17 year old Durata Training athlete Kevin Fish just finished a strong fourth place at the first Mellow Classic held at one of the most storied plots in Texas Hill Country, Lance Armstrong’s ranch near Dripping Springs. When Kevin is not banging on drums or keeping his blog, he’s an easy going high school senior with high hopes for the 2010 race season. Kevin has had a very consistent 2009 season which featured wins at Emma Long’s Revenge and Friedburg MTB Challenge. From Sea Otter to the USAC National Development Camp, Kevin’s performed best when it matters most, exuding his steel and confidence as his biggest strengths. He’s frequently been the top 17yo ride at many races, and kept that streak going last weekend. Let’s catch up with our podium finisher-

Kevin Fish hammering with Wiley Mosely

DT: You’ve a had a long racing season for a 17yo rider, how many races have you entered this season?

KF: This season I have entered into 13 races, not including the local dirt derby races on Tuesday nights.

DT: Why did you choose the Mellow Classic as an important event?

KF: When I saw big names like David Weins, Lance, and JHK entering into the event, I decided to choose this race as an important event. It was a great opportunity to compete with these guys. You learn a lot in races like that. Also anything Lance puts on or is associated with is going to be big.

That's Lance watching Kevin

DT: Was your training any different going into the Mellow Classic than other events?

KF: My training going into the MJ classic was the same as other events. Lots of intervals on the trainer that got progressively higher in power and time on the trail.

DT: Did you run any special equipment for the race?

KF: The only special equipment I ran was the Sauserwind tires by Specialized for the muddy conditions. Also I did run XTR cranks which were different than past races, just because my Specialized cranks broke and I couldn’t get in new cranks in time.

DT: So, photos from the start line show that you were lined up right next to your gracious host, Lance Armstrong. How were your nerves for the start of the race?

KF: I was actually not really nervous at all. I’ve done so many races now that I really don’t get nervous at the start. Instead of getting nervous I would say I get more excited. Lining up by Lance was definitely an exciting moment.

DT: What were you concentrating on during the race?

KF: I was concentrating on getting in nutrition and staying consistent. My plan was to really get everybody on the 2nd and 3rd lap when they started slowing down.

Post race interview on the podium

DT: Any different mental approach to the first half of the race versus the last half?

KF: The first half of the race I didn’t really know what to expect or how the race was going to play out. I made sure to push it hard but not too hard so I wouldn’t blow out in the second half of the race. During my second lap I was coming on strong and started gaining positions, realizing I could compete with these top guys better than expected.

Crossing the Mellow Classic finish line

DT: What are your hopes for the 2010 season?

KF: I hope this next year to attend World Cup races as well as the World Championship in Canada. Would also like to see my strength and skills continue to improve to world caliber competition.