Australia, the atmosphere is… heating up

15 january 2016
Categories: Athlete

To those who know me, it’s no secret that I do not love cold weather. That’s part of the reason why flying to Australia in January – long flight apart (this time: Milan-Amsterdam-Singapore-Adelaide) – is something I am always quite eager to do. Maybe the weather is pushing it a little too far (my SRM is always accurate!), but all in all, it mirrors the atmosphere all around. People tell me about past years, when the season used to start at an easy pace, and then things got serious from Milano-Sanremo on: old, gone times. The one I have experienced is an all-different story.

Here in Australia I see people riding really, really fast, and we are just on January 15th. Some teams and riders have prepared specifically for this Tour Down Under, to win it and grab the first World Tour points of the season. It will not be early season training: it will be real business. Hot stuff, indeed.

Trek-Segafredo is also motivated for a strong start. My teammate Jack Bobridge has just become the new Australian National Champion after a 90 km solo break: I will have quite a decent setup for my sprints next week!  Our protected rider for the GC will be Colombian climber Arredondo.

What about Nizzolo? I will tell you: Nizzolo isn’t feeling bad, at all. My condition is very different from the one I want to have at Milano-Sanremo, or Giro d’Italia, but when I consider what my main goals are, I can’t complain about the way my legs are spinning. My focus will be on making some good sprints, and we will see what results will come out: the start of the season is always particular, as you don’t have any terms of comparison with your rivals. I will have a clearer picture in a few days, though.

Meantime, before getting into the fray, we went out to meet some guys who are quite familiar with… melees: take a look to the training of the Adelaide Crows, an Australian Football Team. This sport is incredibly popular down under, pretty much like soccer in Italy. Their training facilities are actually impressive… as are their muscles: after seeing what they do on the pitch, sprint battles don’t look that harsh anymore!