Q: When you made the decisive attack, were you at 100% or did you have half an eye on the chasers behind you?
A: No, when I made the move, I went really hard. Then, I knew that I had to last to the finish line, and there were still 3 km to go, so I started fast to open a gap on the others, then I paced myself to the finish, trying to empty myself right on the finish line. This morning, the team told me to try for a result. They put faith in me, and they said, “Today could be a could day for you, have a go. The finish line is close to my home, and it worked out. If my attack had not worked out, there were Fabio and Mikel who would have taken things into their hands, so we would have been OK anyway. So it was my team who encouraged me to try for a result today, and it worked out.
Q: Did you feel under pressure when the team said, “Have a go”?
A: Yes, I’m not used to being the captain. Normally, I work for my companions. It is different starting with some pressure on your shoulders, but knowing that I had team-mates who were going well, I didn’t feel it too badly. If I hadn’t gone well, the others would have sorted the day out for me, so I was OK.
Q: Was the team working as a unit? At one stage, there was a move by López.
A: Yes, we took things in hand immediately. At the start in Milan, we started pulling. All day, we were up there. I have to thank Cataldo, too, who rode at the front, as well as Agnoli: they pulled all the way. The other teams did not want to help us. We had a strong team, so we accepted our responsibilities this morning. It is only right.
Q: You are the local rider. Were there lots of people at the roadside shouting your name?
A: Yes, it is even better to take your first professional win at home. The first win is always nice, but to arrive here in Turin and to win is beautiful.
Q: Did you see friends at the side of the road?
A: Yes. In fact, when I attacked, I was right beside them, and I said to myself, “I wonder how happy they are now?” Now, they are no doubt by the bus – if the bus is still there…
Q: Were they talking from the team car on the final climb to help you pace yourself?
A: No, here there are no radios. There is no connection. The cars were behind. I did not see anyone. From this morning, I was planning an attack there, and I brought it home, so … fantastic.
Q: How does this first pro win feel?
A: I have been looking for it for a few years. I have been riding consistently well for three years, I have been up there in the hard races, with the big riders, and all that, but I still had not won a race. It was beginning to weigh me down on me a bit, because you need a victory. But my first win is in an important race, and it takes a big weight off me. Now I will ride differently. I always work for my team-mates, I work hard for them, but it is right to win something for yourself every so often. Today I did, and tomorrow, I will go back to working again.
Q: This is the first part of a triptych. How do you see the two races to come?
A The first part of a triptych, and we have already won two races out of two! If we carry on like this, we will be fine. Tomorrow is a hard day for us: the route does not suit us. Sunday, on the other hand, is a hugely important race. We have Vincenzo, who has proved that he is in excellent form. Mikel is strong, and the whole team is going well, so we will try to do well on Sunday.