The 22-year-old had enjoyed an eye-catching neo-pro year in 2014, finishing second behind Vincenzo Nibali at the Italian national championships, seventh at the Tour de Suisse, and fourth at the Tour of Turkey. But last month in the Ligurian hills, he announced himself to the world and shot to national stardom, turning the hushed whispers of future potential into full-blown bellows of expectation.
He was called up to the Giro with just two weeks' notice and repaid his team bosses' faith with interest by clinching Cannondale-Garmin's first ever WorldTour victory.
Formolo's win has left many wanting to find out more about him beyond his baby-faced looks. He started racing as early as the age of six with his local team, the U.S. Ausonia Pescantina, close to his home in the Valpolicella hills near Verona. His parents insisted he finish school before committing to cycling and he achieved full marks in his 'maturità' – his final school examinations – before securing a professional contract in 2013.
In this video, people close to Formolo – or Fomolo 1, as Gazzetta dello Sport dubbed him – tell us more about him and his rise to prominence, also revealing the story behind his nickname 'Roccia' (Rock). Formolo himself also describes his thoughts on that Giro stage when he managed to forge clear of his breakaway companions with just under 15km remaining.
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