History - Cuevas Cycling
Our Program is the continuation of the promise to Fern
The day Fern handed the Team over - Click HEre
My friend and mentor passed away – Fernando Cuevas. Founder of Cuevas Cycling Development. He’s at peace because he knows he had an impact on the lives around him and I’m grateful that I was able to share the below w Fern this week.
Fern was the strongest man I have ever known. He battled cancer for 10 years and marched on day by day fighting and providing for his band of Junior riders. I know he loved his entire family as he spoke about his wife and children to me – sharing the real happiness and struggles of battling his health and loving so many people around him.
Most of you know that my son DJ is a cyclist and racer. Fernando was his road coach and developed DJ on the road from the beginning. He built DJs bike and provided DJ with core values. I learned from watching Fern teach my son and support the rest of his team. He says the team kept him alive – what actually happened is Fern changed all of our lives in a real way.
I always felt a connection to Fern – as he and I were the same age. Even though we had different backgrounds I learned so much from him. Everyone says that without health you have nothing – and Fern literally fought for his life every day – and did it – AND took care of the people around him. What I learned is that my problems were not so big – and that my focus should always be outwards instead of myopically focused on my own world – because all of our lives are bigger than us – otherwise what are we really doing?
I’m not sure anyone really knows what Fern did for his team – he did everything for his team – he would pick up his riders, follow them in a van when training, build and repair their bikes, make sure they were provided for and in race ready shape, drive hundreds of miles, sign them up for the races and raised money to cover the riders that needed financial help. He did this all the time.
I will share with you one of the last conversations that Fern and I had privately –
Fern told with me that his battle with cancer was over.
I replied yes – but I don’t think it’s that simple. I told him that I looked at his life from the time I have known him as a long road race. He has been pulling for all of us for 10 years – at the front of the pack. Protecting all of us and making sure the people around him on his team were safe.
When racing on a bike – sometimes you go to dark places. The racer is in shear agony – tired, hurting, body shutting down, mental demons telling us to quit. What separates the champions is the ability to persevere and keep going – to stay in the race and not drop – recover and attack again.
Fern did this every day – he stayed in the front – took care of the Cuevas family.
Fern laughed then told me that it has been a 10 year climbing race – and that the stage race is over.
I responded to him: ‘You won the hardest longest race anyone has ever known. You won and you have created a legacy.’
I promised Fern that his legacy will continue to grow. I will continue to run Cuevas Development Cycling with the same respect and love he shared with his riders and community.
I will miss Fern but I will always be connected. Every time I see DJ race, every time I see one of our Juniors race, every time I think I have problems – I will always be connected.
Congrats Fern on an amazing race – you are loved and you won.
-Written 10/1/2017 by Doug Toback
- Fernando Cuevas started the team with Mike Fraysee in 1995
- Fern battled Cancer for over 11 years and passed away in 2017
- The man was a superhero - it takes an entire staff to do what he did by himself.
- Fern went to Dialysis on Saturday Afternoon - right after team practice and the the day before RaceDay Sunday
- He was the originator of PARITY
- Doug Toback supported the program since 2014 and became Program Director in 2017
- Dan Sirota (Brands), Jon, Lionel and Diana committed to helping Doug in 2017
- We are blessed with the people helping and the juniors we have - we feel Fern smiling down on us