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“In 2015 I would like a little more luck, fewer crashes and maybe some reward me for two unlucky years and the many sacrifices made.”

Photo: Lampre-ISD

LUCA WACKERMANN

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29.11.2014 @ 09:00 Posted by Joseph Doherty

Luca Wackermann spent the last few years learning his trade at Lampre-Merida but he will be part of Luca Scinto’s Neri Sottoli team in 2015, he talked to Ciclismo Internacional about riding for a world champion in 2014 his move for next year.

 

He began 2014 at the Tour Down Under and his next job was to try and help Rui Costa take his first win in the Rainbow Jersey of World Champion, something Wackermann said he felt extremely honoured to do.

 

“Paris-Nice, I think, is a mini Tour de France. It was nice but at the same time very tough; the second stage I crashed, after the fall I had some hard days, but I tried to help Rui Costa make the best ranking possible.”

 

“It was an honor to cycle and have as captain the world champion, especially someone like Rui Costa. He is a great captain as well as a great person.”

 

Costa finished second overall and even rode for himself in the stage one sprint, where he finished seventh behind Grand Tour sprinters like John Degenkolb and Nacer Bouhanni.

 

“Knowing that I have a good turn of speed, I tried to keep the best position in the sprint. I finished 7th, this I did not expect given the quality of the sprinters present.”

 

But that was as good as it got for Wackermann this year, as he suffered badly from illness and once he was back on the bike, it looked as if he had no luck.

 

“Surely it was not one of my luckiest seasons. I wanted to show a lot, and instead, when it was time to be seen I had a knee problem that stopped me for almost a month; then it was difficult to compete in the Dauphiné, I tried to keep up but it was tough, both physically and psychologically.”

 

“Later I had a period at altitude, but then I had the cytomegalovirus that weakened me for a month. At the end of September, I had a problem with a tooth that I hoped to have solved but it created different problems for me. I was fortunate that I had people around me who supported me well.”

 

This contributed to Lampre-Merida giving Luca a tough message in September: he was no longer going to be a part of the team from 2015 onwards. He asked his agents to find him a deal but they didn’t need to look far, as Neri Sottoli was very interested in the young Italian. He will step down to the Pro Continental level but he will get to lead a team for the first time in his short career.

 

“Is it a risk!? Yes!! Sure!! The risk (and hope) to find my own space and to finally prove that I can get big results and in turn I can help my teammates to achieve their goals. For me, the important thing is to be inserted into a compact group. That’s how I like to work.”

 

“I don’t know how I will manage the pressure of leading as I’ve never raced as the Captain.”

 

Even though he has three years of WorldTour experience, he is only 22 and knows he has room to grow into a better cyclist.

 

“Sometimes we forget that at 22 years old, there are guys who still ride among the amateurs. I still do not know exactly who I can become, as a cyclist. I manage uphill and I enjoy the time trial, which is a detail that I want to work on. I dream of winning the great classics, but who does not dream?!”

 

he will get the chance to ride some big races next year with his new team, which was a big factor in attracting him to the team.

 

“The team has many goals, do not think only to the classic or the Giro, but we will focus on other prestigious one-day races or Italian stage races and international races. The final schedule is not yet completed but it is obvious that participation in the most important and prestigious races of the Italian calendar is a source of great satisfaction and great desire to prove our worth, both as a team and as a cyclist.”

 

“This year, on more than one occasion I got to touch the podium in sprint finishes; but insecurity and little specific training on sprints perhaps cost me the chance of a good result. I will have to work more on this.”

 

“In 2015 I would like a little more luck, fewer crashes and maybe some reward me for two unlucky years and the many sacrifices made.”

 

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