Alessandro Proni (Quickstep-Innergetic) started on his bid for pro win number one at 17 kilometres into yesterday's Tour de Suisse stage. The Roman, who makes his home in Tuscany, made the 211-kilometre push with Spaniard Daniel Navarro (Astana) and Luis Pasamontes (Unibet.com), dropping his companions on the final Norbertshöhe pass.
"Brama [DS Davide Bramati] urged me to attack with all I had," explained the 24 year-old after the stage win to La Gazzetta dello Sport. "When I felt like cracking I thought of Rebecca, Luana and Anna. They are the three most important women in my life: my daughter, wife and mom. I thought about all the sacrifices that I took to arrive to this point. I could not ease off."
Proni transferred north to Lari (Toscana) at the age of 16 to race with Monsummanese. "If I had remained in Portuense, my career might not have progressed, because in Roma it is impossible. I grew up respecting [Miguel] Indurain and then [Michele] Bartoli."
He turned professional this season with Quickstep after a summer trip with the World Champion. "Last June Quickstep called me to go and ride the climbs of the [Tour de] France with [Tom] Boonen. It was an honour. I almost did not believe it. I raced as a stagiaire at the GP Camaiore and then a proposal arrived."
When he returns to Italy, it will be time to go shopping. "With [Giovanni] Visconti there was a bet that the first to win [this season - ed.] would gift the other a Playstation 3. I will pay with no problem and buy one for myself. Also with this bet, we had to have a piercing. Where? We will see. Anyway, when I return home I will take my wife shopping, her hobby."