Eduard Grosu: “I’m confident ahead of the Giro”
In 1936, four Romanian riders lined-up in Paris for the 30th edition of the Tour de France: George Hapciuc, Virgil Mormocea, Nicolae Tapu and Constantin Tudose. They were all amateurs and under the age of 30, and the Tour de France was their career highlight in terms of events raced, but it didn’t turn out to be a nice memory, as the weather, the crashes and the fast pace of the professional riders made their life a living hell in the first days of the race. Because of that, all four came after the time limit at various points during the race and were eventually disqualified.
Fast forward eight decades and Romania will again feature in a Grand Tour – the Giro d’Italia – where it will have not one, but two cyclists. One of these is Eduard Grosu, a 22-year-old coming from the town of Zarnesti, who rides for Italian Pro Continental outfit Nippo-Vini Fantini. One of the seven neo-pros who are at the start of the Corsa Rosa, he didn’t have the season he has planned so far, a cytomegalovirus and a mononucleosis hampering his preparation and race schedule. Despite of these problems, Edi Grosu fought hard to come back at a proper level and eventually made the team for the Giro d’Italia, where he hopes to help the squad, but also to make himself noticed during some stages.
– Edi, how was the Tour of Turkey?
It was a good race, very well-organized, and an important preparation ahead of the Giro. Overall, I really enjoyed the time spent there.
– What were your thoughts at the start of the race?
I wasn’t confident that I will have a strong week, as there were some question marks concerning my health, but soon I realized that all my problems were gone. I have some small regrets because I’m now aware that I could have had better results, but truth is it was my first race in a long time and it took a while to find my pace.
– You got a top 10 in stage two and went in a long breakaway on the last day. Looking back, what do you think of your display in Turkey?
In my opinion, I could have finished on the podium in the stage which finished in Antalya. After pulling for Daniele Colli in the finale, I went to the back of the pack with around three kilometers to go, and when we hit the last kilometer I was far in the bunch, somewhere around the 45th position. I just wanted to sprint to see how I would feel, and in the end I was very surprised to find out that I finished in the top 10. In the last stage, the team gave me “carte blanche”, as they wanted to go with Colli for the finish. So I went in the break and we were just four riders and there was a pretty strong headwind, so eventually we got caught with five kilometers to go, but it was pretty tight. During the stage I noticed that I have good legs, which gave me a lot of confidence for the Giro d’Italia.
– Now you’re heading to the Corsa Rosa. Did you get to look over the stages?
Yes, I know the parcours and I’m aware of the fact that it won’t be easy at all, but I hope that everything will be ok and that I can get over the difficult mountain stages.
– And what are your goals for the race?
I’m at about 60% of my potential now and if everything goes well, I will try to do something in the last week. At the beginning of the year I was focused on the first week of the race, but due to my health problems I had to change my targets, so now I will try to help the team and find my form, and eventually do something in the last stages.