Italian Salvatore Commesso is entering his tenth year as a professional cyclist, and the skills that garnered him two national championships were just what Omar Piscina and Oleg Tinkov wanted when forming their new team, Tinkoff Credit Systems. Gregor Brown of Cyclingnews spoke with Totò about his off-season transfer right after the team's training camp, on the day of its presentation in Rome.
"I have one child, a boy; he is three years-old," the 32 year-old explained to me as we sat down on a couch in the lobby of Hotel Victoria Roma on the day of the team's presentation. "His name is Dylan. My wife and I actually selected the name because it was a name that we liked from Beverly Hills 90210, the name of the character played by Luke Perry. When we heard it, we immediately liked. You know he drove a Porsche in the show, and, of course, at the end he had a drug problem but it was the name we liked.
"We are expecting another child around June. Maybe it will be a girl," he proudly continued. Will it be a 90210 name for him or her? "No. We have been thinking of the names. 'Ginevra' we like a lot. Like the wife of King Arthur."
Man of warm climates
Originally from Napoli, where his love affair with the bike began, Commesso retains his desire for the warm climates even though he now lives in Lombardia. "I started at 10 years-old, just for fun," he recalled. "My uncle raced through the amateur ranks. I raced the first two years in Napoli and then we moved to the north.
"I have been in the north [Lombardia] for 20 years; I left at 12 years-old. It has really been a long time. I left first for cycling, but now for my family. We moved to Pusiano, near Erba, but now I live in Bergamo because I found my wife, who is from there. My parents came, too. They still live in Pusiano.
"[Lombardia] is better for work even though it is a little colder up in the north. Luckily, I will go to Malaysia. For the heat, it will be nice to be there, racing for ten days [at the Tour de Langkawi], and getting to know the team better."
Commesso is really a man of stage races, particularly the Tour de France, where he has won two stages, one each in 1999 and 2000. "You have to have some trust in this team and put in the training, being ready to go well. We have been training for two weeks, up until yesterday [January 22], and the atmosphere is there. My sensations are good. With respect to the other years, I never really began like this-so strong."
To read the complete feature, click here.