Gibo Simoni: Raps With Pez in ‘Vegas
When 2003 Giro winner Gilberto Simoni showed up at the Fi’zi:k Saddles booth to sign autographs, I wasted no time in lining up a 5 minute interview. Signor Simoni doesn’t speak English, and my Italian is… how you say “piccolo”, but I wasn’t about to waste the opp to mix it up with the Italian star, so here’s what I got…
First off, Gilberto looks like a true sports star. He’s a small guy, about 5’8’, and built like the new breed of gc rider (turns out I also share this build!). He’s dressed like you’d expect (hope) an Italian sports star to dress – well turned out in a sharp Italian suit, dark open collared shirt, and very stylish shoes – the kind the rest of us with taste wish we had the panache and budget to actually wear ourselves.
He’s got a genuine smile, a spark in his eye, and makes an effort to connect with the fans lined up for is autograph, making the best of the language barrier. I’ll assume most of the fans shared my disbelief that I was actually talking to a Giro winner, fortunately I was able to get over it….
Pez: Ciao Gilberto, molto grazie per questa opportunita…
Gibo: Prego, piacere (you’re welcome, I’m pleased to speak with you…)
Okay, at this point I’ll cut to the chase …
Simoni likes Las Vegas, calls it “un citta incredibile”, and enjoys playing roulette and blackjack, but only “per divertimento” (for fun). He prefers red wine, and is going to spend the winter relaxing on his mountain bike and skiing near his home in the Trentino region of northeast Italy.
When asked which was more difficult – riding a Grand Tour or signing autographs, he laughingly replied a “Grand Tour of course”.
Not wanting to wear out my welcome, I asked one more question ( as my italian would allow). Turns out he’s been married for 2 years… sorry ladies.
Thanks to Suzette Ayotte of Fi’zi:k for setting up the meeting, she’s holding Fi’zi:k’s newest saddle – 30 cm long for better positions and more comfort. Be sure to check out their Giro- and World’s winning saddles (Astarloa rides ‘em too) at their website: www.fizik.com