After a solid return to competition in Wallonie, the Italian looks forward to the next appointments of the season.

“I’m super happy after the Tour de Wallonie, because my level was pretty high after five months without any racing. It wasn’t easy to come back in the bunch, but I think I did a good race. Everyone had a lot of emotions with Fabio, who won again after almost one year since the Tour de Pologne. That was such an incredible moment and I’m happy I could be there. The team worked hard, gave everything in the lead-out and we were all happy we could help him take two victories”, Andrea said of his first outing since the month of March.

A long recovery

After a great start to the season, which saw him take a beautiful solo victory at the Drôme Classic, the Italian was ruled out of competition for almost half a year following a crash in Trofeo Laigueglia.

“I had some pain in my knee and the doctors told me that I couldn’t ride my bike for ten days, then I tried again to go on the bike but I still felt the pain and they decided to do a small operation. After that I had to stay off the bike for four weeks, then I could start on the rollers again. Mentally it was super hard, especially after the first two weeks. I watched a lot of Netflix and played on the PlayStation, because I couldn’t do much more. I also watched my teammates on TV, and when they were racing in Romandie at the time I was recovering, I knew just how much I wanted to race again.”

“My family and my girlfriend kept me motivated and helped me throughout that period, they kept me calm and told me I would be able to come back, as well as the team. My father rides his bike and my brother Nicola is a professional cyclist as well so everyone in my family loves the sport. My girlfriend too. Everyone watches it.”

Beautiful memories from France

The team is in action this week at the Tour de l’Ain, where they took a win as early as the opening day, after Colombian Alvaro Hodeg capitalized on his teammates’ excellent work in Bourg-en-Bresse.

Last year I won the first stage here, my first victory as a professional.

“I still remember it well, I passed Primoz Roglic in the last 50 meters, that was an incredible feeling. After the finish they all congratulated me, it was super special. Only five months before I watched Roglic on television, and then I raced against him and won. The most important goal during the Tour de l’Ain for me is to improve my form again towards the next races. If there’s an opportunity to win a stage, I’ll do my best.”

Being only 22 years old and having already won three races, Andrea still has a lot of other dreams. “I won smaller races until now, not World Tour. My goal is to win a World Tour race and my biggest dream is to win a Monument. I’ve already learned a lot of things since I came into the team, I’m young and I still have a lot of things to get more experienced in. In just one year I’ve learned a lot, this is the perfect team for a young rider to improve, step by step. There are still a couple of months left until the end of the season and I’m determined to help the Wolfpack and make the most out of every opportunity I’ll get.”


Photo credit: ©Luc Claessen / Getty Images

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