What's Cool In Road Cycling

Interview: Simoni Wants Revenge at Vuelta

– Reported by Team Saeco –

Q: Are you as motivated for the Vuelta as you were for the Giro d’Italia?
A: “Even more so. Most of all I’m very angry even if I can only blame myself. I made a stupid mistake and it seemed like it was the end of the world. On the other hand I’m happy that both the Italian justice system and sporting justice system understood the matter. That has given me back my happiness and enthusiasm.

Q: Does that mean the scars have healed?
A: “It’s a bit early to say that. A lot of things happened, the team was badly affected. My team mates missed out on doing well in the Giro and were stopped from riding the Tour. The Saeco president Sergio Zapella and team manager have put their faith in me and so I owe them a lot. I hope I can pay them back.”

Q: Did the time away from racing create any problems or do you think you’re ready for this important challenge?
A: “I’ve worked really hard and I don’t think I could have done things any better. I started racing again at the start of August and during the last few weeks I’ve got better and better, getting some good results. I didn’t win but I went close, especially at the Giro del Friuli. I think I’ll be competitive at the Vuelta.

Q: Have you already studied your rivals?
A: “I’ve been away from racing for some time and so it’s not easy. I’m sure the Spanish riders are the ones to beat. The first week of the race will be the last chance to get an exact idea about my rivals and about myself.”

Q: Lance Armstrong named you has his main rival for the Tour de France: a battle that never occurred. Do you think it’ll happen in the future?
A: “Why not? I’ve just started my comeback. I hope it’ll last a long time and be very fruitful.”

Q: The Saeco-Longoni Sport team will be very strong for the Vuelta.
A: “Yes, we’re very strong and very united as a team. The race will test us all but also show our strengths. Now we’re even stronger than in the past.”

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