Kevin Aiello has found his mojo. After jumping to fame in the junior downhill ranks, where he won the national title in his rookie year, Kevin has finally hit his stride in the pro ranks nearly eight years later.
Aiello has often been recognized for his talent in the pro
downhill ranks, but it was more for his smooth and skilled
style than for his race results. Kevin has long looked like one
of the best downhillers in America, but that obvious ability
hasn’t always transferred to the results sheets. It may have
taken a while, but his remarkable ability is now showing up
at the races again.
Now 6 feet, 3 inches tall and 190 pounds, Kevin was an
outstanding football player as a kid. By all accounts, he had
the talent and training to be a pro quarterback someday.
Then, at 15, Kevin fell in love with downhill racing and
quit football to pursue it. His football-coaching dad was not
happy at the time, but he now comes to his son’s downhill
races to cheer him on.
For the last few years, Aaron Gwin and Logan Binggeli
have been the top downhill stars in America; however, as of
late, when those two riders have lost races in the U.S., it’s
likely they were beaten by Kevin Aiello.
In 2012 Aiello won the final event of the PRO GRT, the
premier downhill series in the country. Kevin won the 2013
Kevin Aiello’s downhill trailbike
Southridge Winter Series in Fontana, the top downhill series
in Southern California. He again won the PRO GRT downhill finals in 2013.
When downhill racing kicked off in Fontana in January
2014, the pro battles resumed. In the first race, with a huge
turnout, Aiello took the win and Gwin took the runner-up
spot, 1.19 seconds behind him.
How has Kevin Aiello gotten so much better over the last
two years? “I think it all comes with time,” he told us. “It
seems like every year is just taking in the previous season,
learning where you can improve, and dedicating yourself to
filling in the gaps or weak areas. Becoming one with your
body, mind and bike is a never-ending pursuit, but the more
in tune I become with the three, the easier racing becomes.
Another huge factor is having fun and enjoying everything
that comes with racing bikes.”
Is Kevin ever sorry he quit football? “I quit football sopho-
more year,” he replied. “It would have been cool to play
under the lights on Friday nights, but I wouldn’t trade my
job for anything in the world. I enjoy racing my bike, and
that’s why I still do it eight years later.”
You can call him
KA for short.
King of Fontana?:
Name: Kevin Aiello
Birthdate: April 12, 1991
Birthplace: Orange, California
Height: 6 foot 3
Shoe size: 12
Helmet size: L
Marital status: Single
Current home: Mom and dad
Car: Toyota Tundra
Started racing: 2007
Turned pro: 2009
Racing specialty: DH
Favorite courses (North America): Bromont and
Favorite course (Europe): Val di Sole, Italy
Favorite food: Fruit
Goals: Go real fast
Heroes: Tyler Bereman
Favorite recording artist: Andre Nickatina
Favorite movie: Ted
Favorite hobbies: Skimboarding at the Wedge in
Jobs held (other than racer): None
Always takes on a trip: Headphones
What you would be if you were not a racer: Beach
bum, shop rat