-body exercises, such as squats, deadlifts and leg presses.
Having completed his last year on the U18 (Under 18 years old) development team, Kyle now looks forward to testing his talents against the best U23 (Under 23 years old) racers in the world. “Unfortunately, there are just not many great development teams here in the States. So, I worked closely with Roy to find the right team for me; that was SEG Racing Academy out of the Netherlands. I realize that I am going to the bottom again, but I like the challenge of it all. My goal is to develop further as part of the U23 team and then go race with the top pros on the world tour one day. Ultimately, my goal is to make it to the Tour de France one day.”
With a big smile, Kyle proudly says, “I cannot wait for what lies ahead.”
Kyle’s God-given talent on the bike, the raw power he can generate when turning the cranks, and his continuing pursuit to push himself further as a rider, have all laid the foundation for a successful transition into professional cycling. As Kyle prepares to leave for Europe in May to follow his dreams, his family and friends will all be watching. There is little doubt that it will not be long before Kyle chases his dreams on the world circuits on his way to the Champs Elysees in France.
From all of us at The Conejo Guardian Newspaper – Go Champ!