Sunday's round 8 of the Cyclo-cross World Cup in Aigle, Switzerland will see Italian Enrico Franzoi making his debut for the new Lampre-Caffita team, which is a merger between Saeco and Lampre. He will be the first rider on the team to race in the new jersey, and in Aigle he is hoping to repeat or better his third place performance in round 7 in Hofstade, Belgium earlier this week.
"It's a circuit adapted to my characteristics, if it rains, the mud will make it even easier," said Franzoi, who returned to Italy to celebrate New Year's Eve with his family. "A dinner with friends and Elena, my girlfriend in a place in Isola Vicentina, then just like Cinderella on the stroke of midnight I returned home."
After Aigle, Franzoi's main appointment is the Italian national championships at Rovato in the province of Brescia. "My principal objective of the season," he commented. "I will be setting out to win, and my most feared opponent is definitely Daniele Pontoni. I have tried the circuit a few times, thanks to the presence of Giuseppe Martinelli, one of my DS in the Lampre-Caffita who's on the organizing committee. It is indeed a course perfectly suited for my characteristics. Saturday the 8th of January I would really like to climb onto the highest step of the winner's podium.
"From the first race in October I began to focus my season in preparation for the National Championship. In the month of December with the World Cup race I understood that my condition was improving. I hope that I can present myself at Rovato in top condition."
Finally, Franzoi commented that being a cyclo-crosser in Italy isn't as easy as being one in Belgium. "The consistency of the task in a speciality that unfortunately is not well followed in Italy is difficult with the training, the transfers, and the very few lines of celebration in the newspapers."