Maybe he's not one of the best known guys in the pro peloton, but definitely one of the happiest now.Who I'm talking about ? Piercarlo Pedruzzi. Who ? PIERCARLO PEDRUZZI I said, in other words Team Manager and Administrator of Index-Alexia, the Italian squad which the recent Giro winner, Paolo Savoldelli, is currently riding for. A man who, after the somehow unexpected Tour of Italy victory, seems not to be intentioned to waste much time: after celebrating the Falcon's pink jeresy, he's already making plans for the future, with one particular dream in his mind: taking part in the TdF. But, more generally speaking, also with the aim to go on with the same ambitions (and results) as in recent times.
"Actually my task is making the most, even on the economic side of the matter, of the team's successes" the Bergamo-based team manager said to Italy's "Gazzetta dello Sport" paper, adding that "I'm already at work in order to find new advertising contracts for the society. As for the cycling team itself, I hope next year we'll still have Paolo Savoldelli beside us, assuming he doesn't ask too much, it's mainly a matter of prinicple, he should stay with us because he's happy to, and be aware that the most difficult times for him are about to come, as from now on people will expect Paolo to continue his winning streak. And I'm intentioned to set up a team araound one rider only. We already got better, but I'd like to improve even further, and take part in the Tour de France for instance".
Mr. Pedruzzi also told some interesting things about the "history" of Index-Alexia, a team that came into being in 2000, and some time later hired former pro (once Team Polti manager too) Giovanni Fidanza as Sporting Director. A winning choice, if you look at the results they have got with the fairheaded manager, who even broke into tears when interviewed after Savoldelli's successful TT on Saturday: "With Fidanza as Directeur Sportif and Marco Villa as rider we laid the foundations for our project. Initially Fidanza was even too prudent and shy, he often used to ask for someone else's advice. But one day I told him that it was time for us all to grow up" the Alexia's Administrator-Manager said.
Surely also mr. Pedruzzi had to grow up, as when he started his work at Alexia, in the year 2000, he was a newcomer to "actual" cycling; he had previously worked only in the advertising field indeed. "When Alexia decided to set up a cycling team by their own, I became the squad's administrator, with Petito and Levati working as Sporting Directors. But as Petito left the team, I took over his job and hired Fidanza too. We started as 14-rider strong Div. 2 Trade Team, and didn't get an invitation to take part in the Giro either". But after the above mentioned talk with Fidanza, things kept improving. In particular since 2001, when Pedruzzi hired one of the fatest wheels of the peloton, namely Ivan Quaranta, and other riders came too, such that the Team ascended through the divisional ranks. "I must thank Marco Villa, a good friend of Quaranta who was much of help in Ivan's signing".
But the real "revolution" inside the team came with the arrival of Paolo Savoldelli. A blessing for him and Alexia, even more if you think that, as Pedruzi himself said "I was close to to hire Simoni, the contract was ready, but then the rider took another direction". So, instead of the rider now suspended for testing pisitove for cocaine, Inddx-Alexia had the future Giro winner in its line-up. But Pedruzi and "Il Falco" didn't get along with each othr splendidly at the beginning. "He's a bit suspicious by nature, you know. We didn't expect great results from him this year, as we knew he was coming from two difficult seasons, we hired him mainly due to the UCI points he could have given the team. But later we were favourably impressed by his seriousness and the efforts he made to stick to training plans we prepared for him".
And the plesant surprise was even bigger at the Giro, where "He started well, by taking third at the prologue, and since then we kept working in order to help him get a TOP 5 place Overall in Milan. When unfit Quaranta pulled out of the race, we put the whole team at Paolo's service. He made a masterpiece on the Fedaia climb, where he usually bonked in the past. But this time Paolo hang on and put his hands on the Giro. He helped himself a lot, as by nature Savoldelli listens to other people's advice, but later acts according to his own mind".