Born: May 21, 1974
Hometown: St. Louis, Missouri
Residence: Longmont, Colorado
Weight: 164 lbs
Turned pro: 2002
Kodakgallery.com/Sierra Nevada's Dan Schmatz has enjoyed the summer of 2006 - placing 2nd in the Rochester Twilight, winning the final stage of the Fitchburg-Longsjo Classic, scoring numerous top results at Superweek, and placing 4th in the USPRO Criterium Championships for the second time.
But after an early season that included a fourth-place finish in the criterium at the Redlands Classic in March, Dan's 2006 campaign took an unexpected turn when he was hit by a car on April 22 while training at the Ford Tour de Georgia, having withdrawn from the race the day before.
Just three weeks later, he won a local race in Colorado in his first competition after the accident, and by the end of May, he placed third in the Tour of Somerville, but still gauged his form at "about 90%."
A powerful criterium specialist, Dan brought his experience and leadership to Kodakgallery.com/Sierra Nevada in May 2005, coming over from Team Seasilver along with Pete Lopinto. He made an immediate impact on the team's attitude and also placed 4th in the USPRO Criterium Championships in August.
Dan enjoyed a great season in 2003, with National Racing Calendar wins in the Athens Twilight, the Fort Smith Criterium in Arkansas, and a stage of the Nature Valley Grand Prix. Riding for Health Net presented by Maxxis in 2004, his top results were a win at Superweek's Whitnal Park Circuit Race and fourth place in the Manhattan Beach Grand Prix, and he helped lead teammates to a multitude of major victories.
Dan's experience on two wheels began with BMX and motocross racing while growing up in St. Louis. He moved to Colorado in 1997 to work as a marketing manager for Schwinn. He returned to cycling in 2000, first as a commuter but then entering a local road race on a whim.
For Dan's cycling career, opportunity knocked in 2001 when Schwinn's bankruptcy coincided with an offer to turn pro with the 7UP team for the 2002 season. "Bike racing was kind of an accident," he says. "Had I not been laid off, I never would have turned pro. But now, as long as I continue to improve, I'll continue racing."
Away from cycling, Dan spends time with his fiancee, Myriam, and his rottweiler Kayla. At home, he enjoys tending to his garden and fish pond. After his racing days, Dan plans to work in commercial real estate for Kodakgallery.com/Sierra Nevada sponsor THF Realty.