After fifteen years of riding up and down the river trails, participating in fun rides, and watching Le Tour on OLN (now Versus), Chuy (Jesús) Ortega turned bike racer.
In 2002, he met R. Lee Willmore who encouraged him to race cyclocross and try the races at El Do. Chuy started racing ‘cross in 2005, when there was a “D” category at the Urban Cyclocross series and there were only about 10 guys staging for the beginner race. Lee Willmore also helped him learn to do things like drafting and pace lines.
Since then, he’s done a lot of racing. Although he’s raced the Southern California Prestige Series, the Urban Cyclocross Series, and Sea Otter consistently, 2010 was really his break out year in racing; not because he did really well, more so because he raced a lot: averaging just under 2 races per week. 2010 was a great learning year for him, with crashes and broken bones, some podiums, lots of fun, and lots of great people. With that incredible year under his belt, and with the help of friends and teammates, he started to work on improving every aspect of his bicycle racing. In 2012 he started competing in cross-country mountain bike races, where he reached the podium in almost every race he entered. In 2013, Chuy moved from a Cat 3 (Beginner) to Cat 2 (Sport) racer. He races Cat 3 in cyclocross and Cat 4 in road.
His plan was to use the road and mountain bike seasons to get ready for ‘cross season, but XC MTB races have taken center stage in his racing, although he plans to continue racing CX and return to road racing in 2014.