Team Colpack’s Denis Lunghi, Hidenori Nodera, and Vladimir Smirnov
Just before the Giro, Michele Tomasi talked with not one but 3 Colpack riders – Denis Lunghi – who went on to have perhaps his best Giro ever, Hidenori Nodera – one of the rare Japanese riders in the bunch, and Vladimir Smirnov, the 2000 Lithuanian Champion. Read on as they tackle our famous 15 Questions – well, 12 actually…
1) How did you get started in bicycle racing and what motivated you to become a professional bike racer?
L – The passion for the bike.
S – In the school which I did there were 5 guys who run. But just I arrived at the professional races.
N – The races on TV made me interest in this sport.
2) What do you learn as a professional racer that is valuable in other areas of your life?
L – I learned to fight.
S – It taught me to make sacrifices.
N – I learned to keep hard and to never let go.
3) If you were not a professional racer, what do you think you would be doing?
L – I’d like to do something always in sport.
S – I’d like to become a mechanic.
N – I would work for Shimano.
4) What are your main objectives for the season and what type of preparation have you done?
L – My objective is win a stage at Giro d’Italia.
S – Do a good World Championship.
N – Start and finish Giro d’Italia.
5) Which of the 3 Grand Tours is your favourite and why?
L – My favourite is Giro d’Italia because I’m italian, least favourite Vuelta, because is in september.
S – Favourite Tour and least Vuelta.
N – My favourite is Giro and I don’t like Vuelta.
6) Is there a race which you like more into UCI’s calendar?
L – Milano-Sanremo
S – Tour de Flanders
N – Giro di Lombardia
7) Your team ha san average age really low. Don’t you think i twill be better have any old rider for teach you the little tricks of the trade?
L – Out team managers give us advices.
S – The team is good so, because it’s really get on very well.
N – Maybe yes
8) What do you think of your team of this year?
L – Young but very determinated
S – We are all young keen and ables
N – United and competitive
9) Before a race do you follow any specific routine or ritual for good luck?
L – No
S – No
N – No
10) Do you have any favourite champion of the present and/or the past?
L – Gianni Bugno
S – Fondriest
N – Giuseppe Saronni
11) What kind of rider are you?
L – Passista scalatore (climber)
S – Passista (all rounder)
N – Passista veloce (sprinter)
12) What advice would you give to a young rider looking to to be successful in the pro peloton?
N – To be ready to do a lot of sacrifices.