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"I am waiting for answers and proposals. My contract with Astana will expire and I am looking for teams and solutions. But it is not easy. The market is heard. The teams are full and in two weeks the training camps will start. And I co...





07.11.2014 @ 12:23 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Eleven seasons of support work have not helped Valerio Agnoli find a new team that will allow him to follow his pasion of professional cycling. His contract with Astana is about to expire and he now lives with great "uncertainty". But he refuses to give up. Next week he will start to train "as if he had already signed a contract."


Valerio Agnoli is a domestique, a trade he learned during his four years at Liquigas where he worked for Ivan Basso and his friend Vicenzo Nibali. With the latter, he went to Astana and joined him in his triumphant ride at last year's Giro d'Italia. This year he helped Fabio Aru finish third in the race but he still doesn't know whether he will be able to pin on a number in 2015.


"I am waiting for answers and proposals. My contract with Astana will expire and I am looking for teams and solutions. But it is not easy. The market is heard. The teams are full and in two weeks the training camps will start. And I continue to live in uncertainty," he says in an interview with La Gazzetta dello Sport.



Knowing that he may be unable to continue with his passion, his mood is not the best.


"For me, cycling begins in the morning when I have breakfast, continues when I clean the bike and pump up the tyres and is multiplied when I am riding. Now I feel angry when I look at the bike," he says.



"It's life. And life is made up of circumstances, events, strokes of luck and bad luck. In the Giro I crashed and broke two ribs: many, in my condition, would have withdrawn. However I continued to help Aru. In Denmark and Burgos, I have tried to show that I am not limited to working for others when I have the opportunity," he explains. In fact, he was second in a stage of the Tour of Denmark and in the Vuelta a Burgos he finished seventh. Last year only Gianni Meersman prevented him from winning the Calella stage of the Volta a Catalunya.


But Astana decided not to renew his contract.


"Next week I start training as if I had signed a contract. Gym, mountain hikes, running, biking will be my preparation. Meanwhile, I try to see life not only as cycling. I have the privilege of having a wife who is able to understand and support me, and a daughter who is only two years old and is a hymn to life," he explains.


Agnoli already experienced a similar situation in 2007 when Aurum withdrew its sponsorship in the middle of the season.


"I spent months in limbo until Liquigas signed me for the minimum wage. It was my salvation, it was my rebirth: it was more than a team, it was a family and a school. I learned the trade of being a domestique," he says.


Agnoli has always been at the service of others. In fact, he has done the last six Giri and was part of Basso's victory in 2010, Nibali's 2013 wini in 2013 and Aru's third place in 2014.


"Bring water bottles and provide shelter," he sums up his task. "Every day I fought and had a challenge. I saw every day as a challenge."



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