Twice Italian Champion (in 1985 and 1986), Claudio Corti has been directing teams since shortly after his retirement, beginning in 1990 with Chateau d'Ax. He was there with Bugno's famous wins in the Giro d'Italia, Tour de France and Tour of Flanders, and later, as a team manager, he saw to Simoni's year 2000 Giro d'Italia win and some of Cipollini's most spectacular victories when in Saeco red. During those years his second youngest son, Marco, was watching at home, following with hid dad in the team car and even taking to the bike, aspiring to one day be a professional.
"I have there children: one girl who is 27, Marco who will be 22 this year and a small boy who is seven years old," stated a proud Claudio while Marco quietly sat beside him.
"I started young, when I was seven years old," the neo-professional added in a hushed voice. Marco is at his first camp as a top-level rider, amongst the likes of Robert Hunter, Baden Cooke and Enrico Gasparotto, and, yes, his dad. "One of the early memories of him was when he was already a directeur, and there were cyclists, like Gianni Bugno. I remember Bugno would pass by the house and I had a chance to know him."
Claudio reflected of those days, "Bugno would pass by the house before long training rides, when I would follow him up to six to seven hours. Marco would accompany me in the car sometimes." Claudio also took Marco along to the races, where his boy became fascinated with the world of cycling. "I went along in the team car in some stages of the Giro d'Italia and also a few times at the Giro di Lombardia," he recalled. "I remember being in the long line of team cars, and the inner workings. Watching him handing the water bottles, changing tires and the attention he gave to the race. I was there taking it all in."
Marco 'took it all in' because he knew that one day he would be there racing. "I always had the idea of wanting to become a professional. While at secondary school I studied languages – English, Spanish and German." The languages paid off, and now he find himself in an international team, here even his papà has to learn a new language. Claudio interjected, "I started studying English when I started with Barloworld, and I can carry on simple conversations. Unfortunately, I had only previously known French and Spanish. There are twenty cyclists, and with six of them I am obliged to talk in English."
To read the full interview with Claudio Corti, click here.