Your favourite race and climb?
Favourite race, I want to say two: Milano-Sanremo and Le Tour de France. La Classicissima is also known as ‘La Primavera’, that means spring…but if you split the name you have ‘Prima’ that means ‘first’ and ‘vera’ that means ‘True’, so it sounds like the “first true” race, as it is the opening Monument of the season and yes, also because I’m Italian. Then Tour de France, because it’s Le Tour and I said everything. I was there only one time and always dreaming of riding it again before the end of my career.
Your best or most memorable result in pro cycling?
The stage win at the Giro d’Italia in 2011. It was my best result, but also a special moment. Winning at the Giro for an Italian means a lot. The emotions, the importance and also the popularity you get in Italy after that victory. It was really beautiful, although I remember also with pleasure my first win as a pro rider.
What are your personal ambitions for the season?
For sure my aim is to perform better, hoping to have the opportunity to give continuity to the races. Putting on good performances for helping the team leaders and I don’t deny that raise again my hands up it would be nice.
You gave yourself a rating of 6 last season, what areas do you need to improve this season?
I need to improve the performance. Nothing went unchecked, I arrived to the Giro with excellent values, better than any time. I worked very well and was motivated too. I guess that what I really missed was racing like in an usual season. Maybe it’s something that didn’t affect so much the youngsters.
From your 16 years experiences as a pro rider, who are the youngsters in the team that you see big potentials and why?
I think that Santiago Buitrago has got talent. He must gain experience, but he has already showed that he can do well. Regarding the newcomers, I’m looking forward to having them in our team: Haig is young but already revealed an undisputable talent; Mäder finished the season with a strong performance at the Vuelta and Milan is turning pro coming from a year of successes and top results on track at European and World Championships, but also on the road and in time trial specialty. They will find a team that believe in young riders and they will be supported to grow without pressure.
Where does your love for dogs come from? How do Stiby, Pier and Dorian keep you busy off the bike?
It’s something I grew up with. I consider my dogs like human being and Stiby, is really like a child form me. It’s the only one living with me, as Pier lives with my parents and Dorian, the oldest one, is an independent spirit. It goes around in my village, knowing where there are the booths with foods and street vendors are getting used to wait for it and giving some sausages. Otherwise, it comes home just for eating then it’s always walking around.
When Pier got ill and was suffering, I went to my parents’ house to visit him and encouraged it to be strong. As said, it’s a deep passion and true love.
Recently you showed another passion, that are plants.
Yes, it’s a family business, but with passion as basis. My family own a garden centre and every time I’m off bike I spent my free time there to give my help. We founded this activity in 2006 as we had some family farmland and we decided to convert terrains from agriculture to a garden center. We’re having a lot of satisfaction.
What are your thoughts on the Merida Scultura you will be racing this season?
The model Scultura usually suits better climbing specialists. I’ve been using it for a season, and I was very satisfied with it.
La Vuelta ciclista a España - Stage 1 (TTT) 24th August, 2019,
Giro d'Italia - Mountains classification 2nd June, 2019,
Giro d'Italia - Stage 12 23rd May, 2019,
Giro d'Italia - Stage 6 16th May, 2019,
Giro d'Italia - Stage 3 13th May, 2019,
Presidential Cycling Tour of Turkey 21st April, 2019,
Presidential Cycling Tour of Turkey - Stage 5 20th April, 2019,
Vuelta a España - Stage 1 (TTT) 19th August, 2017,
Giro d'Italia - Stage 17 24th May, 2017,
GP Industria & Artigianato 5th March, 2017,
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