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Eduard Grosu: “I want to become national champion in 2014”

A promising Junior, with good results in Switzerland and Italy, 21-year old Eduard Grosu caught the attention of Pro teams in 2013, after he won stage 3 in the Tour of Romania and Gran Premio Sannazzaro. These wins helped him get a contract with Vini Fantini-Nippo-De Rosa, a Continental team run by Stefano Giuliani and Alessandro Spezialetti. For his new team, Edi Grosu raced in the Gran Premio Costa degli Etruschi, and his debut was promising, riding in the break and getting the the award for the most aggressive cyclist.

What’s next now for the young Romanian? What are his objectives for this season? You can find out from the following interview.

– Edi, you’re racing in Italy for some years now. How were the first seasons?

I’m here since 2009, and in my first year I won seven races in the Junior ranks. Then. in 2010, I was at the World Cycling Center, after which I returned to Italy. In the next season, I won the points jersey at the Giro della Valle d’Aosta and had several top ten finishes, but I didn’t get a win or a podium. Instead, in 2013, I won two races and I often finished on the podium, and also had many top ten placings. I made some progress, and this was obvious, as I’ve found my form and I adapted to the requirements there.

– While in the Junior ranks, I know you were at the start of some important races, like the Tour du Pays de Vaud.

At that time I still was at the World Cycling Center in Switzerland and I prepared that race. I finished it with the best climber jersey, a second place in the last stage, and another second place in the points standings. I was part of the UCI team and I was preparing the World Championships in Moscow.

– What’s the story behind your transfer to Vini-Fantini-Nippo-De Rosa?

Last year, mid-season, after winning the stage three of the Tour of Romania, I was contacted by Stefano Giuliani, sports director of the team. He told me that he wants to set up a Continental team and asked if I would agree to be part of this project. I said yes, and then for three or four months I haven’t heard anything and did not know what was happening. Meanwhile, I signed a contract with an amateur team in Italy, Viris-Maserati, but I had a clause according to which all that becomes void if I get a contract with a professional team. At Christmas, Stefano called again and asked me to come to his team. I agreed, and that was it.

– Did you get to talk to the team at the start of the season? What expectations do they have from you?

I attended a training camp in January and there we talked about the goals and the future of the team. My main goal is winning the National Championships. The team also wants this, because it’s important to have a distinctive jersey, it’s a good publicity. Besides the Nationals, I want to race in the Tour of Sibiu. Vini-Fantini, being affiliated to the Asia Tour, plans to be present in all of those races and I would love to go there and be in a very good shape, in order to get myself noticed, especially as several World Tour teams will be at start of the races. The Tour of Japan will be important as well and I will prepare specifically for it, because the stages suit me. Obviously, I will do some Italian races. For the moment, I don’t know all the races I will do. What I know is that on Sunday I will be in Slovenia for the GP Izola and I have big goals, that I hope to achieve.

– You’ve made an early start this season, in the Gran Premio Costa degli Etruschi, and you were very active, going in the break and getting at the finish the prize for the most aggressive rider. How was that experience?

It was my first race and I wanted to leave my mark on it. Before the race, Stefano Giuliani and Alessandro Spezialetti said that Pierpaolo De Negri and I will be the riders on which they count for a good result. However, if we were to go in the escape, we had to change the plan and keep going. So I did it and I stayed in the front for 150 kilometers. I was the second-to-last to get caught after trying to attack at the beginning of the last climb. Once back in the bunch I worked for my three teammates that were still there and then I got myself to the finish line.

– Were you nervous during the race?

To be quite frankly, I wasn’t. But I must admit there was a special moment. At the start of the race several riders attempted to go in the break, and I was in the group, along with six other guys, but I got caught immediately because there were also riders from Lampre and Cannondale in the group. That break had also Ivan Basso there, who was at the front, and when I passed him he said “Vai, giovane”. It was beautiful. 

– Depending on how you will do this year, is there a chance to sign a contract extension with Vini-Fantini?  

Yes, definitely. I talked to the staff and they have told me that there are no problems with the signing of a new contract. Obviously, I need results for this to happen.  

–  Do you have a dream, a race you want to win?    

There are many races, but my biggest dream is to become world champion, it would be the best win of my career. Of course, a stage win in a Grand Tour is also important. I do not know if I’ll get the rainbow jersey, but I want at least a podium at the World or European Championships.

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