So this summer you'll be finding some excellent backstories popping up here at the Maats blog. We've put together a pretty decent lineup of characters who'll be sharing personal stories about their cycling lives with you. Enjoy.
From full time cycling pros to successful clothing entrepeneurs. Creating cutting-edge, classically cool cycling apparel from organic materials like merino, producing them locally in their Slovakian hometown and finding time for cycling roadtrips in between... Meet Martin and Peter Velits.
So Peter, when did you start cycling? Tell us something about your first memories riding a bike.
I must have been around 4-5 years when I remember my first bike. It was a green simple kids bike (without supporting wheels of course). There are plenty of memories when I pushed this bike and myself to the limit. Obviously crashes where huge part of this experience.
What does a perfect day of cycling looks like for for you?
Going to places I've never been before and getting totally lost.
During your professional career you’ve spend thousands of hours on bikes training and racing: how is it for you and your brother now to ride your bike on amateur level/ in your spare time?
Its great, I totally enjoy it. Now I can decide if I ride, how long I ride and how hard I ride. Before there
was too much planning and suffering. I start to feel much more freedom than before.
As a former pro cyclist, how do you look at today’s pro-cycling? Do you still watch/follow it?
Yes I do. Not as much as before but its good to see what’s happening. Cycling is changing constantly however there are still few things which need to change. For example the sponsorship model of professional cycling.
So how, why and when did you guys start up the Isadore brand?
After around 7 years as professionals together with Martin we started to feel comfortable in our positions. I wouldn’t say that we were bored – not at all however we were missing some new challenges and especially outside of small professional cycling world. We discussed it a lot with Martin and we wanted to start a business which we will understand the best. At the time we were wearing various cycling brands and we know how the products should fit. That’s why we went down this road and I don’t regret a bit of it.
You run the company together with your brother Martin, how are tasks within the company divided?
Right from the beginning both of us found our own spot in the company. Martin is more the visionary type and has a good imagination. He really enjoys creating products and providing a vision for the brand. I have no imagination at all.
I am more a number guy. I like all kind of financials and analysis. I also do like improve processes in the company and on the other hand Martin just hates numbers... It was super easy. (smiles)
What are your future plans with the brand for the coming years?
Can you tell us something about some cool new stuff that´s coming up?
Every year we try to bring new products which will be pushing us forward. We are trying to combine fabrics and cuts so we achieve maximum performance but we don’t want to compromise on aesthetics. Its a day to day challenge.
So what´s the story with Isadore and Maats? How did you guys start working together?
We have started to work with Maats around two years ago. We got approached by Joost and Rob and we felt a great energy from them. After the first visit at their first location our thoughts were confirmed. Guys are living and breathing by Maats and you can really feel the drive forward. That what we enjoy by working with Maats.
What is your favourite Isadore item at Maats and why?
Maats is carrying many many Isadore products and have a great selection of Isadore stuff....Its hard to pick just one! I am very glad customers have so many options.
You guys have plans to come to Amsterdam in the near future?
Yes we do. We already did one ride with Maats and we enjoyed it a lot. The second one is coming very soon.
Peter and Martin used to be professionals riding several Tour de Frances, Vuelta´s and other classics. During their cycling careers they started a cycling apparel brand called Isadore based in Slovakia. After they retired from professional cycling they put themselves on a course to rediscover the beauty of cycling. They enjoy cycling roadtrips to as of yet undiscovered places and bringing the best possible kits to the market.