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A look at the school, the races and the future of this unique 'sport'
See how nearly every bicycle saddle is made
Ever wonder how FSA does it? Take a walk through the factory and find out
Classic Colnago steel frame with gorgeous pantographed Campagnolo components
Marco Pinotti (BMC) on the podium in Milan
Excerpt from Kindle edition of "The Cycling Professor"
Marco Pinotti's recently published book detailing the highs and lows of his 14-year professional career is now available in a digital, English version via Amazon Kindle, titled "The Cycling Professor".
The 36-year-old Italian, a multi-time national time trial champion and Grand Tour stage winner, is a staunch advocate for clean cycling and detailed his person anti-doping philosophy in this excerpt from his autobiography:
The revolution within
"A few years ago, together with my coach Omar Beltran, I began to embark on a path of fitness and training, deviating from traditional methods. Omar had a vision, which he has managed to put in writing and a taste of his way of working and thinking is to be found in his book "Il doping ecologico" (Eco doping). In essence, we both believe that to implement a change in culture and values, alongside the necessary deterrent and punitive tools, there has to be an alternative incentive, a better definition of the term “victory”, where it becomes more of a personal statement rather than beating an opponent. The result is still rewarding.
Omar states that nobody is a winner in war. We can fight doping all the way, with the most sophisticated tools and checks on all relevant subjects. The problem would certainly be reduced, until new ways are found to bypass the clutches of controls or until these clutches will relax again, for instance, due to lack of funds. Like in the past, new drugs have emerged and remained “unknown” to the controls, the same thing is possible, indeed likely, to happen again in the future.
Doping should be seen as wrong, not for fear of controls, but simply because it is not right to do it. It pursues an end with the wrong means and it leaves you empty-handed. Or does anyone really believe that winning while cheating makes us truly happy? And then are we really sure that it's worth it? Beyond the possible effects on physical health, perhaps more importantly, shall we talk about the wounds of the soul? Or what message we pass on to future generations? It's like hiding toxic waste in your own garden hoping, by burying it, to have solved the problem.
Working with Beltran in recent years I have learned that sometimes to take the road less travelled is a good choice, if you respect your personal values. There are some principles and natural laws that transcend personal values, different cultures and religions: there really is a sense of fairness, honesty, respect that has no time and is superior to all opinions and diatribes. Happiness is not a result but a process. We have no overall control over a result. And happiness does not depend on who we are or what we have.
What I’ve learned is that we always have a choice and that there are always alternatives. From this availability of choices comes the revolution within us. No need to wait for solutions to the problems from above if we do not change our behaviour and our beliefs from within. Above all, I’ve realised that all the things I have learned must be put into practice. To know and not to do is not to know.
For my part I can say that in my small way I have done, am doing and I will do, everything I can to improve the relationship with this sport and the people who follow it. In my profession, I’ve felt much more involved and motivated by the practice of the sport than its competitive results. Of course I'm interested in the results and I would always go fast and try to win, but I find other aspects of my work much more stimulating and challenging: the type of preparation, the physical sensations (fatigue after a race or a hard workout are so beneficial on a psychological level, it’s hard to describe), the opportunities this job gives me to visit many different places in the world, or simply the pleasure of being outdoors. I think, and hope, that there are many riders who think like me."
The Kindle edition of "The Cycling Professor" is available here