August 9, 2005
Ciao amici di Cyclingnews!
My dream has become reality! After Hamburg, I've managed to win the Giro del Lazio! And even after I wasn't feeling good that day. It was really hot and in the last 20km, I had a heavy feeling and a headache. But I told myself "Pippo, just think about going as hard as you can" and that's how I made it! Once again, my Quick.Step team was marvellous, keeping me out of the wind and covering all the attacks in the final. Think about it; with 30km to go, Bettini came up to me and said "Tranquillo Pippo, today we'll bring you to the sprint and you're going to win it!". When a rider of the stature of Paolo Bettini, a real champion is riding for you, you can bet you will ride a lot more relaxed. I'm sorry for my teammate Paolini who had to stop with some resparatory problems; Gerva (his team nickname) is in excellent form these days. Before the start, we both were leaders, but Luca had to abandon.
So I'm really happy now, because this win is another payback for all the hard work I did last month in Livigno; hours and hours on the bike with so many intervals I lost count...finally I'm on the right track. Like I said last week, this week is just the starting point to achieve other objectives and I'm not content with just these results. Now there might be a chance for me to ride the World Championships. Certainly I would like to participate, but before I do, I want to make my mark on a few other races.
My August continues with Clasica San Sebastian, a race that really isn't suited to me, but I still want to do well. Now I can't just hide in the group; the time has come to go for in it races like San Sebastian with long, tough climbs. I'm ready to find out how much I have to invest in this type of race to become a more complete rider. Down in Spain, our Quick.Step team will have riders like Bettini, Paolini, Moreni. All riders who can win there, and I hope to give them a hand. We'll see...
Ciao a tutti and thanks to everyone who had believed in me!