Pro mountain biker, student, pro road racer, scholar - at one time or another, Dario Cioni has been all these things. However, in 2006, all he wants is to graduate to the podium at the Giro d'Italia, as he tells Anthony Tan.
2004 changed everything for Dario Cioni. It began in late April with a top five finish at the Tour de Romandie, a race won by American Tyler Hamilton. Then it ballooned into a fourth place finish at the first Grand Tour of the season, the 87th Giro d'Italia. A spot on the final podium at the Tour de Suisse confirmed the previous two were no fluke, before the Italian time trial championship became another addition two days later.
"My position on the team changed completely compared to previous years, because this was the first year I was able to do GC riding without having to look after other riders that much," says Cioni, reflecting on his 2005 season from his home on the outskirts of Florence. "It was really the first year I went to the Tour to do a good GC."