After a striking start to life as a professional at the tail end of last season, Enrico Battaglin is gearing up for his Giro d’Italia debut next month. The Colnago-CSF rider, who underscored his credentials by winning the Coppa Sabatini in October after just two months as a professional, is aware that expectations are rife as to what he can achieve in the years to come.
“I’m living it quite calmly myself but I know that there’s a bit of anticipation from the tifosi,” Battaglin told Gazzetta dello Sport.
Still only 22 years of age, Battaglin explained that his primary aim for this year’s Giro is to gain experience, but the punchy rider will be looking to sniff out an opportunity to take a stage win in the second week.
“It’s certainly an objective to gain a lot of experience and I’ll look to save my energy for a couple of stages in particular where I look to do well,” he said. “I’m not ashamed to say that I’m going to the Giro to do well and I’ll look to seize the moment on the stages that are best suited to me.”
Although Battaglin has yet to get off the mark for 2012, the youngster was in fine form at the recent Settimana Coppi e Bartali, and is confident that he can translate such performances into wins of real substance between now and the end of the season. “It’s been a positive start to the season. I haven’t won but I’ve been up there,” he said.
Battaglin was speaking as the guest of honour at the launch of the official motorbike of the Giro d’Italia at Yamaha Racing Team headquarters Gerno di Lesmo – proof, if it were needed, of the expectation surrounding Battaglin’s debut Giro d’Italia.
Battaglin was joined in launching the special edition of the Yamaha TMAX 530 by the American MotoGP rider Ben Spies, himself no stranger to the Gran Fondo circuit. 30 pink-liveried Yamaha TMAX 530 bikes will carry race officials and commissaires around the peninsula in May, while on the penultimate day of the race, the Stelvio will host an attempt at the world record for the biggest ever Yamaha TMAX parade, just ahead of the potentially decisive tappone.