While majestic mountains and challenging parcours are the usual headline grabbers, we thought we’d turn the focus back in and give an insight into the some of our dedicated staff who make it all happen behind the scenes.
La Fuga are very lucky to have some exceptional individuals work with us, including our Service Course Manager, Andrea di Corrado. Adopting a similar model as professional cycle race team, La Fuga operate a Service Course out in Bergamo, Italy, which we use as our preparation base before heading out on a tour. Bikes are serviced, radios charged, water bottles cleaned and vehicles checked over. Andrea is our local man keeping things ship shape in the whirlwind of activity at the start and finish of a trip. Reassuringly calm and ever smiling, if you’re working a tour, he’s the man you want to see greeting you at the arrivals gate.
There’s a colourful story behind Andrea, not the least that he has ridden professionally for the Bardiani Valvole CSF Inox and Colnago CSF Bardiani outfits. With Mark Cavendish on a roll at the moment, with two stage victories in the current edition, we thought it apt to write about Andrea as he himself won a Tour of Turkey stage back in 2012.
Read on to find out more about how he came to take the win, what got him into cycling in the first place and what keeps him ticking…
1. Tell us about how you became a professional cyclist
I dreamt of becoming a pro cyclist since I was 6 years old, when I first started training. That’s always been my dream and my goal.
I have been through many difficulties, but when you pursue a purpose in your mind everything seems to get easier. I soon proved to myself I could reach the podium, and that only amkes you more determined and self-confident. However, I think the key for becoming a pro is that feeling deep down in your heart which pushes you beyond your limits and makes you achieve whatever you crave for. Unexpectedly, in 2012 my dream became true: I made a break-through and was offer a pro-contract. I was just in the place at the right time.
2. Tell us about your greatest achievement as a pro
Winning the race in Turkey, after only 4 months of training as a pro, has been my greatest satisfaction for sure. I couldn’t believe it.
At the 5th stage of the race I found myself in the right breakaway. With every Kilometre that passed by, the thought I could really make it grew stronger. I focused on the route, trying to figure out which point would be best for a final attack. I decided that the right moment would have to be on the next ascent with 10km to the finish. I could feel it in my guts: that was the right moment. Once that decision is cemented in your mind, you have to commit, there’s no going back, no stuttering, no looking around. All your energy is focussed only on making you go forward as fast as possible. Somehow the attack worked, the break faltered and I got a gap. The last solo 10km seemed endless at that time. I stopped thinking as I disappeared into my personal world of pain. I could perceive nothing but the road in front of me. Tunnel vision, head down, biting the bars all the way. Through the noise of the finishing chute and excited tone of the race announcer, I could finally sit up and savour a unique moment. I couldn’t believe I had won my first pro-race. What emotions and memories!
3. Tell us where you go riding in Bergamo and why Bergamo is so popular with cyclists
Bergamo is a beautiful place for cycling. My favourite climbs are those in Imagna, Roncola and Barbenno dales. As soon as you start climbing, you are away from the city and into the peace of riding. However, Bergamo itself is a wonderful, historic city, with great climbs around the old town thanks to its higher location. Nearby valleys like Brembana, Seriana, and the area surrounding Lago d’Iseo are truly fantastic as well. finally, Bergamo is well-known for its cycling history: many pro cyclists were born here, such as Gimondi and Pinotti. It is considered to be a “cyclists land”. The city is an institution in itself and despite it’s busy nature you’ll see teams training on the roads with support cars every day. That combination of fabulous terrain and the sense of history trumps anything else.
4. Where is your favourite place to go for a coffee when you are out riding.
My favourite spot for a good coffee is definitely “Bergamo Alta”, but I also enjoy a coffee break at the top of Selvino and Roncola ascents, especially during summer time. The views over the valley floor up there is breathtaking.
5. Tell us your best moments with La Fuga last year and what you are looking forward to this year.
Above all, I enjoyed the Maratona dles Dolomites. That week was amazing because I had never ridden in Trentino Alto Adige before. I was stunned by the beauty of the Dolomites and by the traditional places we visited. Quite a change for a city boy like myself! Furthermore, being in touch with the customers gave me the chance to enjoy once again the happiness that comes with a simple ride. I re-discovered that passion for cycling that stays unaltered, whether you are a child or an adult. It doesn’t matter if you are leading the group or if you are at the tail of it, because riding in good company is all you need. Last but not least, the professionalism of all the La Fuga staff is wonderful. The Maratona brings together so many staff come from all different parts of the world, it’s like a big family reunion. I’m now hooked on the Dolomites and I’d love to experience that week once again.
6. Tell us something we don’t know about you!
I like living life day by day and appreciating positive as well as negative sides of it. Life is a marvellous gift and it has to be experienced to the full, in the saddle and with a smile on your face.
Check out our autumn trips in Italy and finish off your season in style. Whether you catch the ‘Ride of Falling Leaves’: Giro di Lombardia., dust off your vintage racer on the incomparable l’Eroica or just want a glass of bubbly at every feed station on the Gran Fondo Prosecco, we’ve got something for everyone.