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The wonder woman of mountain
biking makes it sound simple

 At the present time, there is no other mountain bike racer on the planet who is as dominating as Juli Furtado. She hasn´t just won the races she´s competed in so far this year; she has controlled them. From the season opener in the desert climes of Scottdale, Arizona, to the first three Grundig World Cup races in Spain, Italy, and Belgium, and including Big Bear NORBA National opener, the longtime Colorado resident has left both spectators and fellow competitors shaking their heads and wondering where she gets her strength.
 On a recent visit to Durango, we visited the team GT rider in her new home to find out how she does it. Is there anything that mere mortals can learn from the woman who many think has superhuman powers? For a racer of such dominating tendencies, we think you will be surprised at how easy the 26-year-old factory GT rider makes it sound.
So far this year you have won every race you have entered, which includes three Grundig World Cup events and a NORBA National. Is there any one thing that you would attribute this year´s success to?
 Juli: There are probably three things I would say are helping me the most. One is that I started working with Dave Farmer. He´s taught me about the benefits of using a heart rate monitor, which I never used before. The monitor helps me pace myself when I´m doing intervals, and I can keep

track of what my heart´s doing. The second thing is that this is my third full season racing mountain bikes and I think my body is just finally used to it. The last thing is that I´ve moved to Durango and my day-to-day living and training is just so much better than it was in Boulder. When i lived in Boulder I did the same ride on my mountain bike all the time, and it was never offroad! Back then I only got to hit the dirt at the races, but now I´m surrounded by a full variety of on- and off-road terrain.
 MBA: Are you concerned about burning out? How long can you stay at such high level?
 Juli: Actually, right now I fell terrible. I just went on a ride with Lisa Muhich and I was dragging. I think I´m just in a valley right now as far as conditioning is concerned. It´s hard for me to tell the differnce between when I´m riding badly or if I´m just being lazy. The thing is, I can never tell when I´m riding well, but I know when I´m riding poorly, like right now. Everyone has their peaks and valles. The idea is to ride for the weekends, though. It´s okay to ride badly through the week, if that´s what your body is telling you. You want to be sure to listen so that when the weekend comes around you can feel good.
 MBA: Was it your plan to dominate like you have been so far this year?
 Juli: I´m really just as surprised as everyone that I´m doing so well. It definitely wasn´t my goal to win every race because I don´t really like the stress that goes along


with it. When I go to races now I can´t help but think about whether this is going to be the race that I won´t win-and I know that as soon as I lose my first race everybody is going to jump on me to see if I finally blew. I´d much prefer going to race just hoping to do well. The thing with mountain biking is that it´s such a hard sport that you really don´t get the convenience of planing to win every race, you just try to do the best you can. It is hard for me to hold back once I start racing. I do know that psychologically I do not want the other girls to think that they can win!
 MBA: Have you been following a set training schedule?
 Juli: No, it changes, depending on how I feel. When I was in Europe I tried to do one hard ride during the week, but even that wasn´t a brutal ride. I don´t ever crosstrain during the season; I just ride. I don´t lift any weights and I do sit-ups when I´m not lazy. I probably can´t even do two push-ups!
 MBA: We have seen riders like Tomac and Overend demolish huge steaks following tough races. What about your diet? Anything special?
Juli: I just eat lots of veggies and rice. I don´t eat meat because I´ve just never liked the taste of it. I´d rather eat rice or spaghetti. Since none of the things I like to eat have much protein. I do take protein pills. Besides that, all I take are my daily multivitamins.
 MBA: Everyone has noticed that you have lost some weight over the winter. Did you go on a diet?
 Juli: I don´t ever get on scales and I haven´t been on a diet. I think my body is just changing after doing it for so long. In Europe there was a magazine that said I was bulimic. That made me so mad! The last time I threw up was when I was five years old!
 MBA: What would you say are the most important things for aspiring racers to know about?
 Juli: Make sure that you get plenty of rest, especially the day before your event. Being properly hydrated is another thing that´s very important. Be sure to drink a lot of water through the week because during the race you won´t get much of a chance to drink. Then, after the race, take it easy. The most important thing is that you have to race. You can ride your bike all you want, and get into really good shape, but you can never attain the required level of fitness to be a successful racer just by going on recreation rides. To be a good racer, you gotta race-it´s just that simple! 

Info: Juli´s Race-Bike.
Frame: GT Xizang 3/ 2.5 Titanium.
Fork: RockShox Mag 21 SL Titanium.
Gruppo: Shimano XTR M-900.
Rims: Mavic SUP 117 Ceramic.
Parts: Onza Bar-Ends, Spoke-Nipple in Gold...

Domination with a smile: Juli Furtado is
having the kind of season that others can
only dream of enjoying. Most observers
are baffled at how the GT rider´s approach
to racing can be so relaxed and unscien-
tific, yet so successful.  

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