Pinotti excited to begin career as a coach

Marco Pinotti (BMC) hopes to show the younger generation that natural talent isn't everything when it comes to winning bike races as he begins his new role as a coach next season.

Pinotti will be hanging up his wheels after riding the Chrono des Nations next week. The 37-year-old Italian, who has raced the past two seasons for BMC, will remain with the squad in 2014 as a part-time coach. As part of his new role he hopes to bring on the younger generation using the experiences he gained in his 15 seasons as a professional.

"I think I was able to do a lot more than people who were more talented than me," he told Cyclingnews. "I wasn't the most talented rider of my generation, but I did good work and kept my discipline. I made the small steps that were necessary to be at a better level. All that experience, I can pass onto people."

That experience includes six Italian National Time Trial Championships and four stage wins at the Giro d'Italia. He also won the general classification at the Tour of Ireland in 2008 and a number of stages at other stage races.

Pinotti believes the move is a perfect one for him as he already has coaching experience. The BMC rider has been coaching New Zealand's Linda Villumsen since they were both part of the HTC-High Road team between 2007-2010.

Villumsen has since become one of the most consistent female time trialists. She has finished on the podium at the world championships for the last four years, something Pinotti missed out on in his own career. "One of my big regrets is crashing at the world championships last year," said Pinotti.

Pinotti looked set for third place in the time trial in Valkenburg, the Netherlands, when he crashed out on a wet corner and broke his collarbone. "That was my one chance at getting a medal. In 10 years' time, nobody remembers who finished third in the world championships. So maybe in 10 years the regret will go away," he said with a wry smile.

The Italian doesn't seem sad to be leaving behind his career as a rider, on the contrary he is excited about the next step in his life. He said that he's looking forward to "working with people who have a clear goal in their life." He continued by saying, "When I see Olympians, they have a clear goal in their head and I want to work with them. It's something that motivates you every day."

For now, though, Pinotti is focused on getting through the Tour of Beijing and doing his job for the BMC team. "I'm feeling like every other race now," he said. "I will work as professionally as I can in the next days. After Lombardy, I went out early so I didn't suffer from jetlag later. I'm trying to do my job as best I can."

He's been doing just that; it was a Pinotti and Steven Cummings-led peloton that reeled back in the final escapee, which set the stage for their teammate Thor Hushovd to win the Tour of Beijing's opening stage. Hushovd holds a lead of three seconds over Wauter Willems (Vacansoleil-DCM) going into the second stage.

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