Patient Feature: An Interview with National Cyclocross Champion Thomas Francisco
Our patients never cease to amaze us. Almost every day we learn of a new talent one of our patients has and it always puts a Greater Smile on our face! Thomas Francisco is an 8th grader at Meyzeek Middle School who came to Perelmuter and Goldberg for braces a few years back. He’s also member of the Red Zone Cycling team and a United States Cyclocross National Champion!
Tell us about your involvement with Red Zone Cycling? I started riding a bike without training wheels when I was about three. My dad and brothers found out about cyclocross in 2007 or so, (when I was five) and immediately became regulars at the weekly practices at the old River Road Country Club, bringing me along each time. I joined the junior team, Red Zone Cycling, doing local races each weekend. I’m still on the team today, eight years later, and have played a big role in the team’s development, along with my family.
You’ve been to the US Cyclocross Nationals 3 times. What’s that like? The first national championship I went to was in Madison, Wisconsin in January 2013. I won the 10-12 year old category. It was super cold, snowy, and muddy. Training for something like that takes a lot of time, sweat, and determination. Besides riding as much as possible each week, you have to be a good runner and have a strong upper body. In 2014, I went to Boulder, Colorado, for Nationals but unfortunately didn’t do too well. Then in 2015, we drove all the way to Austin, Texas for ‘cross Nationals once again. Despite muddy conditions and a few costly mechanical problems, I finished third.
What’s it feel like to place among the best in the country?
It’s an amazing feeling. You’re actually the best. You’ve won at the highest level of competition, and you feel like no one can stop you anymore. But probably the best part about winning a national championship was getting to rub it in on my brothers!
You came to Perelmuter & Goldberg for a full set of braces. Now that you’ve got the braces off, what’s your new Greater Smilemean to you? I feel like it’s matured me, made me into a new person.
We understand you’re not the first in the family to achieve a Greater Smile at our office? My mom and dad went to Dr. Perelmuter for braces over twenty years ago. My mom loves the staff and doctors. She also likes getting a cup of tea she fixes at the hospitality counter while she waits during my appointment. And Dr. Goldberg is a good friend of our family. He rides bikes with our team and sometimes with my brother and me. He’s a funny guy and can blow anyone away on a mountain bike!
What are your plans for the future? Keep racing at a high level and possibly go pro if the chance comes up.
All of us here at Perelmuter & Goldberg wish Thomas the best of success!