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Eduard Grosu: “I want at least five wins in 2015”

At the start of last year, Edi Grosu was an unknown for many, as 2014 was his first season at a Continental level. Riding for Vini Fantini-Nippo, the young Romanian took people by surprise with his very good results, going on to win six races (including the Tour of Estonia GC and the U23 national title) and getting 22 top-10 placings. Thanks to his impressive run, Grosu received a new contract from Nippo-Vini Fantini after the team went Pro Continental, which means that he’ll get to ride in World Tour races in 2015 and prove what he’s worth against some of the best riders in the peloton.

Before the beginning of this year, one which he expects with a huge level of confidence, Edi Grosu sat down and talked for Cafe Roubaix about his results in the previous season, his program for 2015 and the goals he has ahead of the most important year of his career so far.

– Edi, how was 2014?

It was my best year to date, due to the fact I became a pro rider and I got many strong results. I was 19th in the UCI Europe Tour, which was more than satisfying, and to be frankly, I wasn’t expecting all these results, but I got to this point, and this was possible thanks to the way I prepared and also to my staff.

– What was your best result?

When it comes to the UCI classification, I must say the stage I won in the Tour of Qinghai Lake. Still, a big result for me was coming second in the last stage of the Tour de Slovenie, in a photo-finish with Elia Viviani. I made some errors in the last 400-500 metres, which were very technical, and I didn’t have team mates to bring me on the front, so this meant I didn’t get the best position at the sprint. Anyway, to be in a photo-finish with Viviani, ahead of Michael Matthews, is a very important result, which makes me more confident that I can defeat these riders in 2015.

– And what did you develop in the past season?

I lost some weight, and this helped me become better on the climbs. I’ve also worked on my sprint, but the most important thing was that, for the first time in my career, I’ve had a team that helped me. On the other hand, I’ve lost some power in the time trial. Overall, I can say I made some nice developments compared to 2013.

– How was racing at the World Championships?

It wasn’t that good, because I raced too much in the last months of the season. I went to races without talking to the team, more on my own. In June, instead of taking a two-week break, I didn’t race for just one week, thinking it will be ok this way. Unfortunately, I didn’t recover as I should have after the first part of the season, which was very tough. Then I started training for the Worlds, but I overdid it, and this cost me in Ponferrada. In that moment I realised that a big result at the Worlds is far more important than winning 20 smaller races in your home country.

– Was the team satisfied with your results in 2014?

Yes, they were all content. I was the rider with the most UCI wins, five, and I brought more than half of the team’s points. Thanks to these results, I got a new contract, which will make me one of Nippo’s leaders.

– What did you do during the December training camp?

It was a camp important for getting to know one another, for taking the official team photos, and also for doing some tests with a psychologist. I trained every day on the bike, around 5-6 hours, so I can build my condition. I estimated I did a total of 2000 km at the end of the camp. These trainings really helped me a lot. Also, I found out I have a VO2 max 86 and 5,94 liters per minut.

– Did you talk with the manager of the team about the expectations he has from you?

Yes, I had a meeting with the managers and the sports directors and they told me what are their plans concerning me. They see me as a young rider with a potential that’s still to be fully revealed. Their opinion is I can still develop, not only in the sprint, but also on the climbs, in order to fight for the GC in stage races, of course, if I’m going to lose some weight in the next two years.

– Do you know your program for the first months of the season?

I’ll start in Argentina, with the Tour de San Luis. I’m sure of racing the Gran Premio Costa degli Etruschi and the Trofeo Laigueglia, as well as Omloop Het Nieuwsblad, Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne and Scheldeprijs. If case of a Milan-Sanremo wild card, I’ll get to race there as well. I should also ride The Three Days of De Panne, the Tour of Turkey, and the Giro d’Italia, if the team will be invited.

– What are your goals?

I hope to be at 100% in the first half of the season, to do good and get at least five wins in 2015. I also want to help my team, and if we receive a Giro wild card, I hope for a good result there.

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