The historical time trial between Firenze and Pistoia in Tuscany was the platform Ukrainian champion Andriy Grivko needed to begin building the new cycling project in his home nation. His move from Milram to ISD-Danieli Team will be interesting to follow next year, as Cyclingnews' Jean-François Quénet became aware of after catching up with the stylish rider from Crimea.
As he resides in Quarrata, Tuscany, the village of future directeur sportif Luca Scinto, Andriy Grivko secured a coup on home soil when he finished ahead of Italian champion Marco Pinotti at the end of the Firenze-Pistoia time trial last Saturday. "It was very emotional, very nice, there were so many people," said the-25-year old Ukrainian, a week after finishing ninth in the prestigious Chrono des Nations in France. It he crowned a 2008 season full of highs and lows.
"At the end of the day I'm pretty happy with what I've done this year although I still feel extremely disappointed to have been left behind for the Tour de France," Grivko explained. During his first three seasons as a professional – with Domina Vacanze in 2005 and Milram in 2006 and 2007 – he was selected for the Tour de France and always put his name in the race's daily communiqués as an aggressive rider eager to be amongst the breakaways.
The most famous of his attacks occurred during stage 13 of the 2006 Tour. He rode so well that he played an important role in Oscar Pereiro's eventual overall win, although the race was mostly remembered for Jens Voigt's win, Sylvain Chavanel's loss and the bunch finishing half an hour behind.
"Two years ago I was still lacking the experience to win but I'm a more mature rider now," continued Grivko. "I'm getting to know how to save energy in breakaways and finding out the right moment to go." In 2008 he could be seen on the attack at Flèche Wallonne and later at the Vuelta a España, where he rode with the world championships in mind. In Varese he was the second non-Italian in the top-five, finishing in fifth behind Alessandro Ballan, Damiano Cunego, Denmark's Matti Breschel and Davide Rebellin.
Read the full Grivko interview.