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Interview with Italian Nationals Young Guns
By Vaughn Trevi
Date: 7/19/2003
Interview with Italian Nationals Young Guns

Mauro Finetto and Enrico Peruffo of the Verdellese Dielle-Telmec team figured prominently in the recent Italian Nationals - Mauro won 2 silver medals, one on the time trial and one on the road - quite a feat considering the different disciplines. Enrico placed 4th on the time trial at only few seconds from the 3rd spot. He missed a turn during the race and lost at least 10 seconds there, but then went on to console himself by winning the Italian Nationals Junior Road Race.

Enrico Peruffo wins the road race. [click for larger image]

Hello Enrico and Mauro, congratulations on your victories at the Championships. Three medals - two silver and one gold - is a great accomplishment for you, your coaches and your team Verdellese Dielle-Telmec. First, let me ask how did you get started in your cycling careers and at what age did you start to race?

Mauro Finetto: I started to race at 13, but my passion for cycling started when I was a little kid, when with my small bike I rode around the country side.

Enrico Peruffo: I started when I was 8 to race for a team named S.C. Rostese. None of my family was racing, so I pushed and convinced them to buy me a bike and bring me every Sunday to race. That was the start of my career.

[Enrico's family are now all cyclists! His mom and dad are competing in amateur racing. His dad is a great climber. His younger brother (13 years old) is winning every other Sunday in his category. He is a real promise in this sport. And his younger sister (11 years old) is racing every Sunday with the same age boys...and is winning too!]

What professional riders today do you admire today, and is there rider from the past that is a favorite? If you could choose one that you would be like, who would it be?

Mauro: I do not have a preferred "idol." I am fan of all the professionals. I prefer riders of the North Classic Races and of course, Armstrong for the Tour.

Enrico: My favourite is Johan Museeuw and to be similar to him, even just a little bit, would be a great satisfaction.

What are your favorite type of courses and races?

Mauro: I like the time trials. For the road races I prefer hard races with up and down where, having more strength, you can make the difference.

Enrico: My preferred races are the mixed ones with climbs too, but not too long. Here I can use my strength. Longer climbs give me problems due to my weight (76 kg for 188 cm). I am quite good on the endurance too - I have been since I was in the lower categories.

You both did well in the TT, Mauro, you with Silver and Enrico, you had a bit of difficulty with the course, missed a turn I understand, and still did well, finishing fourth. Do you both like the challenge of racing against the clock?

Mauro: As I said, it is my favourite race even if at the Italian Championship the course was not suitable for my characteristics. It was too flat with a long part in "pavè." I weigh only 62kg and my wheel was jumping all the time. With a harder race, I could have had more chances to win.

Enrico: Yes, I like TT and I am doing reasonably well in it.

The Road Race was exciting - it was great teamwork and great riding for SC Verdellese Dielle-Telmec. Did you plan this before the race or did you both see an opportunity and take it? Enrico, you started your attack at 1300 meters - hmm, this reminds me of Cipollini to start such a long sprint, did you plan this or just go for it?

Mauro, you at the same time guarded the gruppo from coming too fast to overtake your teammate - marvelous work and you outsprinted all the others for your second silver medal. What was this like -  those last moments of the race and at the moment of victory for your teammate and team?

Mauro: We just took the opportunity. I did not expect that Enrico was sprinting at that time, but then I thought my job was to protect him from the opponents. When I saw him sprinting, I thought that he could make it and that I could have a great chance to win the sprint for the second place. When we crossed the line I realized that we did something special that day, but I also thought that I would also like to have won that jersey.

Enrico: We did not plan that. But the feeling with Mauro was very good and all that is necessary is just a click of eyes to understand each other. Since the start I was thinking to sprint in the last Km and I was just waiting for the chance for that.

Every young or old rider has people who support them to achieve their goals. Is there anyone you would like to acknowledge for helping you?

Mauro: A person that I have to thank because he helped me to become a rider at high level is Armando Zambaldo who is following me in all my trainings. And also my Tech.director Lucio Cavalleri. They both helped me to get these results. [Armando Zambaldo is his trainer. Armando is not a cyclist, but he placed 4th in the road 20km march at the Olympics in Montreal in 1976.]

Enrico: Yes, for sure I have to thank my parents for supporting me for all these years.

What music are you and your teammates listening to as you train or in your leisure? And what other sports and activities do you enjoy doing when not concentrating on your cycling, such as your favorite subjects in school?

Mauro:  I do not practice any other sport besides cycling, but in winter time for training I do alpine skiing, gym and jogging. I listen all kind of music, but my preferred is an Italian singer Ligabue. Unfortunately, I do not have any favourite subject in school, as school is not my favourite at all.

Enrico:  I love volleyball and basketball. I do not have a favourite music. My favourite subjects in school are biology and micro-biology.

Now your preparation starts for the Worlds Championships. I hope to see you there and in the best form to win. How does it feel to know you will go to race against the world's best young riders?

Mauro: I hope to be in the National team for both TT and RR. Racing against the strongest athletes in the world is creating some pressure, but I just did an international race with the Italian National Team in Austria and I did quite well before retiring for a fall. I was there competing with the best and doing great. I hope it will be the same in Canada.

Enrico: It will be an honour to be in the National team and at the same time I have to confess that I am scared of it.

A dedicated-looking silver medalist, Mauro Finetto


Enrico - Vittoria!

For more on the Italian Nationals:

Fabios report on the Italian National Time Trials
Report on the Italian National Jr. Road Race:
Fabio's report on the boys (courtesy of Gaetano Dall’Ora with photos):

Many thanks to Gaetano Dall'Ora for helping to interview these two promising lads, for the photos and for the translations.

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