Q&A with Stefano
During your four years with the team, in addition to being the leader, you were a guide for the entire team to whom you gave the benefit of your experience. How have you experienced this status?
I experienced it as a privilege. Being the guide and the reference point for athletes like Patrizio or Yann was an honor. It was a beautiful and exciting experience. At times, I felt like the daddy of the group, while at others, I felt like I was getting younger and younger until I was the same age as my teammates. We spent a lot of time together, dividing our time between sacrifices and fun.
The highlight of these 4 years was undoubtedly your victory in the World Inline Cup in Basel. Do you remember exactly that day?
Being in front of all those champions was a great satisfaction. It was a great way for me to reward those who had put trust in me, Davide; above all, and my family that had always supported me and to whom I stole a lot of time.
The paradox is that I had always been strong in field sprints, and that time, I won on a solo breakaway.
You were known for your great racecraft. Can you tell us how you managed always to be well placed in the bunch sprints?
Experience is the answer. Every race, I studied my opponents, and I ended up knowing them perfectly. This allowed me to understand how to move in the group, which breakaway to jump on or block, which skaters to follow or catch in the sprint. Simple as that 🙂
You are probably the only one who was competitive in marathons at the world level until you turned 40. What was your secret?
My mindset! Where fatigue and sacrifice prevail, it’s willpower that comes to the rescue. I always loved what I was doing, and I did it with conviction and determination. It was critical to be consistent in my daily training. As you get older, it is hard to keep the momentum, and after 8 hours of work every day, it is not easy to train, but if you have a goal and believe in yourself, it becomes feasible.
Now that I coach, I do my very best to convey these values, hoping that my athletes will have the same strength, conviction, and passion.