What's Cool In Road Cycling

Exclusive: Simoni Interview

PCN1. What are your main objectives for the season and what type of preparation have you done?

GS – “It isn’t a mystery that I’ve a predilection for the Grand Tours, and in these there is my entire season. But I would like to honour other races also, but my fall made me change my plans. And of course also my preparation has been distorted”.

PCN 2. How do you compare the 3 big Tours?

GS – ”They are 3 different races which are difficult to compare. The Giro is the most important for us Italian people, and especially on the media. Tour is a great organization which yet can stress you very much. At the Vuelta there is an atmosphere very relaxed even though the race is intense”.

PCN 3. How did you get started in bicycle racing and what motivated you to become a professional bike racer?

GS – ”It all started when I saw Moser winner at the Giro of 1984. I started one year later. After some time, my victories made me more sure, until when I won the Giro d’Italia for U23. So I understood that I was right to become a good pro”.

PCN 4. What do you learn as a professional racer that is valuable in other areas of your life?

GS – ”I can say the patience to do the hard work, but I grew up in a rude and simple world, the mountains, the ground, the life in the fields, so I already knew these things. Cycling taught me to learn the some rules and to appreciate the advice of person with more experience than you”.

PCN 5. If you were not a professional racer, what do you think you would be doing?

GS – ”I grow up with the farmers, I was a bricklayer, I studied as an electrician…I really don’t know. I’m sure the desk isn’t for me”.

PCN 6. Before a race do you follow any specific routine or ritual for good luck?

GS – ”I can say no. I take with me always the same pillow to be sure to sleep well. I never asked to myself if my cushion is also a lucky charm”.

PCN 7. What do you think about the team of this year?

GS – “It’s a very good team, which until now should merit more luck: if there were a few more favourable coincidences then we would have more victories. We’ve been waiting for the the Giro”.

PCN 8. Do you have any favourite champion of the present and/or the past?

GS – “I’ve no doubts: Francesco Moser”.

PCN 9. Have you visited North America?

GS – “I’ve been 1 week in Detroit, and it was a nice experience, yet I’ve been surprised for my easily to adapt to the habits. I will return for sure in the USA, and I hope to see the Rocky Mountains”.

PCN 10. What advice would you give to a young rider looking to be successful in the pro peloton?

GS – “Have fun, the bike must be an amusement and pay attention to the cars during training”.

PCN 11. Do you have a personal website that our readers could visit?
www.gilbertosimoni.it

PCN 12.What do you think about the Giro of this year? And who are the most dangerous opponents?

GS – “It will be a different Giro from last years, more unpredictable because there aren’t the big hills which made the story of this race. I think it will be a Giro really open until Campitello, after it will start the rumba. I anticipate deciding the stage of Folgaria and the 2 time trials. The favourites are 4: Casagrande, Garzelli, Frigo and the undersigned”.

PCN 13.What do you think about Tour de France? As you said last year, it’s possible run both and in both cases go for the final victory. Isn’t this too difficult?

GS – “I think that a rider in good condition and with very much experience can even run all the 3 Grand Tours. I will be aiming for the Giro and Tour with ambition… Too difficult? It’s exciting to try these challenges”.

PCN – Thanks you very much and good luck with the rest of the season.

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