What's Cool In Road Cycling

Interview Exclusivo: Francesco Casagrande

Last Sunday PCN was invited to a fine luncheon in Tuscany as guests of ROI bikes. Also there, were several of the Italian stars, and Duncan Steele talked to many of them including Francesco Casagrande. The interview includes actual questions from PEZ readers – so read on to see if your’s got an answer, or simply laughed at…

Name: Francesco Casagrande
Best Result.? 2nd Giro Di Italia
Childhood Idol: That great Frenchman BERNARD

Age when first started riding? Year 1981
Age First race? Year 1981
First win? 1981
Most liked food? Pizza
Most liked foreign country? Australia

More important: an Olympic gold medal or a stage win at the tour or giro?
– FC: Stage win

If you could win any race what would it be?
– FC Liege- Bast-Liege

Best tip to give a rider?
– FC: Work hard but enjoy it

What would you have liked to have been if not a cyclist?
– FC: Difficult…..I would have to find a job!!!

If you could ride any bike when no longer a pro, which will it be?
– FC: De Rosa or Cannondale

What gears do you use when climbing the Marmolada or Gavia?
– FC: 39-25

What sports psychology do you use before a race?
– FC: None. I stay a bit by myself

Pantani’s chance of a podium finish if he rides the tour….1-10?
– FC: 1

When it’s nasty outside, what training do you do, and how many hours on the rollers?
– FC: An Hour and a Half on the roller but nearly always go out (note:Tuscany has a great climate)

Is this your main training base before going on the first training camp?
– FC: most is done on the roads then there is the Gym.

What do you think of the USA biking calendar and do you think it’s a good starting ground for young Italian cyclists?
– FC; Yes, the U.S:A organisation will only get better.


Dunc asked the tough questions – thanks to PCN readers!

First word that comes into your head when I say the name:
Armstrong : Great Personality
Cipollini : Strong……..very very strong
Pantani : Strong
Bush : …ha ha ha……no comment!

Have you any sorrow for your actions for what happened at the Giro, for you was your elimination correct?
– FC: I’m sorry it happened and my elimination was completely wrong

If you were to be challenged by Duncan and you had a choice of 6 things , which would you choice:
Game of Squash, 18 holes of Golf, Backgammon, 100msprint , Give me a 30min start on any climb you choice!!?, 1.5km sea swim?
– FC: 30mins start on any climb.!!!!

When with friends from other teams, who decides which route you do, the older riders?
– FC: Every body has there training programs , so if we have the same type of program we decide together which route that we take, I train most of the time with Righi who is also in my team so we have more or less the same program.

How many shoes do you go through in a year? 4
Are they custom made for you? Yes
Do you put the cleats on yourself? Yes
Does it take you a long time to get them right?
– FC: No, if a change type of bike it can take a bit longer and to break in the shoes takes a few kms but the cleats have there place.

How do you combat cold feet, any tricks?
– FC: Apart for the obvious I use a cream that increases the circulation.

Casagrande on the Worlds in Hamilton;
– FC: “The course is very selective. I have already spoken to Ballerini and he told me it is a course for my type of cycling. Italy has many good one day cyclists that the course could favor, but it’s something that will be sorted out throughout the year when Ballerini has seen the condition of all the Italian Cyclists”

Francesco was very helpful and we had a great time together, he asked questions about PCN and enjoyed the questions that you asked. Our challenge to race up any mountain giving me a 30 min start he asked if we could do it in the USA or Canada. Anybody willing to organise it? Why didn’t he choose, swimming…….. squash…. Golf………………Backgammon even……..
– Duncan

Find out more about ROI bikes from the US distributor – Cycling Innovations

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