24 year-old Enrico Franzoi did his lion's share in last Sunday's Ronde van Vlaanderen to help Lampre-Fondital teammate Alessandro Ballan achieve victory. The Italian cyclo-cross champion will form part of the eight-man team roster for Sunday's Paris-Roubaix. Gregor Brown of Cyclingnews spoke with Franzoi as he prepared for the day's training ride.
"Last Sunday I used my strength to the fullest to help Alessandro [Ballan]," commented Franzoi Saturday morning in Compiègne. He had spent over 200 kilometres off the front in the Ronde as part of a three-man escape. The move enabled his team captain to 'relax' as the other teams worked to control the time limit of the escape.
Franzoi explained that the day went well for him, even if he was not yet accustomed to riding such distances. "I spent 220 kilometres in the escape," he noted. "I felt good, even if in the finale I finished in the second group. I was happy with how my race went."
The race came all together before the Muur. It was on that penultimate climb that Franzoi's teammates took over; first Daniele Bennati, marking the move of Tom Boonen, then Ballan, who attacked for the win.
"My legs were over by the Muur," explained Franzoi with pride in his accomplishment. "We were hoping to make it over the climb before the group but it was fine all the same. I am really happy for Ballan; it is a really good feeling to see your work pay off. I felt like I worked well for my captain."
Click here to read the full interview with Franzoi.