Damiano Cunego: “The world title remains my dream”
For the first time in his career, Damiano Cunego decided to start his season in the Tour de San Luis, where he finished in the main pack the inaugural stage. Right before going to Argentina, while waiting to board his plane, I had a short chat with the 2004 Giro d’Italia winner, who is determined to leave behind all the problems he had in 2013 and show that he can still have an impact in the important races, even if he knows it’s going to be more and more difficult, as he will turn 33 this year.
– Damiano, you had just one win last season. What went wrong?
2013 has been a very difficult year for me, because I’ve moved with my family in Switzerland and I had to adapt to the new places of training. Because of that I’ve lost my reference points and I’ve made many mistakes in my preparation. Also, I’m one year older.
– Why did you choose to start this season so early, in the Tour de San Luis?
Because in Argentina the weather is warmer than in Europe right now and I really want to have a good start. I hope my hard winter training will pay off early.
– You won Amstel Gold Race in 2008 and will ride it again this year. What do you think of the new finish?
For me, Amstel Gold Race is one of the best races in the world. I love this Classic and the win from six years ago is one of the most important and beautiful of my career. The new finish is very interesting and I will try to get another win.
– I know you will ride the Giro d’Italia. What goals will you have?
As ever, the Giro is very difficult. I will try to get some good results in the mountains, but I won’t go in the race thinking of the general classification. I will be very interested in the Alpine stages, even if I know is not going to be easy there.
– Do you hope to be at the start of the World Championships in Ponferrada?
The circuit is very hard this year, but in the same time is perfect for me. I really hope to be there and get an important result. This is my biggest dream, to win the World Championships. In 2008, I was very disappointed when I finished second in Varese. Still, I believe with all my heart that I can win the rainbow jersey.