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“Our first goal is to reach stage victories. The dream is repeat the kind of performance we did last year. But during the Giro, we could find new targets like for example the Blue Jersey.” 


Photo: Sirotti






08.05.2015 @ 09:00 Posted by Joseph Doherty

One of the men saddled with the task of continuing Bardiani-CSF’s recent dominance at the Giro d’Italia is small climber Edoardo Zardini. The weekend before the Giro began, spoke with the 25 year old about his third participation in his home Grand Tour.


Bardiani are one of the shining lights of the peloton, with a clean record (something that their other Italian Pro Continental rivals can only dream of) and a habit for winning stages in their home Grand Tour, with four stages in the last two editions combined. Zardini said that the team’s first goal at the race is to continue raising their arms as stage victors. However, he doesn’t put a jersey out of their reach too, with the climbers jersey the team won in 2013 thanks to Stefano Pirazzi a testament to that.


“Our first goal is to reach stage victories. The dream is repeat the kind of performance we did last year. But during the Giro, we could find new targets like for example the Blue (climbers) Jersey.” 


He didn’t have the best start to the year, after being struck down with a virus at the Tour of Oman. But he has bounced back, with tenth overall in Trentino and eighth in Giro dell’Appennino a testament to his form. He says he isn’t bothered about results elsewhere, the only race he wishes to be good at is the Giro.


“My 2015 season didn’t start in a good way due to a virus at the Tour of Oman. I found a good shape only at the end of March. Then I went to Mount Etna with teammate Francesco Manuel Bongiorno for a long altitude training camp. Anyway, the first part of my season is all focused on the Giro, so I didn’t expect a lot of results in the first part of 2015.”


After the Giro, we asked him what his schedule would be and what his next goals were.


“After the Giro I’ll go to Tour de Slovenie and then the Italian Road Championships. Then I’ll take some weeks of rest before going to a new altitude training camp and getting ready for the second part of my season.”


He has been improving in the Giro year on year, with a fifth place in a stage his best result so far. He says that the Giro is the Grand Tour that suits him best due to the steep grades of the climbs. But he doesn’t deny that at some point, he would like to take part in the Tour de France, something he may need to leave Bardiani to do.


“This will be my third participation in a row. An important thing to remember is that the first time I rode was when I was a neo-pro. In the future I would like to be at the start of Tour de France but right now, looking at my skills, the Giro is the perfect race and as an Italian it is the top.”


Looking at the future, Zardini is clearly a great climber who can target stage wins and win them, like he has done for his two pro wins on summits in Trentino and Tour of Britain. He says he sees himself as a stage hunter and one-day racer, rather than a GC man like Domenico Pozzovivo, who shares similar characteristics with Zardini.


“Right now I can see that my goals are one-week stage races, like last year at the Tour of Britain and the most demanding one-day races like Lombardia, Flèche Wallone and Liege, as well as Italian classics like Giro dell’Emilia or Tre Valli Varesine. I don’t see myself as a GC-rider.”


For such a lightweight climber, naturally thoughts turn to winning atop the sports greatest mountains. We asked him what his dream climb to win on would be.  


“My dream is to win on the Zoncolan and Alpe d’Huez. Looking to the upcoming Giro, the second-last stage with Colle delle Finestre and Sestriere climbs could be perfect for a win.”


That could be foreshadowing. We will find out in three weeks time. While Zardini is not a well-known name at the moment and he will lie low in most of the opening week until the race hits the mountains, but by the time the Giro is done, he will be a big name in cycling if he has his way.




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