Interview – Pavel Tonkov
PCN1. What are your main objectives for the season and what type of preparation have you done?
PT – “My main objectives are Giro and Vuelta. And I do the same preparation of every year”.
PCN 2. Which of the 3 Grand Tours is your favourite and why?
PT -”Giro is my favourite, because I won it. The least favourite Tour de France. Because I never race it to win”.
PCN 3. How did you get started in bicycle racing and what motivated you to become a professional bike racer?
PT -”I started in 1980 by following some of my friends. Then I became a pro rider after my years as U23”.
PCN 4. What do you learn as a professional racer that is valuable in other areas of your life?
PT -”By riding I learned how to live. And I gained personality”.
PCN 5. If you were not a professional racer, what do you think you would be doing?
PT -”I studied at the Isef. I would have become a Sports teacher.
PCN 6. Before a race do you follow any specific routine or ritual for good luck?
PT -”With me I’ve always got a little icon of San Pavel”.
PCN 7. Is there a race which you like more into UCI’s calendar?
PT – “Yes, the world championship”.
PCN 8. Do you have any favourite champion of the present and/or the past?
PT – “Of the past, Saronni”. (ed – his Lampre team boss..)
PCN 9. Have you visited North America?
PT – “I’ve been at the Olympics in Atlanta. I like everything I saw”.
PCN 10. What advice would you give to a young rider looking to to be successful in the pro peloton?
PT – “To have a lot of patience”.
PCN 11. Do you have a personal website that our readers could visit?
PT – “Yes. You can find my page at the site of Lampre-Daikin: www.lampre-daikin.com”.
PCN 12. Who are the most dangerous opponents for next Giro d’Italia?
PT – “Casagrande, Frigo, Garzelli and Simoni”.
PCN 13. How is your condition now?
PT – “Normal”
PCN 14. Which one is the hardest stage in this Giro d’Italia?
PT – “The stage in Corvara in val Badia”
PCN 15. Many people said which this Giro is the easiest one. Is it true for you?
PT – “There doesn’t exist easy races”.
Interview by Michele Tomasi