Today I had the pleasure and the honour to meet one of Italy's and Pro-cycling's up-and-coming stars, and key lead-out man for the new Team Leopard-Trek, Davide Vigano.
It is interesting that the same phrase is true of Davide as I have heard it said of so many elite athletes: down to earth.
Davide is excited about the year ahead and his job as a lead-out man for Daniele Bennati for most of the year. The TDU is Davide's best opportunity for now to seek his own way.
Davide was telling me the difficulties of trying to train, and to get race-fit, when you are in the middle of a European Winter. He is happy with his form and fitness at the moment and is ready to race. He is ready to perform his role in the team, and is very happy that he is with Team Leopard-Trek and working for Bennati. This partnership will begin at the Tours of Qatar and Oman next month. Hopefully, Daniele will be able to make it to Australia next Summer for the TDU.
We talked a little about his experience of the Team Presentation, in front of 5000 people in Luxembourg last week. Davide said it was an amazing experience. He said he felt different wearing a suit without a tie: a very European "relaxed" wardrobe which replaced the tie with a scarf for each team member. I quite liked the look of the suit with the tie... and Davide's prominent white glasses have also received some varied comment. I think they are quietly "out there" and suit the personality of this quietly spoken "lad".
As the TDU contingent of Team Leopard-Trek headed out to "Stuey's place" for a team BBQ this afternoon, I can't help feeling that the future of the team (win, lose or draw) is in good hands.
Buona fortuna Davide and Team Leopard-Trek
On another note, do pop in and have a look at the display of vintage cycling memorabilia in the foyer of the Hilton during TDU. Whether you've never been to the Hilton, or stay there all the time, it is a nice relaxed place to stop for a coffee. The staff were on top of their game. They were happy and helpful and enjoying the chance to show what good hosts they are... and the coffee isn't bad either!
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