Cycling seen through the eyes of an expert: : Interview with David Pizzolato
From a cylist to a coach: what made you decide to leave your career of an athlete and start to train?
I would say it was a necessary decision, unfortunately time is short for everyone. It would be great always competing while doing what you really feel like doing. After a long time spent cycling, I found new inspiration by dedicating my time to other people, particularly young men who want to grow up doing sport.
Let us address to young talents. Which is the right age to start? Which are the values that this sport trasmits and how about the emotions it gives?
In my opinion sport, whatever it is, should be started as soon as possible. It helps the little ones grow up and it contributes to building their character. About high-level competitions in the sport of cycling, I would suggest not to be in a hurry to start competing in frequent races, no matter what the field chosen is.
We always should remember that the little ones like entertaining and enjoying themselves, so let us help them do this. The emotions that this amazing sport gives are big and extremely diverse, a few lines are scarsely enough to describe all of them. I would say that an immense joy for a good performance might be followed by a deep disappointment for a failure.
What are the main requirements this sport need, in terms of psycological and physical conditions? Would you recommend extra training sessions to improve those muscles that are useful for the race?
Talking about high-level competitions, I would say that extra training may be useful, however there are many aspects to take into account. An athlete cannot achieve strong results just because he releases a large quantity of power on the pedals; if he does not feel calm or focused on pursuing his aim, he will never be able to give his maximum, even if he is highly skilled. For this reason, many aspects must be taken care of, from the psycological to the physical ones; no less importanti is healthy nutrition, and so on. In order to increasingly improve other aspects, different kind of sports training might be useful.
Cyclist’s clothing: give me some style and practical tips.
Clothing is very important for those who do cycling, whatever the field is. It should be versatile and suitable for dealing with any kind of weather conditions and for maintaining calm. It must best change according to any unespected situation.
What are the advice you would like to give to beginners?
I would suggest not to compare their performances with those seen on television and made by professionals and champions. If they had to compare their improvements with someone in particular, they should do it with themselves. Time and diligence are necessary to make improvements. Anyway, dedication always pays off!
Tell us something about the differences between participating to a race as an athlete and as a coach.
The biggest difference is the nervous tension before any important appointment. When you are an athlete, the tension immediately ends at the start of the race. After starting, you are immediately focused on beating your competitors. As a sporting director, the nervous tension constantly lasts all the competition. If the competition goes well, it is like I have won too. If the competition ends badly, it is like I have lost too. When you spend a lot of time with guys who give their maximum to what they’re doing, you create that kind of relationship in which everything is shared.
What do you think of using supplements to increase physical performance?
I go back to what I said before. There are many aspects to take into account, supplements are not useful without dedication and the desire to take care of all the aspects.
Let’s dispel false myths: in your career have you ever had to collide with cliché of the world of cycling? And if so, what are they? And how did you face them?
Because of my character, I prefer to deal with my own business in order not to loose sight of my goals. In the world of cycling, as in all the other sports, there is always good and bad aspects to take into consideration.
Cycling within the territory: a sport like cycling can only be influenced by the surrounding environment. Which is its link with tradition and the history of the territory in which you have competed? How do sporting and territorial dimensions interweave with each other?
I think they go hand in hand, territory deeply influences the desire for cycling. Going around on bikes and discovering every time places that give emotions or help meditation, surely have an effect on the number of clycling enthusiasts. Then I would say that the bike, when used at low speed differently from a car, is an ideal instrument for enjoying nice places in the surroundings.
Sometimes, in our frenetic everyday life, we do not even have time to look around us.
Which are the main differences between the different types of cycling?
Among the various fields, what is immediately apparent as a difference regards the types of bikes and clothing. For example a track bike is not suitable for doing Down Hill and vice versa. The typical protections and clothing of Down Hill cannot suit those who do Olympics XC or other kind of speed competitions, because they are too much large. Each field has all the necessary raw materials and also the athlete has to adapt his own lifestyle to the specific cycling field he has chosen.