On Velo-club du net,
every week is dedicated to a different rider. So far, the riders at word
were Laszlo Bodrogi, Rik Verbrugghe, Jacky Durand, Aurelien Clerc and Sebastien
week, it is up to Christophe Agnolutto. This is the first part of the interview
about his career. Tomorrow a second part will be published where you can
read up more about his personality and as final part of this special week, velo-club du net will post a transcript
about the chat they host on Thursday evening 9PM CET. As it will be in
French, you can find the translation of it here on the Daily Peloton later on.
Christophe Agnolutto has won quite a few races, but you
might especially remember him from his great ride in the Tour de France 2000
winning solo with over one minute on the rest of the peloton on a rainy
day. Other races he has won are a stage in the Tour of Switzerland 1996, a
stage in the Tour of Romandy of 1998 and A travers le Morbihan in 1997.
What's the best and worst thing about being a
Raising your arms because it's the happiest moment when you can do
that. It's unforgettable because it's a reward for all the hard work.
The worst moment is when it's really horrible weather with snow and wind:
these are really horrible days. I remember soms Paris-Roubaix editions or
Het Volk with extremely bad weather, it's very unpleasant.
What are you most proud of?
My Tour of Switzerland because I was in the second year of being a pro and I
finished first place in the third stage. It's one of my best performances
on the bike because I had beaten the big riders like Camenzind and Ullrich and
that is something I will always remember.
What has the happiest moment in your career
My stage win in the Tour de France because that more or less relaunched my
career. I didn't have such a good season in 1999 and seeing the Tour on
television had remotivated me to win a stage!
your biggest disappointment?
The Frech championships in 1997, a few days after the Tour of
Switzerland. I was in an escape with Pascal Herve and I felt really
good. I really thought of beating him in the sprint because we were good
the two of us, but Moncassin had attacked and came back on us, which
destabilised the escape. Unfortunately, the peloton caught us at just a
few kms before the finish and Barthe won.
I was very disappointed because that would really have been the cherry on the
Which riders impresses you most for the
Johan Museeuw with all the troubles he has had. For me, he's one of the
best classic riders and he's an example to follow.
Who did you want to be when you were a kid?
When I started riding a bike, I had Italian origines and I thought a lot
about Francesco Moser who was doing all grand tours and the classics. I
admire him a lot.
What would you change about yourself if you
My nervousness on the bike or my nervousness tout court.
Sometimes, I attack too early because I am too nervous and I have some trouble
staying tucked away in the peloton. I sometimes won by attacking from very
far so that could be an advantage of disadvantage.
Who are you most gratefull?
My wife, my family and my friends because my wife has invested a lot in the
bike and if she wouldn't be there for me, I wouldn't be where I am now.
How did you become a cyclist?
I was about 12-13 years old and I was doing some races and I was rather
good. Every year, there was a race in the village and I won twice in a row
at 12 and 13 years old and that was even with a woman's bike the first
year. I never did much competition and I beat riders from 30 to 40 years
old with much experience.
The second year, I started the competition in Saint-Brice in the Val d'Oise.
If there would be one person you would thank:
who and why?
My wife because before I knew here, I was riding a bike but I wasn't serious
at all. At 22 years old, when I met her, she has given me all the serenity
that I needed to have the profession that I have now.
Under which conditions do you feel strongest?
I hate the rain and other horrible weather conditions, but I don't like the
big heat too much either. Although I have won the stage in the Tour in the
rain, but it wasn't cold, it's more the combination rain/cold that I dislike.s.
If you could redo your life, what would you
That I always have the mentality to fight because I don't really have it when
I'm not in full shape. I would like to have it all the time, it would be
better to motivate me!
Check in tomorrow for the second part of the
interview where he talks about his personal life!
Keep on coming back as well for the chat
transcript later this week and be sure to visit Nicolas' site www.veloclub.com