U23 and Junior report: Gianni Moscon (interview)

By Jakob Lloreda

Ciclismo-Internacional opened a new section (U23 and junior report) in which the aim is to shed light on the evolution of some of the world’s most talented up-and-coming youngsters. We will try to in light our readers about the future stars of the sport, where their come from, their dreams, strengths or weaknesses on the bike etc.

Ciclismo-Internacional had a good chat with one of the most exciting young prospects from Italy: Gianni Moscon.moscon

Tell me a little about yourself. Who is Gianni Moscon?

I come from a large family. I am the youngest of four, and I have three older sisters. I grew up in a small town called Livo (we are about 900 inhabitants in my town) located in Val di Non in the Trento province. It’s a very mountainous village surrounded by large orchards where the famous apples from Val di Non grown. My family has a farm which produces apples, and agriculture has strong roots in our family-tree. Ever since I was a child, I followed my father out in the field and help him work in the plantation. I also have a great interest for mechanics (especially tractors) and in general whenever I have free-time from cycling, I like to help my father out with all the many tasks relating to driving such a plantation. I started cycling when I was 7 years of age (in 2002) and was hooked from the start. My father has always had a great interest in cycling and been very passionate about it, and it was him who introduced me to the world of racing.

How have your off-season been so far. Everything run according to plan?

Yes absolutely. I took a weeks’ vacation and went to Santo Domingo (the Dominican Republic) where I relaxed and switched off from cycling a little. When I came back I started training immediately. I have been spending some hours in the gym going some physical preparation, and I went out on my mountain-bike.  My condition is good, totally in line with last year. I still have a few kilos to lose, but that’s what to be expected after taking a short little vacation.

How would you describe yourself as a rider?

I would call myself a climber-rouleur. I weigh 69 kilos so for now I am little too heavy to be labeled a pure climber, as I still suffer a little in the high mountains against the smaller lighter guys. I roll well on the flats and in general have good power. I haven’t done a lot of time-trails in my life, but I would say I should have good conditions in those as well. I finished fourteenth in the prologue at Tour de Avenir and I think that shows a lot of promise. I also have a good kick in a sprint among the climber, so if we arrive in a decimated group I can have my say for sure.

For now, I just need to work on improving in the high mountains and maybe control my weight a little more so I am not penalized on the longer cols.  

Do you have a mentor?

Yes for sure. I am so lucky to be followed by the great Maurizio Fondriest who advises me and helps me out. It’s a great honor working together with such a big champion. I have felt a lot of progression. This year I only won two races, but I finished second 5 times and third 8 times and in general showed great consistency.

Tell me a little about your victory in Tour of Lombardy U23?

I would love too. To date, my biggest victory for sure. I knew was in great shape. I felt really strong riding among the pros (in the trittico Lombardo series) and enter the race with high confidence. The race started out at a furious pace; everyone was attacking left and right. After 90 kilometers, we had an average speed of 49kmh, and the peloton was down to 25 riders. On the longest climb of the day (Ghisallo) I had two team-mates set the pace for me, and we tried to minimize the front-group. Everyone were exhausted by the pace sat by my team. On the Colle Brianza, I attacked together with the Belgian Dylan Teuns. I tried to drop him several times, but unsuccessful. Teuns was very, very strong and didn’t give in. In the end, I took him in the sprint and could celebrate with my arms held high. 

Tell me about the world championships. You crashed while being in an almost optimal position.

I was on great form. I attacked 10 kms to go on the penultimate hills right in the slipstream of the Colombian (Brayan Ramirez). I was getting closer and closer an accelerated in the last curve at high speed and lost control of my bike. I was so angry and disappointed because I honestly believe I threw a great opportunity over board. Today when I look back at the accident, I actually feel proud, because I rode a good race and gave it my all. I also got a lot of recognition because of the crash, and people started to know my name.

Did you ever have a role-model growing up?

Well, I am too young to remember the golden years of Marco Pantani, I only remember the last few years he was active. I was, however, a big fan of Gilberto Simoni, being from Trento like me made it somewhat obvious. Of active rider, I am very fond of Purito Rodriguez; I think it’s outstanding he can be competitive in both classics and the grand-tours. Giving my own stature, I always have had a weakness for Chris Froome, we also have a somewhat similar peddling-style and several of my team-mates and colleagues say I remind them a little of him. He is a big rider, and of course I hope to achieve many great things in the professional ranks as well.

Jakob Lloreda

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