By Brecht Decaluwé in Mouscron
A surprising rider at the start of the Grand Prix de la Région Wallonne in Mouscron was 'crossista' (cross-country scrambler) Enrico Franzoi. The Italian of Team Liquigas explained cyclo-cross is important as ever despite his stated desire earlier this year to reduce his winter program.
"Tomorrow I'm not riding in Ruddervoorde because I didn't receive a contract and next week, I'm not riding the World Cup in Kalmthout because I'm getting married with my girlfriend Elena the day before the race. Afterwards there'll be no honeymoon because that's a bit too difficult since we have a picollo bambino, Matteo," he said to Cyclingnews.
"Before taking a break halfway November I'm participating in Tabor [Oct 26], the Koppenbergcross [Nov 1], Eernegem [Nov 8], Pijnacker [Nov 9] and maybe Asper-Gavere [Nov 16],"
He will then prepare for the World Championships in January. "Knowing that I was riding my first race of the season I must say that I'm very happy with my performance [Franzoi finished fourth]. Too bad for Rob Peeters [who was alone in the attack], but I wasn't planning on taking an easy ride here, so I kept chasing in the background.
"With these good sensations I can now focus on my next big goal, and that is getting married," Franzoi added before driving away from Mouscron.