Davide Martinelli: “Etixx-Quick Step is the ideal team for me”
Cycling is an important part of his family since forever, so it wasn’t a surprise that Davide Martinelli decided to come into the sport very early, as a 7-year-old. It was love at first sight, and as a result, he decided to pursue a career in cycling. Step by step, Davide developed and improved, all this while making the natural transition towards a pro contract. One by one, he rode for G.S. Ronco (during his Junior years), Hoppla, Mg K Vis, before getting a contract with one of the best developments teams out there, Colpack, managed by Antonio Bevilacqua.
Riding in his home country, as well as in many foreign races, the young Italian made the most out of it, establishing himself as one of the best time trial riders of the U23 ranks, with three consecutive national titles and a silver medal at the 2014 European Championships. But don’t make a mistake and think Davide Martinelli is just a powerful rouleur: the 23-year-old proved his versatility and consistency more than once, especially thanks to his powerful sprint from a reduced group, that has helped him win the points jersey at the 2014 Tour de l’Avenir and notch a bronze at this year’s European Championships, in the road race.
The results he scored in the past season and his impressive skills brought him into the attention of many pro teams, and in the end, Etixx-Quick Step came up with an offer for Team Colpack’s rider, who signed a two-year contract. Here, he hopes to develop and turn himself into a rider capable of winning three of cycling’s Monuments – Milan-Sanremo, Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix – which are his dreams for some time now. This transfer, as well as his results, were two of the topics I discussed with Davide Martinelli last week, when I interviewed him.
– Davide, what were your targets at the start of the season?
My primary goal was to develop and to improve on the climbs. For this reason, I worked a lot in the gym, in order to be more powerful on the uphills. In the same time, I wanted to search for a pro team that was willing to believe in me and put a pro contract on the table.
– What meant for you to win a third consecutive national title in the ITT?
The individual time trial is a discipline that really fascinates me and which could help me a lot in the pro ranks, as many short stage races end up being decided for just a couple of seconds. It was very important for me to take another win at the Nationals Championships, because it’s always difficult to repeat the victory you got the year before.
– How were the European Championships?
I prepared myself very well for this event, although I knew that the parcours doesn’t suit me very much. Still, I was convinced I can get a nice result there, the way I rode the time trial being proof in this regard. To be quite frankly, in the road race I didn’t expect to finish on the podium, because I was there to help the team and our sprinter, but after he crashed I came to the forefront and thanks to my sprinting skills I finished on the podium. I can say that I was half-surprised to get a medal in Tartu.
– During your U23 season, you won many races in a bunch sprint. Do you believe you could turn from a ITT rider into a sprinter?
I really don’t know what to say about that. On the other hand, I’m aware of the fact that there are many cyclists who are superior to me in a sprint and have a much better kick, but I also know that I’m capable of a long and powerful sprint, which was useful to me in many occasions.
– A couple of weeks ago, Etixx-Quick Step revelead you signed a contract with the team for the next two years. What’s the story of your transfer?
I have a great relation with Davide Bramati and Joxean Matxin, and in the spring I went to the Bakala Academy to undergo some tests. They were very pleased by my results and we kept in touch. Then, they followed me in other races, like the U23 Paris-Roubaix, and we eventually reached an agreement in the first days of August. I’m really happy for this move and can’t wait for the 2016 season to start, especially as the team is ideal for my characteristics.
– Last year you won the points jersey at the Tour de l’Avenir, but this year you’re not in the race. Why is that?
A couple of weeks before the start I talked with coach Marino Amadori and we both agreed to take a different approach for the World Championships than the one I had in the past. It was a decision we both fully agreed on, although I must say I would have liked to line-up for the Tour de l’Avenir.
– So in what other race will you go until the end of the season?
The plan is to ride two or three races together with Colpack, where I want to help my teammates, and also be at the start of the Chrono Champenois, in France. My desire is to use these races in order to build my condition for the World Championships in Richmond, where I’ll take any opportunity if one were to arise.