Brazilian rider Caio Godoy is hoping for some good news for 2017, looking to score some good results at the Tour de l'Avenir and land a professional contract. The U23 event will conclude Saturday after three hard stages in the Alps. Ranked 22nd overall last year he is targeting the top 15. He has some work to do after losing 13:29 on stage 6. He sits 31st in the overall ranking.
A student at the World Cycling Centre in Aigle, Godoy is lacking somewhat in palmarès but not in the praise he receives from his coaches there. He has been part of the training centre held by the UCI since 2014, after he was second in the best young rider classification at the Tour of San Luis.
The Olympics Games in Rio were never likely on the menu for Godoy, who broke his collarbone one month before the race and couldn't take part in this unforgettable moment in his home country. But the 21-year-old climber takes life philosophically. "I was only a reserve, not sure I could have raced anyway," he tells Cyclingnews. "And at my age, I potentially can compete at some other Olympic Games."
Another piece of bad luck for Godoy came last Summer: he was to make his debut as a trainee with Fortuneo-Vital Concept, the French team that has participated in the last Tour de France. However, plans failed because Godoy was not able to get a work visa on time. But again, this fan of fishing, very patient on the edge of the rivers, was not bitter about the issue: "I can take my time".
The strong result in the Tour de San Luis in 2014 was the trigger for his career as he was only 18 years old at the time. He started cycling ten years ago to follow his father who cycled only for transport and fun. After a debut in mountain biking, he went to the road at age 12.
"This is never easy in my country, there is too much traffic and cars don't respect cyclists, but this is the sport I love," Godoy confides.
And then came his performance at the Tour of San Luis in Argentina, an impression of class, light pedalling in the mountains, an image more than results, and the belief Caio Godoy could be a champion one day.
The road is long, though. The World Cycling Centre picks up talents from all over the world to provide them technical skills and good training and lifestyle foundations, invited Godoy to develop in Switzerland. "Since then he is developing in a smart and very professional way," his coach Alejandro Gonzalez-Tabla explains. "He is very strict on nutrition, training and recovery, he is shy but easy and social within a team. In short, he is ready to turn pro."
Unlike some riders of his age, who are already very successful and have multiple victories, Caio Godoy is somewhat of a gamble for a professional cycling team. But this is quite usual with World Cycling Centre's athletes since this academy was founded in 2002. The trainees develop at their own rhythm and in spite of numerous life obstacles. It is sometimes worth paying attention to them. Who knows, one of them can blossom later in his career like one of the former-WCC trainees done, a certain Christopher Froome who was a perfectly unknown U23 rider in his time.