Your favourite race and climb?
Favourite race is the Giro d’Italia. A bit patriotic, but as an Italian it’s something that make me proud. I appreciate the amazing course that this race is always featuring in every edition, showing the most beautiful places we have in Italy.
As a climb, my favourite one is the ‘Colle delle Finestre’. You start climbing inside a wood, then when the vegetation changes until disappearing and the dirty road begins, you can admire a stunning landscape. I faced it 4/5 times in my career.
Your best or most memorable result in pro cycling?
I have several. I remember with pleasure the winning at the team time trial at the Tour de France. That kind of victory is the only moment in cycling where you really win as a team.
What are your personal ambitions for the season?
I want to confirm me at the high level I reached in the past season. Keeping that high standard of performance and results but improving as well. I get back to the feeling of winning and why not, to win again in this season. My big aim is riding Grand Tours: no matter if helping the leader or free to seize my chances.
During lockdown you showed off your cooking skills. Was this a one off or do you enjoy cooking at home? What’s your signature dish?
That was a nice experience, and the result was excellent indeed, but I assure you that cooking with a chef explaining you how to do it’s easier than being alone in the kitchen and prepare the same receipt. Anyway, I like cooking and helping my wife in this or cooking for friends. But I don’t have a signature dish. I usually cook simple dishes and I prefer cooking few things, done well.
You remained in Sicily, while most riders move away. Why did you decide to stay?
Basically, as I wanted to stay linked to my family and friends. We are away so many days in a year, that when I’m at home, I like the idea to be close to people that have always been part of my life. You know, maybe if I moved, I could have been richer, but beyond cycling there’s real life and so far I’m happy to have decided to stay in Sicily.
I love the place where I live and also for training it’s ideal due to the perfect climate you can find in winter.
A top 10 finish at the Tour and at the World Championships and a Win at Gexto. Which one will you remember most this season?
More than the single moment, I’ll treasure all the period post lockdown. When we gathered for training, then we restarted the season and the win made me feel that I was on the good path and also gave me extraordinary motivation and confidence ahead of the Tour de France. My good performance there and also at the Imola Worlds were a consequence of all this approach, that contributed to turn out a so complicated season due to COVID, in one of my best seasons in my career.
What are your thoughts on the Merida Reacto you will be racing this season?
I’m riding with both models Merida is providing us. Basically, I used the Scultura, but I tried the new Reacto and this bike exceeded my expectations. It is stiff and light, delivering highly performance.
La Vuelta ciclista a España - Stage 9 22nd August, 2021,
Giro d'Italia 30th May, 2021,
Giro d'Italia - Stage 20 29th May, 2021,
Circuito de Getxo-Memorial Hermanos Otxoa 2nd August, 2020,
Giro d'Italia - Stage 12 23rd May, 2019,
Vuelta a España - Stage 1 (TTT) 19th August, 2017,
Tour de Suisse 18th June, 2017,
Tour de Suisse - Points classification 18th June, 2017,
Tour de Suisse - Stage 4 13th June, 2017,
Tirreno-Adriatico - Stage 1 (TTT) 8th March, 2017,
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