If you break your femur at age 7, followed shortly thereafter by your humorous, you could be forgiven for picking another activity. Not Anthony Rodriguez of Caracas, Venezuela. He jumped right back on, twice winning Venezuelan national titles in his first race back.
Fast forward seven years to January 2010 and the now 14 year old Anthony has torn his ACL and meniscus, jeopardizing his goal of getting to Loretta’s. Those that knew him best however, didn’t count him out. He opted for surgery, worked hard at rehab successfully qualified in both schoolboy classes.
Born in Venezuela the son of Hector Rodriguez, a GP racer, successful trials rider and track owner, Anthony fell in love with motorcycles at age 4. The more he rode the more successful he became, wining Venezuelan and South American titles on 50’s, 65’s and 85’s. He credits his Dad’s coaching with helping him prepare for motos but when it came time to move up to big bikes Anthony and his father decided to make the move to the United States. Anthony explains why, “in Venezuela we don’t have many tracks and not so many riders. I knew I wanted to race against faster riders and the best place to come was the US”.
So in 2009 Anthony and his father, Hector, made the move to MTF where they have been training and riding under the direction of Colleen Millsaps. Anthony says it is the best thing he has done, “I love it here, the competition on the track is intense every day and my conditioning is good now”. His Dad and he have worked very hard to keep things going, not only within the US with bikes and racing, but at home in Venezuela as well, where he has a wife and another younger son.
Colleen is impressed by him too, “Anthony spoke very little English when he came to MTF and he was kind of a gangly, 150 pound 14 year old. What we also see now is a huge heart and great work ethic, something I would credit his father for. Anthony Rodriquez is a pleasure to have at our facility.”
With plans to turn professional at 18 ARod, as he is known to everyone at MTF, has shown toughness and resilience in the face of adversity. What he has not shown is results at a national but Colleen thinks he can do it, “his riding style has developed far beyond our expectations for one year. He has become very competitive in his respective classes and we are sure he will be a contender at Loretta Lynn’s. The word quit is not in his vocabulary, either in English or Spanish”.
A good result at Loretta’s would mean everything to Anthony as well, “yes, I really want to do well at Loretta’s. Lots of people support me and I think I can do it. A podium in both classes is what I want”.
One thing we are learning about ARod, don’t ever bet against him.
Good luck from all of us at MTF.
Anthony would like express appreciation to the following:
Colleen and all the staff at MTF
Eleven Ten mods
Troy Lee Design