One of the mechanics from the early days of the team, the Italian has joined The Wolfpack again after a spell with another squad, and couldn’t be more excited about this move.
“I’ve now been working in cycling for more than two decades, twenty-four years to be more exact. My first team was Mapei, then after a chapter at Quick-Step I went to another team, and now I’m back here, with Patrick. I was head mechanic, but I started here again just as a mechanic. I like this more, as I had too much stress. I am really happy I’m back in this squad, as there are a lot of familiar faces. I knew a lot of my colleagues already, I know the atmosphere, so that’s definitely one of the reasons I returned.
I was a rider myself for 15 years, not professional but amateur.
I didn’t have a big career, but I won a couple of races here and there. After that I just continued my passion and started as a mechanic. I decided to stop cycling as I didn’t become a pro, and when you are a certain age you know it’s the time to stop. I dreamed of becoming a professional rider, but it was time to choose left or right. I still have the same life, but with a different job.”
Cycling – one big bubble
“I like everything about this job. Inside the race it’s completely different than outside, you really experience everything from inside. From the side of the street, you just see the riders passing, but you don’t know what’s behind them, the race or the organisation. It’s one big bubble. Some people think we are on holiday when we say we go to a race abroad, but they don’t see how long our days are and what we are doing.
You always start the days very early and you finish late.
The days are long and you are away from home and from your family. I have two sons and one daughter, so it’s difficult to be away from them. The only thing I really want at the end of the day is to talk to them in the evening. I try to take time to have a conversation with them and see how they are, how their day has been.
What I also like about cycling is that every day you learn something new. When I started out, we had nine gears, now you have twelve gears. We started with a cable outside the breaks, now it’s inside. Now you also have electronic gears and disc brakes, so everything developed quickly and everything is different – another thing that makes cycling so fascinating.”
Photo credit: ©Wout Beel