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Interview: Valentina Scandolara
By Bart Hazen
Date: 12/17/2008
Interview: Valentina Scandolara

Interview: Valentina Scandolara

Interview with Italian Valentina Scandolara (Safi-Pasta Zara-Manhattan) the very talented rider and multiple European and Italian Champion.

Can you introduce yourself?
I am an 18 years old Italian girl...I come from Tregnago, a small village near Verona. I am in the final year of scientific school, and then I would like to continue my studies at University...if I have time to do it, because I'd like to continue with cycling!

Why did you choose cycling as your sport?
When I was young, I was very active, so my mum decided to make me do some sports. I started with soccer, then swimming, running and, finally, cycling… I won also the Italian Cross Championships three times!!! But I chose cycling because I wasn't happy of the situation in my running team… Some wrong people made me do the right decision (laughs)!!!

What kind of rider is Valentina Scandolara?
I think I can say I am a complete rider… even if my best quality is the sprint!!! In the juniors category, I could stay with the best of the world in the mountains, but in the sprint I think I am one of the strongest. Between the Elites…we will see!!! I know It will be really hard for me…but I want to continue my dream!!

Which hobbies do you have next to cycling?
I enjoy animals and nature…I love the sea and to stay with my friends!!! Then, I must go to school, but it isn't one of my favorite hobbies! I am a normal girl!

How do you look back on the 2008 season?

I am happy but not completely satisfied with it… Yes, I won the Italian Road Championship, with a fantastic race where I arrived all alone!! Then, I won for the second time the European Road Championship, the Italian Team Pursuit Championships, a 4th place in the European Championship Points race, a bronze medal in the European Team Pursuit Championship, and two silver medals, one in the European Scratch Championship, and the other in the World Points Race Championship….But I failed the World Road Championships, one of my dreams.. I got stuck in the group in the last 800 meters and so I couldn't do the sprint. I am very sad for this because it's the second World Championship I fail…and I don't know if I'll have another chance on the highest level!

However, cycling is like that!!!

What performance/achievement you are the most proud of?
I am proud, of course, on my two European Championships, because I couldn't imagine before I could be at these levels! However, I know that the life between the elites will be harder than between the juniors… I am ready to work a lot for my teammates!!!

You turned pro per August 1, 2008. What are you expecting from your first full season as a pro with the Safi-Pasta Zara team?
The Italian Federation changed some rules…and I must stay with the under 21 category until August 1, 2009!!! I am a bit angry because I would always race with the best to learn as much as possible!!! I will race with Safi Pasta Zara only some races…

I think it isn't right because in the other countries my same-age friends can ride against the strongest athletes of the world before us Italians can do that! However, I hope to do the best I can!!!

What do you prefer the most in racing?
I love the people that shout at us in the races… I love the competition, I love the emotion that I feel in the sprint… I love racing very much!!!

What race has been a favorite of yours?
If I say the European Championships I'd be boring…

So I will say the Coppa Rosa, an Italian race for 15-16 years old girls, in September…It's fantastic because all the village will come and visit the race and it's a big party for all!!! It's very exciting!!! I'd like if some national teams would come to do it!!!

Finally, my dream race is, as for all the athletes, the Olympic Games!

Who has inspired you, or currently inspires you to race. (Or in the present)?
I'm a big fan of Marianne Vos… I think she's extraordinaire because she is the strongest and she is always humble (at least, with me she has been a very nice person!!!)

How does your ideal preparation look like for the new season?
I'll follow a preparation that Slongo and Diana Ziliute prepared for me… I hope it will work! at the moment, I go to run, to cycle and do some workouts in the gym… As all the cyclist, I think!!!

What are your goals for the 2009 season? and if you don't mind…. long term career goals as a person and cyclist?

Well, for 2009 my first goal are my exams… on the bike, I would only race a lot with the elites to understand what I can do. Yes, I also think to the European Championships Under 21, but it will be very hard or impossible to repeat what I did in 2007-2008!!!

For my career, I dream the World Championships and the Olympic Games…but it's only a dream!!! I'll work and work, then we will see!!!

In my life without the bike… We'll see!!! At this moment, I only know that I'd like to become a vet!!!

For more information see the website of Valentina

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