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Christophe Agnolutto: interview about his career
 
By Celine Tytgadt
Date: 12/4/2002
Christophe Agnolutto: interview about his career
 
On Velo

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 Joly.  This 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 cyclist?

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 so far?

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!

......and 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 pie.

Which riders impresses you most for the moment?

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 could?

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 change?

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 !

 

 
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