The season of Matteo Moschetti (Milan, 1996) is still outstanding. After his run of six successes, a string of which Trek-Segafredo confirmed his signing for the WorldTour formation for the next two seasons, the Lombard rider has made his national team debut by winning the ZLM Tour in the Netherlands, the fourth round of the UCI Nations Cup. We talked with the fast man from Polartec-Kometa about his past, his daily life and also his future. A 21-year-old talent and a broad, fresh and contagious smile.
Matteo, seven wins so far this season. At the beginning of the year, did you think you were going to be so successful at this point?
I really didn’t imagine when the year started that so many would come. But I’m very, very happy and I hope to keep it that way.
How did you approach the year at the beginning of the season?
With the people from the Mapei Sport Center we plan to arrive in optimal conditions at the U23 Giro d’Italia[the 41st edition will be held between the 7th and 17th of June], but without losing sight of a good base condition at the start of the season and being competitive already in the first race, the Vuelta a Valencia.
Your first victory of the course, moreover, was the first continental victory of Polartec-Kometa. How did you feel about that double circumstance?
It is a great pleasure and honour for me to achieve this victory and to achieve this coincidence, which will always remain there.
The victory in the ZLM Tour with your team, against opponents of great potential, is not only the last, but the first that came after your signing for the Trek-Segafredo. Is it a very special victory, more special or are they all?
I am one of those who thinks that every victory is special, because every race is different, difficult in itself. And winning is never easy. This victory in the Netherlands was very important for the squadra nacionale, because they score more points in the Nations Cup standings, and also for me because it was my first win with the blue jersey. Of course, without the support of Polartec-Kometa it would not be possible to go with the national team and that is something for which I am also very grateful to the team.
You’ve made your big speed bump clear. Do you see yourself as a pure sprinter or do you think you could evolve into another type of rider?
I don’t consider myself a pure sprinter, even if I am right now. I don’t know, we’ll see in the future. It will be much more difficult to compete with famous sprinters like Mark Cavendish or Marcel Kittel. I don’t know about that. I hope to become a complete, all-terrain cyclist, although I have to improve in climbing. The truth is that sprinting is my main feature, but I don’t know what will happen in the future. I’d like to be a classic runner. It’s my dream.
Who is the sprinter you admire the most, the one you like the most?
It´s a difficult question. I like Mark Cavendish… and Peter Sagan.
And in cycling in general, which cyclist is the one you admire the most, the one you appreciate the most?
My favourite cyclist is Gianni Bugno. It may sound strange, because he doesn’t compete anymore, but I’ve seen a lot of him in videos. Those World Cups, those races…. He was a great runner and he’s also a great person. For me it is a reference, a profile of a rider I want to follow, to try to be a similar cyclist.
Matteo, tell us your training routines. A lot of gym? Just a bike? What are the routes you train on? Being Milanese, do you have a lot of traffic in your area or do you live outside?
Out of season, in the winter, I do work a lot at the gym. November, December, a little bit of January…. When the races starts we leave the gym and only train by bike. Every day, with a different planning. I don’t live in the centre of Milan, but about 20 kilometres to the south. Training around here is not easy because, as in any big city, there is a lot of traffic. And the closest climbs are two hours away by bike. But I like where I live, not bad.
As a fast man, do you like mountain passes? Do you have a favorite one, for landscapes, for harshness, for childhood memories?
Climbing is not something I particularly like. During training there is not so much problem, but in competition I suffer a lot. With speed, in the race, facing a climb is even painful for me. As I am not a climber in general, and I always find any climb difficult, I don’t have any special ascent or that I especially like.
We talked about your arrival on the Polartec-Kometa team. How did it go? How was your experience on the team?
After winning the Italian national championship last June, Ivan Basso asked me if I would like to come for this year. I didn’t give it much thought, it was a very easy decision. I was going to come to this great team. And the truth is, I’m so happy I made the decision I did. It’s been an incredible experience. I am very surprised by the great organization of the Polartec-Kometa, by the passion of Alberto, Fran or Ivan; by having a very committed staff working for us every second. With the teammates the relationship is very good, I am very surprised at the level of everyone and I think that in two of the team’s great objectives, the Giro Baby and the Giro de Aosta, which are two very hard races with a lot of mountains, I am convinced that the Polartec-Kometa is going to do very, very well.
Although your near future is in the Trek-Segafredo, this season you are still with Polartec-Kometa. Have you set yourself a goal in your last months in formation or are you going to live the day to day?
The season, of course, is not over yet. We have many careers and many goals. Personally I don’t have a fixed goal, I think all races are important for me and for the team. I want to show my potential, achieve good results and leave a great memory of myself here. I think that would be my best target.
(automatic translation, sorry for mistakes)