One of the big names on the Italian youth scene will face his first campaign in a new category in the U23 structure of the Contador Foundation. Andrea Montoli will no longer be a junior and will do so in another country, in another culture. At the beginning of September he won the Italian Championship in his category, a title that his club had not won since 1972. He would also win the Trofeo Buffoni, a very prestigious event that could also be held in a competitive context conditioned by the pandemic. “I am very happy to have taken this decision. The Foundation offers me a very good path towards professionalism”, he summarizes.
The cyclist from Parabiago (2002), a town near Milan, comes to the Foundation from the Canturino 1902 Cycling Club and is aware that the movement can be surprising. “I know that it’s not normal and it’s not easy either. Firstly because I am facing my first year in the category and because you are arriving at a new category in which you will be competing against older boys with more experience. It is a great difficulty, even more so because it is in another country, but I am convinced that I will learn a lot from this experience. I was very interested in getting to know another reality of this sport and this opportunity allows it”.
Montoli, one of the riders in the Italian youth season, may have been a little more central to the story that accompanies him. Three years ago, when he was 15, he was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma. “These were the most difficult moments of my life. One day you’re with your friends, life is wonderful, and the next day you don’t know what’s going to happen. You have to have an operation, you are young and confused. The operation, the treatment… With determination and courage I overcame that moment. It wasn’t easy, but I made it. And I want that message to reach everyone. Three years ago I couldn’t even do 20 kilometres on my bike. I could never have imagined that I would win the Nationals just three years later”.
Montoli’s arrival in the future EOLO-KOMETA Cycling Team began to take shape a year ago. “At Canturino we have Kometa’s support and there is a very good relationship. Already in 2019 this possibility arose, Ivan Basso told me about his interest and the whole project. No pressure, no concrete dates. After winning the Nazionale, both Dario Andriotto and Ivan called me to tell me that they loved me. And the truth was something I couldn’t not accept”.
The Lombard rider defines himself as ‘a speedy passer-by’ who does well on not very long climbs. “I like climbing, more than big volatas. Volatas give me more respect. A smaller sprint is a context in which I can perform better. If we compare race profiles, I would probably prefer a Liège-Bastogne-Liège rather than a Milan-Sanremo. But both are careers that I dream about. Those that any boy who competes on a bicycle dreams of. All of us who compete have those same dreams of achieving great victories in the most important races. “One of my grandparents, my father too, is very passionate about this sport. One day, watching a stage of the Tour de France, I told my mother I wanted to do cycling. And that’s when it all started. There was no reason as such. When you’re a child you always play and try out various sports. I chose cycling, in 2008, because it was the sport that I carry in my heart”.
(automatic translation, sorry for mistakes)