Catching Up with…Tyler Medaglia
By Billy Rainford
In case you missed it in Frid’Eh Update #6:
Tyler Medaglia is a rider who seems to be liked and appreciated by everyone. He’s willing to race anywhere, anytime, on just about anything! He’s never one to make excuses for his performance and simply keeps moving forward.
He’s ridden on factory teams, won 2 MX2 Canadian championships, was the AMA Arenacross West champion, races GNCC, and has represented Team Canada at the MXON. I remember telling him years ago that once he gets more and more into cycling that it would eventually start to take over his life. It looks like that is happening.
Tyler enjoys racing bicycles and competes at the front of the pack in Cyclocross and long distance road racing. It’s nice to know that once your Pro Motocross career comes to an inevitable end, you’ve still got another form of tw0-wheel racing to keep you…obsessed. I told ya, Tyler!
Tyler came on strong in the second half of the summer in 2016. He even closed out the year with a 2nd place overall at the final round at RJ’s in Barrie. Here’s a look at his results:
Now a father of 3 (3, is that right?), Tyler spends his time with his them and Heidi Cooke out in the small town just outside Truro. ‘Hurricane Heidi’s Bakery‘ is always a place to gather when the Rockstar Energy MX Nationals head to the Maritimes. Be sure to head in for breakfast of a soup and sandwich this year.
We grabbed Tyler for a chat to find out what he’s been up to and what the future holds. Here’s what he had to say:
Direct Motocross: Hello, Tyler. We haven’t seen you for a while. I hope you had a great Holiday Season. Let’s start like we always do and first talk about last season. Can you take us through how you feel your 2016 outdoor season went?
Tyler Medaglia: Yes, it has been a while hasn’t it ? Holidays were great. With the kids at busy ages it was eventful to say the least. I hope all is well with the MX community! My outdoor season went well, I thought. I learned a lot, answered some questions I had for a few years. I would say my season was an experimental one when normally I would say I’m fairly content with just going with the flow. I wanted to try a few things. Different suspension, 350, and a different training approach.
You definitely started looking faster and more comfortable when the series headed east. Was there a reason for that?
Well, believe it or not, I’m not as good as (Antonio) Cairoli so thinking that I can be competitive on a 350 was a mistake on my part. I really enjoy riding the 350 as it fits me properly and it’s fun to throw around, but racing against world class riders you need the power of the 450.
Also, I switched to a WP Trax shock the Saturday before Pleasant Valley and that changed the characteristics of the bike that played to my liking. Then, finally we found the gearing that helped my starts at RJ’s. So, now I have a great baseline coming into this season and the goal would be to start off this season how I left off with last.
What was it like to be traveling and pitting out of the Husqvarna sprinter van and having your dad in your pits again?
Well, my dad usually ends up in my pits no matter what form of transportation and I wouldn’t have it any other way. Having said that, he breathes down Kibby’s neck while he is working on the bike and sometimes that seems to stress Kibby out. In his defence, he has taught Kibby a lot about mechanics but it’s time to give him more space (Laughs).
What was the highlight of your summer?
I always enjoy the time we spend out west between the nationals. The playing out there was fun with Kibby and Heidi came out too. My first podium at Pleasant Valley in front of my family and friends was likely the highlight.
You like to keep busy with a variety of activities. What did you get up to after the Canadian outdoor series ended at RJ’s?
Well, I had two key races that I was targeting: Unadilla GNCC and des Nations. I rode well at both but first lap of Unadilla a branch ripped my gas line apart and I lost 15 minutes sorting out why my bike stalled out. Des Nations was unreal. I felt we all rode strong. 6 minutes to go, with likely a tied record for Canada, my chain came off and bumped us back to 10th. I would like that moto back. Also, the cyclocross was big for me in the fall and I focused on that after the mx racing was done.
Let’s talk about that Cylocross stuff. How would you compare the two sports? Do you have more bike racing planned?
In cross it’s important not only to have good power and endurance but also you need bike handling skills. I actually prefer road racing as it’s more tactical but I miss most of the races to mx. Cross is in fall and you can make the entire series. It’s an all out hour of suffering but you keep coming back for more. I raced the National Championship in Quebec and got 14th day 1 and 8th day 2 against Canada’s best. I would like to continue my progress in the sport again this year.
What are your winter training/racing plans?
I am actually doing two Husqvarna Canada ice events the next two weekends. The Ice Rip media event this weekend and the Gran Prix de Snow next weekend in Toronto. We have a full fleet of bikes studded up, including the 701 Super Motard with monster scrambler tires studded. After that, I will go home for a bit before heading somewhere in the states to train.
You are a Husqvarna Canada guy right now. With the announcement of Christophe Pourcel coming to Canada, will this affect what you do with them next season or is your program already set out?
It will affect my program, I believe, but to what extent I’m am still not sure. This is being sorted out as we speak but I’m sure something will be announced before too long.
How do you see your 2017 racing season going?
I want to start how I left off. That’s my goal. Be a threat from round 1.
Hey, while we’ve got you here, what has your younger brother, Jeremy, been up to? Can you comment on what he may get up to next summer?
Jeremy, Kibby and myself have been doing some work for my parents’ company. At the end of last year I think he wasn’t sure if he wanted to race again. Now, I think he’s flirting with the idea but I’m not really sure. He will always ride and is plenty talented enough to show up and compete in the sharp end of any race. He rides a 450 better than a 250 so when and if you see him next it will be on the big dog.
If you had one piece of advice you could give to a young rider with aspirations of being a Pro motocrosser, what would it be?
Stay in school. You can compete at the highest level of sport while still maintaining a degree of education. You need social skills. There are way too many “social morons” in this sport. When you practice, make it beneficial, don’t go and just burn gas, worry about you and what you can control.
What do you see yourself doing after you’re done racing at the Pro level?
I have a great relationship with Husqvarna, maybe continue with them in a different role. Realistically though, something that will support my family. 3 kids…you know how many pairs of Vans 3 white kids wear!?
OK, thanks for taking the time to chat with us today. Before you go, who would you like to thank?
My family, especially Heidi. She’s a huge part of my success at any level and puts up with a lot of my BS. Husqvarna Canada, Atlas, 100%, HAF Skate and Tattoo and all of my continued supporters.
I guess we’ll be seeing Tyler next Sunday at the ‘Grand Prix de Snow’ in Campbellville. Get some skills, McConkey, you’ve got some competition!